Goal of the programme
We are conscious, we sense, we feel and we act because of our brains. The brain coordinates and is affected by bodily functions, and it integrates the information about the outside world conveyed by our senses – it is the most central player in the physiology of the whole body. Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that studies the brain and the entire nervous system at different levels of organisation, from genes and molecules to nerve cells and networks; and beyond. The focus of a neuroscientist’s research may lie in understanding the neurobiological bases of behaviour, analysing the functional roles of a single molecule, or developing new treatments for neurological disorders or sensory deficits.
The Master’s Programme in Neuroscience provides you with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in a scientifically vibrant international environment. You will be taught by scientists who will provide you with a wide spectrum of opportunities for practical training and for becoming integrated into the stimulating neuroscience community. When you graduate, you will have mastered the essentials of neuroscience and have deeper knowledge and skills in the subfields of your choice. The Programme prepares you for PhD studies and a research career, or for a career in the private or public sector.
Further information about the studies on the Master’s programme website.
Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.
Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.
Information on the languages of instruction
The Master’s Programme in Neuroscience is a truly international programme that brings together students from many countries. English is the language of instruction and of study materials for compulsory courses and most optional courses. You can write all exams, reports and your Master’s thesis in English. If you are fluent in Finnish or Swedish you can use these languages.
Training is arranged in modules and consists of lecture courses, hands-on laboratory courses, seminars and book exams. Group work, reports and presentations help you to develop critical thinking and communication skills that are essential for a successful career within Academia and in jobs in the public and private sectors. Compulsory studies provide you with a broad general knowledge of the field, whereas optional studies will offer you freedom to focus on topics of interest to you. You can choose lecture or laboratory courses for example in molecular and cellular neuroscience, developmental neurobiology, sensory biology, regeneration biology, systems neuroscience, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, brain disorders, etc. You can also expand your knowledge by taking courses from other Master’s Programmes.
Selection of the study track
With optional study modules you can refine your specialisation within the field of neuroscience and broaden your knowledge in other disciplines. Discussing the options with your teachers and study advisors during the first months of your studies will help you to identify the various opportunities and prepare your personal study plan. You can revise your plan, if necessary, as your studies progress.
You undertake modules amounting to the value of 120 credits (ECTS) according to your personal study plan. The Master’s Degree consists of
- 60 credits of advanced studies, including a research project (Master’s thesis, 30 credits)
- 60 credits of other studies chosen from the Programme or from other Programmes (e.g. Genetics and Molecular Biosciences, Translational Medicine, or Psychology)
The curriculum of the Programme enables you to complete 90 credits in 12 months of full-time studying and utilising study opportunities during the summer months, but not including your Master’s thesis research project. However, we recommend that you complete the Programme in 2 years as this will give you more flexibility for your optional studies. You can include career planning or extracurricular activities in your personal study plan.
In order to qualify as a biology teacher, you will need to have 60 credits of pedagogical studies in your degree. This applies only to Finnish or Swedish speaking students.
Further information is available on the website of the programme.
All students undertake a Master’s thesis (30 credits). You will learn how a research project proceeds, from planning the work and choosing appropriate methods to performing the experiments and analysing the results. The Master’s thesis is typically based on an experimental research project carried out in one of the University’s research groups under the supervision of an experienced researcher. Your thesis may also consist of a a theoretical literature study. You will write your Thesis as if it were a scientific publication, critically describing, contemplating and discussing your results in the light of previous scientific literature on the topic. In your written thesis you will be expected to demonstrate that you are capable of scientific thinking, that you have mastered the relevant research methods and that you are profoundly familiar with your research topic. Completing your Master’s thesis demonstrates that you have acquired the relevant skills in project management and written scientific communication.
During the Master’s Seminar in Neuroscience, you will get support for all stages of the thesis process and beyond, including data acquisition, communication skills, peer interaction and support, networking and career opportunities.
If you are studying for biology teacher qualification, your Master’s thesis can deal with pedagogical or didactic issues in biology teaching. This applies only to Finnish or Swedish speaking students.
Basic research and biomedical research are career paths that offer many opportunities. After completing a Master’s degree in Neuroscience, you will be eligible for Doctoral Programmes at the University of Helsinki (e.g. Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind) or worldwide for other Doctoral Programmes in neuroscience, biosciences or biomedicine.
In addition to Academia, neuroscientists work as specialists in many fields, such as the pharmaceutical industry, education, biotechnology, public policy, science writing and publishing.
A Master’s degree in Neuroscience is a popular choice among Finnish and Swedish speaking students studying towards biology teacher qualification.
Although many of the students from the Programme continue to doctoral training (PhD), the Programme will also give you qualifications for specialist jobs outside Academia, for example in the pharmaceutical industry or companies.
If you are admitted into the programme in 2019, you will not be able to apply for a study right in pedagogical studies during your Master’s degree. However, you can apply for a study right after you have completed the Master’s degree.
You may apply if you meet the following three requirements:
- You have completed by 31 July 2019 a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) or second-cycle degree (e.g., master’s degree) or a postgraduate degree in Finland or abroad.
- You have completed or will complete studies required for the master’s programme by 11 January 2019. Below are more details concerning applicable studies.
- You are able to demonstrate your proficiency in English. For further instructions on demonstrating your proficiency in English, see the section “Required enclosures”.
If you are currently or have previously been a student at the University of Helsinki, please note the following rules.
If you have refugee status or are in a refugee-like situation, and you do not have the official documents to prove your eligibility to apply for higher education, you can still apply to the University of Helsinki.
You may be admitted if
- You prove your eligibility (see above) by the deadline
- You submit the application and the required attachments within the specified deadline. The application form is open from 3 December 2018 (8:00h Finnish time) to 11 January 2019 (15:00h Finnish time). Read more about what will happen after the application period.
