MSc Neuroscience header image

MSc Neuroscience

at The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London

Student Handbook 2017 - 2018

Hint: Use the browser's search function (Ctrl+F) to search this page


A. College

A1. Welcome from the Principal

Professor Edward Byrne AC (Companion of the Order of Australia) is the new Principal and President of King’s College London and has dual British and Austrailian nationality.
Professor Byrne has joined King’s from Monash University, the largest university in Australia, where he was President and Vice-Chancellor. Professor Byrne held that role from 2009. Professor Byrne is a neuroscientist and clinician by background. He qualified in medicine at the University of Tasmania in 1974 and subsequently trained as a neurologist in both Adelaide and London. In 2007 he left Australia for London where he held the positions of Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Head of the Medical School and Vice Provost at University College London until 2009. Professor Byrne has demonstrated outstanding commitment to research excellence throughout his career, including drawing together people from different disciplines to address global challenges and ensuring the quality of student education, the student experience and student employability.
He has wide interests in the arts and has written several books of poetry.

King's strategic vision
King's College London is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society.
The College's Mission is articulated in greater detail in the
College's Strategic Vision 2029

Before you commence your studies, you should be enrolled. Please check the enrolment web pages regularly for updates.

King's induction
The College has produced a number of welcome/induction videos which I urge all students to view.

Assessment and Academic Records at King’s
The Assessment & Academic Records Centre has also produced information on enrolment, assessment etc for students. Please do read this guidance designed to help you meet the required standards for your programme of study.

A2. About King's

King’s College London is one of England’s four oldest and most prestigious university institutions: a multi-faculty research-led university college based in the heart of London. It has nearly 24,000 students (including nearly 10,000 postgraduates) from 140 countries and some 6,000 employees. It is ranked as one of the world’s top 25 universities and offers an intellectually rigorous environment supported by welcoming and caring traditions. King’s has four campuses within a square mile on the banks of the Thames in central London and one at Denmark Hill, south London. Based in London – Europe’s knowledge capital – King’s students have access to an unrivalled concentration of libraries, museums and research institutes.

Brief history
The University of London was granted its first charter in 1836 and is the third oldest university in England. It was established as the examining body for its Colleges and other ‘approved institutions’ and was authorised to do so by King William IV in 1836. The two founding Colleges of the University, University College London (founded in 1827 by James Mill and Henry Brougham) and King’s College London (founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington), both predate the University. For example, St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School (now part of Queen Mary) and St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (now part of King’s College London) both have twelfth-century origins.
These mergers have brought institutions with their own distinguished reputations and traditions into King’s. The Institute of Psychiatry (now the Institute of Psychiatry. Psychology and Neuroscience), is closely associated with the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust which includes the famous Bethlem Hospital dating from the 13th century. The original King’s College School of Medicine was founded in 1831, while St. Thomas’ Hospital dates from the 12th century, and medicine has formally taught there since the 16th century and at Guy’s since the Hospital’s foundation in the early 18th century. The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery is directly descended from the world’s first professional school of nursing, founded by Florence Nightingale at St. Thomas’ in 1860. Since 1996 academics from King’s Defence Studies Department have provided education and training at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham, Wiltshire.

While remaining part of the University of London, King’s has enjoyed financial and academic autonomy since 1994. Since 2008 it has awarded its own degrees.

For further information see History of King's.

King’s has nine Schools:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Dental Institute
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Natural and Mathematical Sciences
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Social Science and Public Policy

King’s Learning Institute (KLI)
As well as our Schools, we have King’s Learning Institute, our centre of excellence for learning in higher education providing high quality teaching, research and consultancy in aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. The Institute offers a range of accredited programmes from certificate level to PhD, and engages in research into two related themes: learning in higher education, and learning in academic work; both of these feed directly into the understanding and development of practice across King’s.

Graduate School
King’s set up the Graduate School in 2006 to support postgraduate students through network events, a graduate skills development programme, information sharing, funding opportunities and career progression. The School is based at the Waterloo Campus and there is further information on their website
The prime purpose of the Graduate School is to encourage the best possible graduate student experience and outcomes. It seeks to ensure that King’s attracts, teaches and supports a growing share of the highest quality postgraduates in the world.

Professor Vaughan Robinson, Head of Graduate School

The Council is the College’s governing body. It is supported by a number of standing committees, including the Academic Board, which aid its business and decision-making process.
The Academic Board reports to Council and is established under the College’s Charter and Statues. It is responsible for the academic work of the College in teaching, examining and research and is supported by the following sub-committees:

  1. College Education Committee
  2. College Research Committee
  3. College Assessment Board

Regulatory information
The College Regulations govern the conduct of academic activity and student discipline and it is therefore important that you are familiar with them. They are approved each year by Academic Board on behalf of Council. A Student Guide to the Regulations is published to help give you an overview but you should ensure that you refer to the full Regulations on specific matters.
All taught programmes have a programme specification laying out the core requirements for that programme of study. The programme specification published in your year of entry onto your programme is the definitive source of information on the core requirements that apply to you. Programme specifications are published each year on a dedicated part of the College website and organized by School. Both the programme and the module specifications for the MSc Neuroscience can be seen on the programme's website.

