The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.
We offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in the following research areas:
Motor systems development, plasticity and function
We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.
Visual system development, plasticity and repair
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.
Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.
We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.
Our research focuses on:
- understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
- the development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans
We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.
Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.
Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology
Our research covers:
- the assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
- development and assessment of cognitive models
- cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
- developmental disorders of perception and cognition
Systems and computational neuroscience
We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.
Behaviour and evolution
Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.
Visual perception and human cognition
- colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
- psychophysics and attention - memory
- word learning in children
- body image dysfunction
- visual social cognition and face processing
- advertising and consumer behaviour
We encourage applicants to find out more about our staff specialisms on the Institute of Neuroscience’s website.
Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.
We will be offering the following PhD projects:
- Targeting Biosynthetic and Regulatory Pathways of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis as Novel Drug Targets
- Design, Synthesis and Target Identification of Novel Anti-Tubercular Agents
- Activity-Based Chemical Probes for the Profiling of Cytochrome P450s
- Development of Novel Silanediol HDAC Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancer
Several of our PhD studentships require or encourage up to three months internships in a related area, for example in industry, hospital laboratories, or charities.
CASE studentships include a six month placement working with the industrial partner.
The Institute of Neuroscience (ION) has well-equipped laboratories and research infrastructure including the new Centre for Translational Systems Neuroscience and the Campus for Ageing and Vitality.
Our imaging technology includes preclinical and clinical PET, fMRI and CT scanners.
We have equipment for techniques including:
There is office space, computing facilities and a dedicated student social area.
Read more about ION's facilities.
In the news
Student blogger Lydia's story of why she chose to take on postgraduate study.
published on: 18 April 2018
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published on: 16 April 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.
Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School
Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.
Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.
You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.
Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership
The Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and offers:
- researchers the opportunity to address scientific biosciences questions
- an exceptional programme of research training, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of modern biology
- the latest technologies and facilities to deliver world-class results
Each year we award around 22 fully-funded studentships across the partnership on the following research themes:
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
- Bioscience for Health
- World Class Underpinning Bioscience
IAPETUS Natural Environment Research Council Doctoral Training
IAPETUS is a partnership between the universities of Newcastle, Durham, Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling, the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. It offers multidisciplinary doctoral research and training programmes for the next generation of leaders in the science of the natural environment.
IAPETUS is a multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), funded and accredited by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), offering PhD students a world-class environment in which to study. This includes:
- fully-funded PhD studentships
- supervision and support from academics and researchers who are world-leaders in their field
- tailored training and development programmes
- placements and internship opportunities
- high-quality laboratories, facilities and resources
IAPETUS doctoral research projects available to study at Newcastle.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
MPhil, PhD, MD
Full time: £4,800 - £15,300
Part time: £2,400 - £7,650
Full time: £4,800 - £15,300
Part time: £2,400 - £7,650
Full time: £21,000 - £31,500
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.
If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent. Further research experience or a Master’s degree would be advantageous.
A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
English Language Requirements
To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).
Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.
You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
There are usually three possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.