Lectures will build on modules in Sensory Systems and Neuroimaging, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. These modules provide a broad overview of the function of single neurons from sensation and perception to brain activity patterns observed in optical imaging and electrophysiology, and examine several research problems in-depth. Specifically for the 4-year student cohort, these lecture modules will be tailored to include introductory neuroscience blocks appropriate for non-life-sciences graduates, as well as tutorial components designed to fit individual students’ training needs. By taking some lectures alongside students in other 4-year PhD or M Res programmes, our students will also integrate into the larger postgraduate student community.
All students are required to attend the Institute of Neuroscience weekly research seminars given by high quality external speakers. In addition, each of the potential supervisors will give a 30-minute introduction to his/her field of research to facilitate informed choice of projects in years 2-4. Students will be invited to visit each lab on specified visit days, talk to current research students and postdoctoral researchers, and learn about the techniques that are used.
After the first term, students will participate in three eight-week lab rotations. For the first two rotations, all students will be required to choose one from each of two project lists: one biased towards theoretical/analytical approaches and one biased towards experimental approaches. The third choice will be left to the students’ discretion. The rotations will help in choosing final PhD topics, as well as establish contact with different labs which will enable students to get help and advice from different disciplines, as and when needed.
Each project will require two principal supervisors owing to the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed programme. Each student will also continue to be advised by his/her Personal Mentor (newly selected if the mentor becomes a supervisor). Formal assessments (consisting of written reports, from student and supervisors, and interview panels) will take place near the end of years 2 (month 21) and 3 (month 33), following established practice in the Faculty Graduate Schools. Students will be required to continue to participate in seminars, workshops and appropriate training courses to enhance their neuroscience knowledge. Progression is allowed only on satisfactory assessment outcomes.