A3. Learning and Teaching at King's

The key targets for learning, teaching and the student experience found in the College Strategic Plan are:

  • To improve further the quality of the student experience at King’s and the extent to which we create employable graduates
  • To improve students with a range of intellectually stimulating and challenging programmes and modules which will enable them to develop their knowledge and skills
  • To expand significantly the number of postgraduate students, particularly international students.

The College has an Learning and Teaching Strategy which builds on the that is supplemented by individual School Learning and Teaching Strategies.

Skills and support
During the course of your studies at King’s you will be provided with support from a variety of sources, of which brief descriptions and further links are highlighted below.

Personal Tutors
You will be allocated a personal tutor to be your main source of support. Your personal tutor may be someone who teaches on your degree course, but their primary responsibility as your personal tutor is not to be your academic teacher but rather to be your official first point of contact for advice and support in relation to any issues that may affect your academic progress and/or personal welfare. Click here for further information.

Information Services and Systems training
Training and development is a key component of the College’s Connected Campus Programme. In consultation with Schools and departments, Information Specialists provide inductions for all new students. In addition, all students have ‘anytime anywhere’ access to online self paced courses from the Microsoft IT Academy.
Taught students can access a wide range of online self-paced courses, and can request customised short courses.
ISS plays a key role in the College’s Graduate Skills Development Programme. Graduates have access to a range of IT and information skills short courses including email and calendar management in Outlook 2003 and 2007; Office 2003 and 2007; Nvivo and SPSS; information retrieval, bibliographical software; and customised courses such as Word: long documents for theses.
Departmental seminars and customised resource and service updates can be arranged, as can one to one consultations. Further information is available here

Modern Language Centre
The Modern Language Centre provides courses to staff, students and alumni, and to the local professional and residential community in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Catalan, Dari, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Urdu.
The Centre offers a state-of-the-art Open Learning Centre for independent language learning. For more information click here

English Language Centre (ELC)
The ELC offers different types of support for all King’s students and staff. All the support is free and runs throughout the academic year. The support focuses on the language and study skills that will help you make the most of your time at King’s and includes:

  • in-sessional support (if English is not your first language)
  • study skills support (native or near-native English speakers)
  • click here for further information.

Research students and staff wishing to develop their writing skills can also receive support from the College’s Royal Literary Fund Fellows in the Graduate School who offer one-to-one advice sessions during the academic term. For more information click here

Graduate training
King's Learning Institute offers the Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP) for PhD students.
The Researcher Development Unit in the Graduate School has responsibility for providing and co-ordinating training and development opportunities for postgraduate research students and research staff. For more information click here

A4. Research at King’s

King’s College London has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life. The College enjoys a global reputation for research excellence that attracts the highest calibre students and some of the world’s leading academics who pursue and achieve research excellence across the entire range of academic disciplines. The College is one of the best in the world, ranked 22nd, and is the only university to have six prestigious Medical Research Council centres: more than any other UK university.

Research ethics
All research carried out within the College should be conducted with integrity and in line with generally accepted ethical principals. It is a mandatory requirement of the College that all research with human participants be conducted in line with an application that has been approved by the College's research ethics committee. Research conducted with human participants without ethical approval will be reported as misconduct and the College take no responsibility (financial or otherwise) for such research.

A5. Assessment and Feedback

All programmes of study follow the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The framework describe the achievement represented by higher education qualifications and they apply to degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic awards granted by a higher education provider with degree awarding powers.
All programmes of study have to follow the College Regulations and a Student Guide to College Regulations, Assessment and Feedback has been produced to give you an overview of these. The following link to the College's website gives more details on the Assessment framework

Assessment feedback
The College have produced a policy document on good feedback practice.

The College’s plagiarism strategy is underpinned by the College’s statement on plagiarism given in full below:

Statement on plagiarism and related forms of cheating
Plagiarism is the taking of another person’s thoughts, words, results, judgements, ideas, images etc, and presenting them as your own.
Plagiarism is a form of cheating and a serious academic offence. All allegations of plagiarism will be investigated and may result in action being taken under the College’s Misconduct regulations. A substantiated charge of plagiarism will result in a penalty being ordered ranging from a mark of zero for the assessed work to expulsion from the College.
Collusion is another form of cheating as is the unacknowledged use of material prepared by several persons working together.
Students are reminded that all work that they submit as part of the requirements for any examination or assessment of the College or of the University of London must be expressed in their own words and incorporate their own ideas and judgements.
Students should take particular care that:
Direct quotations from the published or unpublished work of others, including that of other students, must always be identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks with a full reference to the source provided in the proper form:
  • Paraphrasing - using other words to express another person’s ideas or judgements - must also be acknowledged (in a footnote or bracket following the paraphrasing) and referenced. In the same way, the authors of images and audiovisual presentations must be acknowledged;
  • They should take particular care to avoid plagiarism and collusion in coursework, essays and reports, especially when using electronic sources or when working in a group;
  • Credit can only be given once for a particular piece of assessed work. Submitting the same piece of work (or a significant part thereof) twice for assessment will be regarded as cheating;
  • Unacknowledged collaboration may result in a charge of plagiarism or in a charge of collusion.
Students are advised to consult School and departmental guidance on the proper presentation of work and the most appropriate way to reference sources; they are required to sign and attach a statement to each piece of work submitted for assessment indicating that they have read and understood the College statement on plagiarism. Students should be aware that academic staff have considerable expertise in identifying plagiarism and have access to electronic detection services to assist them.