- You have completed at least a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) in a field applicable to the Master’s programme. Please note: even if the degree serving as grounds for application is not completed during the application round, you must have a sufficient number of applicable studies completed by 11 January 2019.
Previous studies completed by applicants to the Master’s Programme in Neuroscience must provide them with sufficient qualifications for successful completion of the programme.
In order for the studies completed for the degree serving as the grounds for application (or any studies completed to supplement this degree) to provide sufficient qualifications and knowledge for the completion of Master’s studies, their content and level must be applicable and appropriate for the Master’s programme and its disciplines. The applicability and sufficiency of these studies will be assessed during the admissions procedure. The University of Helsinki does not provide any preliminary evaluation on the suitability of the applicant’s previous studies.
Applicants with a second-cycle degree in the same or related field will only be taken into consideration for compelling reasons and if the targeted degree is sufficiently different from their previously completed degree. As a rule, second-cycle degrees are used as grounds for applying for a right to complete a postgraduate degree.
The assessment is based on the studies applicants have completed by the end of the application period.
Certificates of employment or statements made by supervisors on research related to the field of the programme can be attached to the application.
On the application, you must indicate your choice of study track, but your selection, however, is not binding. There are two study tracks: A) Neuroscience B) Physiology. The study track selected by the applicant will be taken into consideration when assessing the applicability of previous studies and the motivation letter.
Two-stage assessment and selection of applicants
Student admissions to the Master’s Programme in Neuroscience are carried out in two stages. At the first stage, all eligible applicants will be assessed on the basis of their application documents and in accordance with the criteria below (each scored on a scale of 0–5):
- Applicability of previous studies to the Master’s programme
- Academic performance in completed studies required for the programme (grade level and study progress in relation to time used for the studies)
- Motivation letter
For this programme, there exists further information about the scoring of the applications.
In the first assessment stage, applicants with more than a minimum score of 11 will be ranked based on their score. Of these, the best 40 will be selected for interviews held in the second assessment stage.
The interviews consist of a certain number of predetermined questions that further delve into the previous studies, objectives and potential research experience included in the application documents. The interviews will be assessed and scored on a scale of 0-5. Admission to the programme requires participation in the interview. The interviews will be conducted with the help of the Skype application. The interviews will be primarily arranged in English. Applicants who wish to complete the degree in Finnish or Swedish may, however, ask for the interview to be conducted in the language they have selected for their degree in their application.
Admissions are based on the combined score from the two assessment stages. The minimum requirement is a score of 16. Based on total scores, the best 20 applicants will be admitted to the programme. The rest of applicants with a score of 16 or more will be put on a reserve list.
Applicants with a degree from a university of applied sciences will be assessed at the same time and on the same grounds as other applicants. However, work experience of no less than a year in a scientific research group after completing their degree will be taken into consideration when a significant share of the experience is from independent research work.The quantity and quality of research work experience must be clearly stated on the certificate of employment or a statement made by the supervisor attached to the application. Research work experience will be assessed during the first assessment stage when assessing the applicability of previous studies.
In the event the programme quota cannot accommodate all applicants who have completed studies applicable to the degree programme, a comparison between the applicants will be made. Only the best applicants will be accepted. There is no requirement for the programme to fill its admission quota.
If two or more applicants are tied after the evaluation, they will be ranked firstly on the basis of an interview, secondly on the basis of applicable studies, thirdly on the basis of academic performance and fourthly on the basis of the motivation letter.
If in this round of admissions you are applying for more than one master’s programme at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, you must rank them in order of preference on your application form. If you could be admitted to more than one programme, you can only be admitted to the one you have ranked the highest.
Applicants will be informed of the results of the student selection by 12 April 2019 at the latest. Please note the one study place per term provision if you are applying for more than one study programmes in the spring 2019.
Study right to be awarded
If you are admitted, you have been granted the right to pursue the degree of Master of Science in the multilingual Master’s Programme in Neuroscience.
In the multilingual Master’s Programme in Neuroscience, you can choose the language of your degree to be Finnish, Swedish or English. You will also have to choose the language of your degree (English, Finnish or Swedish) on the application form. This means that even though most of the teaching will be offered in English, you can answer examination questions and write course assignments and your Master’s thesis in the language that you select as the language of the degree. Please note that you can apply to this Master’s programme through only one language option and that the selected option defines the language of your degree (English, Finnish or Swedish). The Master’s programme admits no more than 20 students regardless of their selected language of degree and application option.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents, and the documents must be submitted as instructed below:
- Official photocopy of the degree certificate/diploma
- Official transcript
- Certificate of language proficiency
- Authorised translations into English, Finnish or Swedish
- A photocopy of your passport, your official identity card or your Finnish residence permit card
- Diploma supplement (if available)
- Motivation letter to be included in the application form
- Certificates of employment or statements made by supervisors on research related to the field of the programme. The certificate must clearly indicate the quality and quantity of the work experience. Please note that this attachment is not compulsory, if you don’t have relevant work or research experience.
1) Read carefully the instructions on application enclosures and their submission.
2) You must demonstrate your proficiency in English, Finnish or Swedish (Updated 18/12/2018: Finnish and Swedish added). Read the instructions on proving your language skills.
3) If the degree serving as grounds for application to the programme is still incomplete, you need not submit a degree certificate/diploma with the application documents. If you are admitted, the admission decision will be conditional, and you will receive instructions with your letter of admission for submitting the official degree certificate/diploma. NB! The final degree certificate/diploma must be presented by 14 August 2019 at the latest.
|Due date||11.1.2019, 15:00|
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