Neuroscience BSc (Hons)

Course overview

  • Course level
  • Course type
  • Duration
    4 years including integrated placement
  • Course options
    Integrated placement
  • UCAS code(s)
  • School

Entry requirements

  • A Level
    BBB to BCC including one science from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics (depending on EPQ, Core Maths or Contextual offer)
  • BTEC
    Welcomed with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details
  • International Baccalaureate diploma
    31 Overall (HL 5, 5, 5 must include Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics)
  • GCSEs
    Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Mathematics and English Language
More information
Apply via UCAS

Key Dates

Access to state-of-the-art neuroscience laboratory equipped with research-grade brain slice recording systems

Unlock your understanding of the brain and nervous system, from the microscopic to the whole organism

Enhance your CV and gain experience with the integrated placement year

1st in the UK for Value Added (Aston University, The Guardian University Guide, 2020)

Course Summary

Develop an in-depth understanding of the brain and nervous system at multiple scales from the microscopic to the whole organism in both health and disease. At Aston, our stimulating and hands-on Neuroscience degree is the first step towards your future career in one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of life and medical sciences.


Entry requirements and fees: 2020

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated placement year

Start date: September 

UCAS Code: B140

Fees for 2020 entry: 

  • UK / EU students £9,250 per year
  • International students £18,900 per year

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.

*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. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

Admissions Review Process: All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with lower predicted grades if the application is of a high standard which includes a strong personal statement and academic reference. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated below. Whilst we normally look for evidence of recent study (which we define as the past 3 years), we also welcome applications from mature students who have achieved grades up to 10 years old, which will be considered on a case by case scenario. You will be required to make a full UCAS application which lists your education and work history up to the time of application along with sufficient references. Find out more about our admissions policy.


Typical offers

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 levels subjects which must include one science from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

  • BBC in three A level subjects which must include 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 one science from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics for Contextual offer students

Excluded Subjects: We welcome the following subjects as an additional A level, but not 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:We welcome BTEC qualifications in any subject which are taken with the relevant A Level subjects as listed below. Contextual offer applicants need to achieve a grade C as listed below.

BTEC Qualification Name

BTEC grades required A Level Requirements

Extended Diploma (QCF/National)


With this BTEC you must also achieve a 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.

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

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.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University):  For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science at Aston University.


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 Programme in Science (Aston University): For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.


Alternative qualifications

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.

Degree: We consider 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.

Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry 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 on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. 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.

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 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.
  • CCC at A-Level

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

Course outline and what you will study

Course outline

Neuroscienceis an exciting and emerging field of scientific study focusing on the functions and structure of the human nervous system. Neuroscientists investigate what happens when people have disorders by focusing on the brain and its impact on behaviour and cognitive functions.

As one of the most rapidly growing scientific disciplines today, there’s never been a more exciting time to study Neuroscience with us.

At Aston, you’ll investigate the depths of the brain and nervous system. Engaging with the stimulating questions that this field provokes whilst studying a wide range of topics.Our Neuroscience course follows a practical and hands-on approach that allows you to receive broad training as you look at the brain from multiple angles.

You’ll be taught by our team of highly skilled academics who specialise in cutting-edge research. As part of a small cohort of students, you’ll work closely with active dynamic neuroscience researchers working on ground-breaking projects and discoveries. You’ll have access to the most up to date and high-tech equipment, enabling you to engage with the newest techniques in basic and applied research and giving you the opportunity to acquire practical skills, an advantage that will set you apart from the graduate crowd.

What you will study

Year 1: Experience a thorough and ‘hands-on’ grounding in the core principles and techniques used in neuroscience through a mixture of lecture and practical experience.


  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Psychology and the Brain
  • Neuroscience Practicals 1
  • Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Genetics for Neuroscience
  • Key Skills in Neurosciences 1
  • Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience

Year 2: Building upon the knowledge that you gained in your first year,you will study in greater depth the foundations of neuroscience from both research and theoretical perspectives.


  • Pills and Poisons
  • Cognitive and behavioural Neuroscience Research Methods
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Key Skills in Neurosciences 2
  • Receptors and Ion Channels
  • Neuroscience Practicals 2

Placement year: The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your undergraduate studies in context by taking a neuroscience placement in the UK or abroad. Discover more in the next tab.

Final year: During the final year of the course you will expand and specify your knowledge through a series of core and optional modules of your choice, and through the completion of an original piece of neuroscience research as a final year project.

Core module:

  • Brain Disorders and Disease

One of two project modules:

  • Research Project A
  • Research Project B

Optional modules:

  • Advanced and Synaptic Plasticity
  • Molecular Basis of Pain
  • Advanced Molecular Pharmacology
  • Neural Oscillations and Synchrony
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Abnormal Neural Networks and Epilepsy
  • Brain Imaging
  • Mind and Brain
  • Social and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Music and the Brain
  • Psychosis
  • Basics of Joint Attention

Please note that optional modules are subject to change.

Placement year

We believe that the best way to prepare you for your future career is to provide you with experience in the real world of work.

That’s why this course has a compulsory integrated placement year, designed to make you stand out in the graduate crowd. By choosing to study a course with an integrated placement year you will be making yourself more attractive to employers as well as a great opportunity to make industry contacts and develop valuable workplace skills.

Learning, teaching, assessment and staff

As a student on this course you will take part in our tutorial system, where you will be supported in small groups with an assigned personal tutor to discuss concepts learned with the modules, cover key skills and deliver pastoral care. You will also encounter a variety of learning opportunities, such as:

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Group work
  • Self-study courses.

Throughout the course you will be continuously assessed using 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.


Neuroscience at Aston includes a broad range of interests and techniques. Research topics such as Parkinson’s, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, processes underlying visual cognition, developmental cognitive neuroscience and many more are all covered by the University. We ask the important questions about how the brain works, as a whole system and down to that of individual neurons. This range of expertise and interests is what makes our neuroscience course the right choice for a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating world of brain function.

Course Director: Professor Gavin Woodhall

Admissions Tutor: Dr Stuart Greenhill

You will be taught by staff from pharmacy, neuroscience & pharmacology and psychology teaching groups, including:


Your future career prospects

On successful graduation you will have a wide array of work opportunities in both the public and private sector, having the skills to support basic and applied research in the life and medical sciences and the analytical skills desired by organisations and companies worldwide. The job market is growing and neuroscientists are being increasingly engaged by health and government services to influence and inform policy decisions and advise on their impact on the human condition.

Roles open to you would include:

  • Academia (research and teaching)
  • Clinical sciences
  • Biotechnology and contract research
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Neuropsychology and psychiatry
  • Regulatory affairs, policy and research administration
  • Science communication, museum work and public engagement.

This course is also highly suitable for progressing on to postgraduate study.

Discover more about the exciting careers in neuroscience from the British Neuroscience Association.


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.
  • Access to psychology, biology and pharmacology laboratories.
  • Biopac systems for measuring human physiology and EEG for cognitive neuroscience projects.
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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.

What made you decide to study Neuroscience at Aston?

The modules within the course itself cover so many different areas of neuroscience. It allows you not only to expand your knowledge, but also discover your particular passion – for me the module Abnormal Psychology solidified my interest in the relationship between mental illness and cognitive processes including memory and reasoning.

How is the quality of teaching and student support enhancing your time at Aston?

The help and support I have received from my lecturers has been great, they are never more than an email away and often use the resource ‘Blackboard’ to set up online forums. The neuroscience course is relatively small in size so our lecturers often know us fairly well – enough to know when we are missing. This gives the lectures an overall more personal feel, and I think I definitely benefit from such an environment as you can easily ask questions.

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