How to avoid plagiarism
The College is committed to reducing plagiarism and to this end has a suite of measures designed to achieve this through:

  • Education;
  • Detection;
  • Deterrent.
  1. Information Services provide a range of services including Information Specialists who can offer customised sessions, small group or one to one tutorials to help students to improve their knowledge of citation conventions; They also produce a comprehensive user guide to citing references. The English Language centre also offers support through study skills.
  2. The detection software ‘TurnitinUK’ also has a role to play in educating students about different citation conventions; knowledge of this important aspect of academic life will improve a student’s academic writing and make it less likely for them to plagiarise. Maximising this aspect of ‘TurnitinUK’ requires significant support from module leaders to guide students through the originality report. The College feels strongly that this aspect of ‘TurnitinUK’ should be embraced and has the policy include a section on the use of ‘TurnitinUK’ [see below]. Detection
    The College takes plagiarism very seriously. Academic members of staff have a significant knowledge and expertise in this area which enables them to detect suspected cases of plagiarism and collusion; ‘TurnitinUK’ can assist staff in matching the original sources that have been plagiarised.
    Routine request for students to submit their work to ‘TurnitinUK’, and the knowledge of its capabilities combined with academic expertise in detecting plagiarism, will help to encourage students to take responsibility for the originality of their work.


    The use of ‘TurnitinUK’
    It is College policy that a student formally consents to their work being submitted to a third party detection service when they enrol. Before submitting work a students should also be directed to the Information for Students document published by the JISC Plagiarism Advisory Service.
    It is College policy that all students are conversant with the term plagiarism and are knowledgeable about the mechanisms used in Schools by which the originality of summative work is assessed.
    It is College policy to make use of the tool ‘TurnitinUK’ when a suspected case of plagiarism has been established for summative assessments


Marking Criteria
The College has developed separate marking criteria for undergraduate programmes and taught postgraduate programmes. Programme Boards ensure that any additional discipline-specific marking criteria are consistent with these schemes. The postgraduate marking criteria for the MSc Neuroscience can be accessed from the Assessment page of the programme's website or by this direct link. They are:

An exceptional answer that reflects outstanding knowledge of material and critical ability
Depth of knowledge
Advanced, in-depth, authoritative, full understanding of key issues with evidence of originality Complex work and key issues analysed Wide range of sources used selectively to support argument/discussion.

Strong evidence of critical approach to key issues and ability to evaluate arguments
Coherent and compelling work logically presented A++ (90-100) Insightful work displaying in-depth knowledge. For research dissertation/project publishable quality, outstanding research potential, originality and/or independent thought, ability to make informed judgments. Highest standards of presentation.
A+ (80-90) Insightful work displaying in-depth knowledge. For research dissertation/project publishable quality, outstanding research potential, originality and/or independent thought, ability to make informed judgments. High standards of presentation.
A (70-79) Thoughtful work displaying in-depth knowledge. For research dissertation/project good research potential, evidence of independent thought, ability to make informed judgements. High standards of presentation.
MERIT 60 - 69%
A coherent answer that demonstrates critical evaluation
Depth of knowledge
In-depth understanding of key issues with evidence of some originality Key issues analysed. Relevant sources used effectively to support argument/discussion.

Clear evidence of critical approach to key issues and some ability to evaluate arguments.
Coherent work logically presented B+ (65-69) Thoughtful work displaying good knowledge and accuracy. For research dissertation/project some evidence of research potential, clear thinking and/or ability to make informed judgements. Good standards of presentation.
B (60-64)Well developed relevant argument, good degree of accuracy and technical competence
PASS 50 - 59%
A coherent and logical answer which shows understanding of the basic principles
Depth of knowledge
Understanding of some key issues with evidence of ability to reflect critically. Some key issues addressed. Relevant sources used to support argument/discussion.

Some evidence of critical approach to key issues and ability to evaluate arguments.
Competent work in places but lacks fluency/coherence C+ (55-59) Work displays knowledge and understanding in most areas but the standard of work is variable. For research dissertation/project evidence of clear thinking in places but lacks insight. Satisfactory standards of presentation.
C (50-54) Work displays knowledge and understanding in some areas but some key issues are not addressed. For research dissertation/project some evidence of clear thinking but lacks insight and fluency. Satisfactory standards of presentation.
FAIL 40 - 49%
A superficial answer with limited knowledge of core material and limited critical ability. Note that a mark in this range may be condonable.
Depth of knowledge
Superficial understanding of some key issues, lack of focus Key issues not always understood or addressed, gaps in the use of relevant sources used to support work.

