Neuroscience BSc

By choosing Neuroscience at Aston University, Birmingham, you’ll study with leading academics to ask the big questions about our brains, and what happens to the nervous system when people have neurological, psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Integrated placement year

Duration

4 years including integrated placement

UCAS code(s)

B140

Start date

Overview
Explore Neuroscience BSc at Aston

Hear from some of our current Neuroscience BSc student talking about their favourite aspects of the course.

Neuroscience Testimonial

Why should students choose this course?

"Applying theoretical knowledge in a practical setting runs as the backbone of the course and tests our critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The large practical component in this course is unrivalled and gives students valuable hands-on experience in neuroscience research which very few universities can offer, allowing us to learn masters level skills. Beyond this, the placement year gives us an insight into working within the field and allows us to test the waters before deciding what we want to do in the future."

Priya Ramesh

Research Assistant, NTU Singapore

 

Neuroscience Testimonial

Why should students choose this course?

"Applying theoretical knowledge in a practical setting runs as the backbone of the course and tests our critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The large practical component in this course is unrivalled and gives students valuable hands-on experience in neuroscience research which very few universities can offer, allowing us to learn masters level skills. Beyond this, the placement year gives us an insight into working within the field and allows us to test the waters before deciding what we want to do in the future."

Priya Ramesh

Research Assistant, NTU Singapore

 

Course outline and modules

Neuroscientists study the development and function of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Neuroscientists ask important questions about what makes us think and feel, how our brains process information and what brain cells and synapses do. Neuroscience is interdisciplinary, with scientists investigating brains using many different approaches: from mathematics to molecular biology and from artificial intelligence to electrophysiology. 

At Aston, our course follows a hands-on approach, giving you access to high-tech laboratory equipment and enabling you to engage with techniques in basic and applied research. Our course is designed to provide you with the perfect first step towards a career in one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of life and medical sciences.
 

What is studying Neuroscience at Aston really like?

Our course differs from many undergraduate neuroscience courses in the UK, with a key focus on acquiring practical skills - an advantage that will set you apart from the graduate crowd. It is also completely self-contained, with every module designed for and delivered to Neuroscientists only.

You’ll work closely with active neuroscience researchers working on ground-breaking projects and study a range of modules designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating world of brain function.

During the course you will get the opportunity to:

  • Learn neuropharmacology through tissue bath experiments.
  • Perform EEG and EMG recordings and analyse the data with research-grade tools.
  • Undertake complex brain-slice recordings to discover how drugs work and how our brains are organised and function.
  • Explore how natural toxins and nerve agents are used in the research lab to discover how our brain cells talk to each other.
  • Discover more about the major diseases and disorders of the nervous system.
  • Hear from leading neurologists in our guest lectures.
  • Understand how research conducted at Aston University into areas like Parkinson’s, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy and developmental cognitive neuroscience is impacting the wider field of study.

International students

We welcome students from around the world on to our Neuroscience course. Please see the entry qualifications and fees sections for more details.

For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS.

Placement year

You’ll get to gain real world experience with our integrated placement year, designed to help you stand out in the graduate crowd.

You can choose to complete this exciting year in a variety of settings, from research laboratories to the pharmaceutical industry. Our dedicated Careers and Placement team will be on hand to support you throughout with CV surgeries, on-campus careers fairs and regular communication while you are away from campus. 

Modules

Year 1

Experience a thorough and ‘hands-on’ grounding in the core principles and techniques used in neuroscience through a mixture of lectures and practical experience:

 

  • Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry and Cell Biology for Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience Practicals 1
  • Key Skills in Neurosciences 1
     
Year 2

Build upon the knowledge that you gained in your first year by studying the foundations of neuroscience in greater depth, along with a range of specialist subjects.

  • Whole Brain Neuroscience
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Cellular Neuroscience 
  • Neuroscience Practicals 2
  • Key Skills in Neurosciences 2
     
Placement Year

Gain valuable career boosting experience by setting your studies in a real-world context of a working environment alongside professionals.

The Aston placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and is compulsory for all home students. International/EU students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that is completed where possible.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • Brain Disorders and Disease
  • Research Project
     

In addition you will select two from the following*:

  • Advanced and Applied synaptic plasticity
  • Advanced Molecular Pharmacology
  • Neural Oscillations and Synchrony
  • Abnormal Neuronal Networks 
  • Hacking the Brain
  • Physiology and Pathophysiology of Movement
  • Computational Neuroscience

 
*Worth a total of 30 credits. 

Please note the availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry Requirements

 

GCSEs

Five GCSEs which must include Maths and English Language all at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

A Levels
  • BBB in three A Level subjects, which must include at least one science from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.
  • BBC in three A Level subjects, which must include at least one science from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics plus B in an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths.
  • BCC in three A Level subjects which must include at least one science from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics for contextual offer students.*

The following subjects will not be considered as one of the core three A Levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies.

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

BTEC

Contextual offer applicants need to achieve a grade C in their A level(s) as listed below.

BTEC Qualification Name*

BTEC grades required

A Level Requirements

Extended Diploma

Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction*

 

OR

 

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction plus A Levels

This BTEC must be RQF – National in Applied Science D*D*D* (you do not require an additional A Level)

OR

This BTEC must be QCF in Applied Science DDD and you must also achieve grade B in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

OR

If you are studying a non-science subject in this BTEC which is QCF or RQF – National then you must achieve DDD and grade B in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Diploma (QCF)

National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve a grade B in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.


Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects of which one must be in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.


90 Credit Diploma (QCF)

 

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects of which one must be in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

National Foundation Diploma

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects of which one must be in either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

*Please note that on the UCAS application form QCF BTEC Extended Diploma appears under the name BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) and the RQF BTEC Extended Diploma appears under the name Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (1080) (2016 to Present). If you unsure of which qualification you are taking, please contact your school or college provider to confirm.
T Level

Students completing T levels in 2022
T levels in the following subjects are not accepted for entry to this course: Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction; Digital Production, Design and Development; Education and Childcare.  Please note that where a T level is listed as 'Not acceptable' this is because the T level does not cover subject specific knowledge that we normally require at A level.  If you have taken both a T level and an additional A level or A levels please consult the admissions team for advice in relation to any degrees where T levels are listed as 'not accepted.'

Students completing T levels in 2023 and beyond
There are now an additional seven T Level qualifications in: building services; engineering for construction; digital business services; digital support and services; health; healthcare science; onsite construction and science. The first student cohorts from these subjects will complete their courses in the summer of 2023. We will publish details of the progression opportunities to our degree programmes from these T Levels by September 2022.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Standard offer: 31 Overall, HL 5, 5, 5 which must include one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Maths and English Language.

Contextual offer: 28 points overall and must include grades 5, 4, 4 in Higher Level subjects which must include one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language for contextual offer students.*

Access to Higher Education

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification, and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement. Subjects Accepted: Applied Science, Biology combined with Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Biosciences, Combined Sciences, Health Sciences, Health Sciences Professions, Life Sciences and Sciences.

Please note we do not accept Health and Social Care as it does not contain the amount of core science material required for subsequent undergraduate studies on this degree.

Foundation programmes

Foundation Programme in Science: Bioscience and Pharmacy (Aston University)

It is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science: Bioscience and Pharmacy.

 

External Foundation Programmes from another University

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English

BBB in any three subjects OR

CCC in three subjects, which must include one science from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications.

International students

International qualifications

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages.

International foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Other

Degree

Year 1:

Applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. 

In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications, and this must include an academic reference.

Year 2:

We do not accept any transfers into year 2 of this programme.

Year 3/final year:

We do not accept any transfers into year 3 or final year of this programme.

View our Transfers Policy

For further information regarding the transfers policy and Student Transfer Arrangements please see here.

Age of qualifications

Applicants must normally have achieved their eligible academic qualifications for entry onto this course within the last three years. Applicants presenting qualifications older than three years will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Admissions Lead.

View our Admissions Policy under the 'Respect' tab on our Principles and Policies page.

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (typically CCC, however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Our practical-intensive course means that you get to understand high-level concepts early in your journey and pick up laboratory skills that put you in an excellent place to secure employment.


You will be taught by staff from neuroscience and pharmacology teaching groups and encounter a variety of learning opportunities from lectures and practical sessions to group work and self-study.


We also run regular small-group tutorials throughout the course. This helps to cement the key learning outcomes of our teaching and makes sure that you feel happy and supported.
 

Assessment

We use a wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes such as:

  • examinations (unseen essay, short answer or multiple choice questions)
  • essays
  • practical reports (group or individual)
  • presentations
  • laboratory reports
  • project work
  • computer based assessment
  • peer assessments.

Key staff

Academic Lead: Dr Doug Caruana 

Course Directors: Dr John Butcher and Dr Jacki Tickle

Fees and Scholarships

UK students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students/EU students* (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £20,100*

During placement year: £2,500

*The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as Home students.

Further information 

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/student-finance

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here. https://www2.aston.ac.uk/scholarships

Career prospects

Studying neuroscience opens up a huge range of opportunities for graduates in the UK and internationally. This includes clinical neurophysiology, applied research in academia and industry, as well as undertaking roles in big data and artificial intelligence, policy and funding, patent law, medical writing, and postgrad medicine.

Our industry links and placement opportunities will provide you with the skills, know-how and experience to be successful in:

  • academia (research and teaching)
  • clinical sciences
  • biotechnology and contract research
  • pharmaceutical industry
  • regulatory affairs, policy and research administration
  • science communication, museum work and public engagement

Frequently asked questions

Why should I choose Aston to study Neuroscience?

At Aston we work with active neuroscience researchers who specialise in areas such as Parkinson’s, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, processes underlying visual cognition, and developmental cognitive neuroscience. Our research feeds into our teaching, meaning you’ll be taught by experts in the field working on up-to-date studies.

Our mix of theoretical expertise and hands-on research work carried out in world-class facilities is perfect for setting you up for an exciting career in a wide range of enriching careers that make a difference.

What facilities will I get to use?

As an Aston neuroscience student, you will have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities including:

A newly refurbished dedicated neuroscience laboratory equipped with multiple neuroscience recording set ups, to allow intracellular and extracellular recording of brain cells in vitro, as well as receptor pharmacology experiments.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding careers support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work VISA. Click here for more information on post-study work VISA.

Chat with current students

 
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