Limited evidence of a critical approach to key issues and ability to evaluate arguments
Weaknesses in stricture, fluency and/or coherence F+ (40-49) Work displays patchy knowledge and understandingand some key issues are not addressed. For the research dissertation/project: limited evidence of clear thinking, insight and/or fluency. Presentational weaknesses.
FAIL 0 - 39%
An answer almost entirely lacking in evidence of knowledge and understanding
Depth of knowledge
Lack of understanding of, or focus on key issues Key issues misunderstood or not addressed. Limited or no use of relevant sources to support work

No evidence of a critical approach to key issues or ability to evaluate arguments
Work is confused and incoherent F (33-39) Incomplete answers with only peripheral knowledge relevant to the questions. Displays poor, disorganized presentation.
FF (20-32) Some attempt to write something relevant but with many flaws, nothing of substance
FFF (0-19) Serious errors, largely irrelevant material or unacceptably brief


Mitigating circumstances
What to do if I am ill? If you miss an examination due to illness or other good cause (this includes those occasions where circumstances arise within 7 days of the examination and cannot therefore be considered in advance), you should complete a Mitigating circumstances form (MCF). Please ensure you read the notes on the reverse of the form and follow the instructions paying particular attention to deadlines, further details can be found here. Ensure you read the notes on the reverse of the form and follow the instructions paying particular attention to deadlines.
What to do if I enter an examination but am unable to complete it due to illness or other good cause? You should, in the first instance, notify the invigilation staff and then get an official medical certificate that covers the day of the examination. Students are encouraged to use the College Health Service (see ‘Student Support’). Self certification of illness will not be accepted. You should then complete a Mitigating circumstances form (MCF), as described in the previous paragraph.
How do I withdraw from an examination? If you wish to withdraw from your examination because of illness or other good cause you should complete a Mitigating circumstances form (MCF). A request for withdrawal from your examinations must be submitted at least 7 days before the commencement of your first examination. More information is available here.
Personalised Examination Provisions Committee (PEPC) PEPC exists to provide students requiring special provisions during examinations with assistance and arrangements to ensure an environment that gives an equal opportunity for assessment. Please note that there are deadlines for applications to PEPC. For more information:
Appeals and complaints We hope very much that your experience at King’s will be a positive one, both with regard to your programme of study and any College services you may use. If you have a problem with the quality of service provided to you, please bring these issues as soon as possible to the attention of the relevant person; this could be your personal tutor, your programme convenor, senior tutor or research supervisor in the case of an academic problem, or for other services the relevant line-manager or Head of Section/Department. Any procedure for dealing with complaints and appeals must be read in conjunction with Section B6 of the Regulations Concerning Students. If you have a complaint you should first try to resolve the matter in your own department by contacting your personal or academic tutor, or your Head of Department. Further information is available here.
External Examiners Your programme of study is overseen by External Examiners who have a range of duties to fulfil to ensure the quality and standards of awards offered by the College. External Examiners submit a report each year on strengths and weaknesses in assessment, programmes in general, and whether the awards given are fair. These reports are considered and action taken by Programmes, Schools and the College.

A6. Student support

Students’ Union (KCLSU)
KCLSU works to represent and support King’s students in practical ways in order to ensure that now and in the future they:

  • enjoy studying and living at King’s and in London;
  • feel comfortable and happy in their surroundings;
  • develop and broaden their intellectual, social and personal skills, cultural interests and have fun;
  • experience a high quality of teaching, delivered by professional staff;
  • benefit from high standard courses and the award of a degree that will be respected by employers.

KCLSU works in partnership with King’s College London, the local community and other organisations to achieve this. More information is available on the KCLSU website.

Student representatives
Student representatives represent the views of fellow students on their particular programme to academic staff at student/staff liaison committees. Representatives are usually organised by individual Schools and departments. KCLSU provides student representatives with training to assist with their role.

Student surveys
During the course of your studies we will seek your views through a number of surveys. At programme level you may be asked to complete programme and/or module evaluation forms, while the College carry out the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) every other year.
In addition to these surveys, the Careers Service may ask you to participate in a range of other surveys that are relevant to students.

Student Club and Societies
Whether you’ve been doing it for years or you just feel like trying something new, there are an enormous variety of sports clubs, societies, volunteering opportunities, student media and campaigning groups where you can get involved, make new friends, have some fun and be part of the student community. Go to the KCLSU Student life webpage for more information.

The Compass
The Compass is a purpose built student centre providing support services and answering enquiries from all students. It also offers a comfortable study space for students to study in quietly between lectures. The Compass team will answer your questions, provide you with standard student status letters and replace lost or damaged ID cards.

The College’s Career’s Service is there to help you, in any of the following ways:

  • Finding internships and relevant work experience to help fund your study, or a great job when you graduate
  • Helping you to differentiate between possibilities, develop and be confident you have the right skills and improve your chances of success
  • Taking account of your personal values, finding the right lifestyle or setting and reaching goals.

Student funding
The Student Funding Office is there to help you with any matters related to student finance, including information on tuition fees, NHS bursaries, scholarships, student loans and any financial help at King’s to assist you in your studies.

Equal Opportunities
King's College London's equal opportunities statement makes clear our commitment to equality of opportunity in all its activities and is consistent with the specific aims which its Race Equality Policy makes explicit.

Graduation Ceremonies
Once you have completed your studies you will be invited to celebrate your achievements with family and friends at your graduate ceremony.

Study Abroad
The Study Abroad Office is there to guide you as you prepare for studying abroad for a semester or a year with one of our international partners. Information and updates about study abroad opportunities will be emailed to your King’s email address.

International Office
King’s brings together world leading academics and some of the most talented students from around the globe. King’s offers a wide range of programmes to international students, and whichever one you choose, you will work with academics who are international leaders in their field.

Health Services
King’s has a comprehensive Student Health Centre at the Strand Campus. This is an NHS GP service run by nurses and doctors. Full-time and part-time students are entitled to healthcare.
For international students, full access to the National Health Service (NHS) is available if you are following a programme lasting more than six months. If your stay is for less than six months, and your country does not have a reciprocal health agreement with the UK (you can check this with the College Health Centre), it is essential that you take out health insurance.
All students are required to register with a doctor upon arrival in London as this is the only way of guaranteeing medical treatment in an emergency. Students living in London may register with the College Health Centre and should visit the Health Centre as soon as they arrive at King’s to arrange this.
For more information:
Alternatively, if you live outside London or wish to register with a doctor closer to where you are living, you will find lists of doctors at the public libraries and post offices, or here.

Disability The Disability Advisory Service has a range of information and knowledge, click here, they can offer advice and support regarding any of the following:

  • Help with applications for Disabled Students' Allowance or other disability benefits
  • Information about our internal support networks
  • Up to date information about access technology and disability equipment
  • Needs assessments (as requested for Disabled Students' Allowance) to establish assistive technology and study strategies
  • Links to other external sources of support
  • Information and support if you think you have dyslexia
  • Arrangement of a dyslexia assessment
  • Information about personalised examination provisions

We hope that your time at King's will be enjoyable and trouble-free. However, like most of us, you may run into occasional difficulties. At times you may perhaps feel more anxious or depressed about work, relationships, stress, illnesses, and so on. There may be things about yourself, experiences in the past or future concerns, that confuse or distress you and are undermining your confidence and wellbeing.
The Counselling Service is available to help you cope with these personal, emotional problems, whether or not they actually affect your studies.
Click here for more information. Support is available locally at Denmark Hill, and at the central campuses. The counselling service at the Denmark Hill Campus is based in the Weston Education Centre, by appointment only every Monday. For appointments telephone 020 7848 1731, or email

The Accommodation Office processes applications to King’s and Intercollegiate residences and has an on-line application facility. A broad range and choice of accommodation is offered. Its policy is to encourage integration within the residence populations from all academic programmes represented at the College.

Child Care
Choosing childcare and early education is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent and a big step for you and your child. To advise on the decision-making process and help you find the solution best suited to your family circumstances, check the Advise Guide to Childcare following this link.

A7. Information Services and Systems (ISS)

Library Services
(ISS) is a key department at King’s College London supporting the institution’s teaching, learning, research and administrative activity. They provide integrated IT and information services to enable access to an extensive range of research and teaching resources. A major portfolio of multidisciplinary information resources is available in print and electronic format. This includes over 1.25 million books and thousands of journals. Other resources include theses, dissertations, reference tools, official publications, research reports, statistical data, maps, music scores, audio and video tapes, records, CDs, DVDs, photographs, manuscripts and microforms. You can obtain these from the Library Services.

Libraries can be found at all main College sites:

  • Strand Campus: the Maughan Library
  • Waterloo Campus: the Franklin-Wilkins
  • Guy’s Campus: New Hunt’s House; Wills Library
  • King’s Denmark Hill Campus: Weston Education Centre and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) library
  • St. Thomas’ Campus: St. Thomas’ House

Maps for each of the ISCs and libraries can be found on OneSpace. Opening hours vary across sites during weekdays in term times, with weekend opening hours at larger sites. The opening times in term time and vacation periods are displayed in the ISCs, libraries and on OneSpace. 24/7 IT facilities are available on most sites. During the period leading up to exams, the larger ISCs and libraries are open 24/7.

You will need your College ID card to enter any ISC or library, as well as the 24/7 PAWS room. It is for your use alone and must not be shared or loaned to other people.

Student Records
Student Records is a web-based service that allows students to manage their personal information at King's. It also allows Academic and Administrative staff to view course/student information and perform student administration tasks online, click here.

Email and IT services
Students and staff can access their email using a web browser from anywhere with an internet connection. For further details please click on the following link here You can also obtain about email and IT services related information following this link here.

All students have access to an extensive and rapidly growing number of local and remotely accessible electronic resources including: bibliographic and full text databases, electronic journals and books, international library catalogues, internet resource discovery tools, subject gateways, data sets, subject specific databases and multimedia resources.

A8. College Handbooks

In addition to this handbook there are other useful handbooks that are available, these include:

  • MyHandbook. This handbook aims to provide all students with a set of core information to aid with their studies while at the College.
  • Working safely

A9. Key contacts

Your main contacts will be within the School; however there are also key contacts at College level, of which details can be found at the following web pages:




B. Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN)

B2. Welcome from the Executive Dean

I am delighted and honoured to have taken up the role of Executive Dean. Much has changed since I left the Institute in 2004 – our first undergraduate degree in Psychology, the addition of the Education Hub and the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, as well as two more world class departments, MRC Wolfson Card and Developmental Neurobiology. With the incorporation of neuroscience into the Institute we are in the unique position of being a global research centre that can truly integrate neuroscience into mental health research.

Professor Ian Everall
Dean of Education


B3. About the Institute

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience is a postgraduate institute of the University of London and, since August 1997, a school of King’s College London. Opened in 1923, it is the only postgraduate institution in the United Kingdom devoted to the study and practice of psychiatry and related disciplines. It is located on the College's Denmark Hill campus in Camberwell and shares its site with the Maudsley Hospital which is part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (the largest mental health trust in England).

The origins of the Institute date back to 1896 when the eminent neurologist Dr Frederick Mott put forward proposals for the then novel concept of university level training courses in subjects related to psychiatry. However, it was not until 1914 that Mott’s idea began to bear fruit when the London County Council agreed to establish a hospital in Denmark Hill with the assistance of a generous donation from Dr Henry Maudsley after whom it is named. Within ten years, the associated Maudsley Hospital Medical School had come to be officially recognised by the University of London and the new school retained this title until 1948 when it became a founder member of the newly formed British Postgraduate Medical Federation and changed its name to the Institute of Psychiatry. Later in the same year, the Maudsley Hospital was amalgamated with the Bethlem Royal Hospital to form a joint teaching hospital. It became the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in 2014 incorporating neuroscientists from the School of Biomedical Sciences, the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology and the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases (CARD).

In 1967 the Institute moved from the Maudsley Hospital into a new main building on adjoining land. In 1972 a Neurology Building was completed; in 1974 the East Wing was added to the main building with a further extension being added to it in 1998. In 1975 the Child Psychiatry building was provided within the Maudsley Hospital; in 1989 the South Wing was substantially redeveloped to provide new laboratories for the Department of Neuroscience; in 1990 the Addiction Sciences Building was opened; and in 1997 the West Wing was extended and the Academic Neuroscience Building was completed. In 2001 the Henry Wellcome Building and the David Goldberg Centre were opened followed one year later by the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental building in 2002.

The Institute has recently undergone major refurbishment work, extending the purpose-designed, specialist research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories. In 2015, the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute was opend and it brings together scientists and clinicians working on neurological and psychiatric illnesses, e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease (ALS), epilepsy and stroke.

The Institute's greatest strength is the interdisciplinary nature of both its research strategy and its educational activities providing unique opportunities for students.

Teaching by staff with research and clinical expertise allows students to gain specialist knowledge in topics related to psychiatry, psychology, and basic and clinical neuroscience and thus to develop their careers as clinicians, therapists, researchers and educators.

The interdisciplinary nature of research at the Institute, and at the clinical interface, provides a broadly informed and interlinked knowledge base among teaching staff, which in turn provides students with a broad and interlinked education. This interdisciplinary focus provides strong opportunities to cross-inform study by working across related fields, assists students in understanding the relationship of their fields to the national and global picture of mental health, and allows them to make informed decisions about their personal direction and opportunities for their future.

Learning and Teaching Strategy.
The School's strategy aims to achieve the targets set by the College as described in the above section

B4. Departments

The Institute has 3 divisions and 15 academic departments These are:

Division of Academic Psychiatry

Division of Neuroscience

Division of Psychological & Systems Sciences
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science
Old Age Psychiatry
Psychosis Studies
Psychological Medicine
Basic and Clinical Neuroscience
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (MRC)
Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases
MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre
Health Service and Population Research
Psychology (including UG Psychology)

B5. Strategy and Governance

The Institute has recently revised the structures that foster and facilitate the delivery of education at the IoPPN. The main aims of this re-structuring was to ensure that the student voice was clearly articulated, to enable clear lines of communication up and down the various levels of governance in Departments, the Institute, and the College, and to ensure that we share good practice and work to enhance the student experience. A diagram of this structure is available.

Professor Edgar Jones, the Interim Dean of Education, has developed a new education strategy. The Institute also has a research strategy.

B6. Education Support Team (EST)

The Institute’s Education Support Team (this link is to an internal site and may require your kcl login) provides registry functions and is the first point of contact for current students (and staff) with queries on education support that cannot be answered by members of the Programme team. It is located in room M2.21 adjacent to the passenger lifts in the main Institute building, Denmark Hill Campus and is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Staff are on hand to help you with any problems, or can be emailed and they can usually point you in the right direction for obtaining advice and assistance if they cannot help directly.

If you would like to give some feedback on your experience at the IoP, or if you have any problems that you feel cannot be resolved by your programme team, please contact Will Fitzmaurice, Head of the Education Support Team by email or by phone: 020 7848 0812.

B7. Library

The library is the largest psychiatric library in Western Europe, holding 3000 print journal titles, 280 of which are current subscriptions. It has 82 reader seats, including 29 networked PCs, 4 networked desks for laptops, wireless network, colour scanner and video station. The library is fuly inegrated with the other libraries within the College giving access to several thousand electronic journals in addition to a much larger book and CD-ROM collection.

B8. Health & Safety

Students must register with a doctor and dentist in the area where they live. Overseas students and their dependents are entitled to free health care under the National Health Service providing that their programme of study is full time and lasts for more than six months. The College has a Health Centre for students to use, provided that they live within the catchment area.

Overseas students who are on programmes of study of less than six months are not entitled to free health care under the National Health Service. Students from European Economic Area countries should complete Form E111. Students from countries outside of the EEA which have no reciprocal arrangements with the United Kingdom should ensure that they take out medical insurance prior to leaving their home country.

The IoP has a Health and Safety policy which aims to ensure safe working conditions and practices and to assign managerial and functional responsibilities in order that accidents and other losses are prevented or reduced. The policy applies to all staff, students and visitors working at the Institute. Where the Institute shares the occupation or control of premises with another employer then the safety policy and detailed arrangement will be jointly co-ordinated to ensure the health and safety of all occupants. Where Institute staff or students undertake any work on premises under the control of another employer then the policy and arrangements of that employer will apply.

B9. Computing facilities

There are over 1300 Student Computing workstations across the College, located in Student Computing Rooms, the libraries, halls of residences, the Compass and Graduate Zones, as well as Student internet kiosks in cafes and other public spaces on campus.

Student Computing Rooms
Student Computing Rooms are available on each campus and can be found at these locations. All machines are connected to printers.

Logging on
Login access to both the Campus Desktop (access to all the specialist subject applications and software and to your own personal file store) and the Global Desktop (not all specialist applications are available but you can still access your own personal file store) is via your King’s username and password. The Desktops are synchronised so that when you save a work file in your Campus Desktop ‘My Documents’ folder, you can access it again from the Global Desktop when you log in via the internet.

King’s Global Desktop (AKGD)
The Global Desktop is available to students and staff who want to log into the King’s Desktop remotely. It allows you to use software and to access your personal files and documents from any computer with an internet connection. Software available on the Global Desktop includes: SPSS, Endnote and specialist departmental software.

Log on to the Global Desktop using your King’s username and password. Click on the ‘My Documents’ folder to get into your file store. When you connect to the Global Desktop for the first time, you will be prompted to install a browser plug-in (if using a pc) or to install a software package called Citrix Receiver (if using a Mac). Instructions can be found here.

File storage: Your Global Desktop personal file storage capacity is 300MB, and your data can be accessed from both the Global Desktop and the Campus Desktop.

Wireless network
The service is comprised of two networks: AccessKings and Eduroam Wireless. The networks are available at these sites and halls of residence. The AccessKings network provides enhanced security and is compatible with all modern devices. You can also register to use Eduroam, which will enable you to use the network facilities at other universities participating in this scheme. Use your King’s username and password to log on to all these networks. Click here for further details.

All students are given a King’s College London email account at enrolment. The King’s email service (Microsoft Office 365) allows for 25GB of email storage and includes a range of communication tools such as: calendar and scheduling; tasks and personal contact information, and synchronisation with any mobile device that supports ActiveSync, including iPhone / iPad, Android, Windows Mobile and others.
If you have any difficulties accessing your KCL email, contact IT services immediately either by phone, 020 7848 8888 or by email,

Microsoft office
Through our agreement with Microsoft, Office 365 ProPlus is available to all King’s staff, students, and affiliates for their personal use whilst studying or working at King’s. The agreement enables the use of the full MS Office 365 productivity suite with access to five licences for Windows PC or Apple Mac, five mobile device licences and five tablet licences, all free of charge. That’s fifteen free licences in total!

Support, Advice and System Status Updates
For support and advice, please contact the IT Service Desk on 020 7848 8888 (open Monday to Friday 08:00-18:00 Weekends and 09:00-17:00 at weekends) or email
There is also a physical IT Help desk located in W2.04 IoPPN Main building (near The Café Diner). This is open 9.30am to midday and 1pm to 4pm Mondays to Fridays.

B10. Biostatistics department

The Biostatistics Department run a Statistics Advisory service service where staff and students may come to seek assistance with any statistical problems. Students should download and complete the Statistics Advisory Service Form and return it by email. Please note that you may need to wait 2-3 weeks during busy periods.

There is also a Volunteer Electronic Helpdesk on Research Methods and Statistics. This is a student-led, staff-assisted, email-based volunteer service, which aims to provide learning support for Research Methods and Statistics to post-graduate taught students at the IoPPN. Our volunteer facilitators aim to support students in a number of ways: For example, they may provide a direct answer to your question; point you to a useful resource that will help you to formulate ideas, understand a difficult concept or find an answer; comment on your statistical plan; help you to interpret your statistical output; or point you to an alternative source of learning support that might be more suitable for your individual learning needs.

The Helpdesk is facilitated by students and staff with all levels of expertise, from MSc students to professional statisticians. You should expect a response within 7 days of submitting your query. Small delays may occur during busy times.


C. MSc Neuroscience

C1. Welcome from the Programme Leader

The MSc Neuroscience developed from the MSc in Neurochemistry, a basic science qualification that taught what was then known about brain biochemistry and putative biochemical mechanisms underlying psychiatric conditions. The title changed in 1990 as the curriculum expanded to keep pace with developments in neurochemistry and other ‘neuro’ fields arising from the introduction of new technologies, such as MRI, confocal microscopy, genetic manipulation, stem cells, etc. To cope with the continued increase in knowledge across different areas of neuroscience, the structure of the MSc changed in September 2009 to three fundamental modules and a choice of one of the following specialized modules delivered by several different academic departments. Currently, these are in Psychiatric Genetics, Addiction Biology, Developmental Neurobiology, Neurodegeneration, Neuroimaging, Brain Networks and Tractography, Cognitive Neuroscience and Neural Stem Cells and Nervous System Repair. There are research projects in each of these specialist areas and they lead to MSc Neuroscience degrees in these different specialites.

This growth in the scope of neuroscience has attracted students from a wide range of backgrounds, e.g. physics, electronics, IT, AI graduates with an interest in, for example, bioinformatics or the developmental/ programming aspects of MRI to psychologists/psychiatrists who wish to know more genetics/molecular biology in order for them to better understand developments in their clinical fields and to use this knowledge in their own research. The MSc Neuroscience aims to meet the career needs of students from these different backgrounds.
I believe that it does meet these needs.

John Stephenson,
MSc Neuroscience Programme Leader

C2. Programme aims

Neuroscience as a degree subject is still under-represented in the undergraduate sector and, consequently, most students coming onto the programme have degrees in subjects other than neuroscience. The aim of the programme is to extend the students' theoretical knowledge of the neurosciences and to develop, through their chosen research project, the practical skills that they may wish to practise in their future careers. This may be in further full-time study in an academic research environment or employment in an academic, clinical or pharmaceutical organisation.

It achieves this by providing students with a choice of a generic pathway or one of eight specialised pathways that will allow them to select the pathway that best meets their career aspirations and will enable them to obtain a relevant named degree within the MSc Neuroscience programme e.g. MSc in Neuroscience in Neurodegeneration.

The programme provides:

  • multidisciplinary training in neuroscience topics ranging from the molecular to the behavioural, to students wishing to extend their specialised knowledge, and to those wishing to convert from their original degree discipline. The topics are informed by professional consensus and research, and are taught using a variety of teaching methods ranging from didactic instruction through to student-led seminar/tutorial work;
  • practical training in the skills necessary for a career in a research environment through formal instruction of a range of core methodologies and, through research projects, of more specialised skills;
  • transferable skills training in topics relevant to biomedical research. This is done through a variety of exercises and includes presentation of research data in both poster and scientific paper formats, and elementary bioinformatics;

For clinicians, the programme acts as a supplement to existing training.

To be awarded a Masters degree (180 CCF credits) students will be required to successfully complete each of the following components of the programme:

  1. Three compulsory taught modules in Fundamental Neuroscience (3 x 30 credits)
  2. One of several optional taught modules (1 x 30 credits)
  3. One research project (1 x 60 credits)

C3. Programme objectives

Successful students should be able to demonstrate:

  • specialised knowledge of a broad range of neuroscience topics relevant to mental illness and neurology;
  • an ability to conduct a supervised research project, and to present their findings.

The level of achievement which is expected is appropriate for students wishing to undertake research work or further training in this specialist field.

C4. Entry requirements

Normally, the minimum entry requirements are

  1. an upper second class honours degree, or a qualification of an equivalent standard in a biological dsicipline and obtained after a programme of study extending over not less than three years in a university or an institution with a similar status (applicants with a lower honours degree, or an equivalent, may be considered but on an individual basis); or
  2. a registerable qualification appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a UK university in medicine or dentistry, or a qualification of an equivalent standard appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a university outside the UK; or
  3. a professional or other qualification obtained by formal examination and approved by the Institute in consultation with the KCL Academic Registrar.
  4. candidates must possess a high degree of competence in English in order to understand lectures. Where it proves impossible for candidates to be interviewed prior to an offer being made, proof of English language competence will be required for students whose first language is not English (exceptions may be made for students who have studied in an institution in which English was the language of instruction), e.g. a minimum IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in all four skills, or a computer-based TOEFL score of 250 (paper-based score ≥ 600; internet-based score ≥ 100). Grade C or above in the following examinations are considered to be equivalent:

Intercalated MSc.The programme is suitable for medical students who have completed their preclinical studies and who are predicted to successfully complete their preclinical examinations at the first attempt.  The students must also be able to suspend their medical studies for the 12 months duration of the Master's programme. The College website gives further information for students from the School of Medicine who wish to intercalate.

C5. Curriculum

The full-time MSc programme runs for 12 months, usually from the 2nd week of September to the third week of September the following year (see General timetable). The programme is divided into 4 phases, the first three phases consist of lectures/tutorials taught on Mondays through Thursdays. The last phase is the research project.

  1. The first 2 weeks to the end of September consist of enrolment, introductions to the Institute and, a number of tutorials and lectures to ensure that students understand basic concepts/topics that are essential to understanding the content of the three Fundamental neuroscience modules. Depending on the student’s background, some of these concepts/topics will be very familiar, others will not.
  2. The Fundamental modules are taught during the period until end-November. Each module consists of approximately 30 lectures and these are divided into 4 sections each section covering a different subject area within neuroscience. Students are expected to attend all lectures. The lecture timetable, and any last-minute changes to the timetable, can be seen on the programme's calendar. The day's activities are also shown on the right-hand column of the programme's homepage.
    The teaching of the Fundamental modules is followed by introductions to each of the Specialised modules, to help students choose their optional module, and by a number of revision sessions and periods of study leave, prior to the 3 written exams that take place before the end of January. The 3 coursework essays, each 2000 words, are also submitted during this phase.
  3. The optional specialised modules are taught over an approximately 2-3 week period from end-January to mid-February and are followed by a written examination and writing of an scientific abstract in mid-March. Each student selects several of their preferred projects from a project list (this is a list of titles of recent projects.
  4. After a short break, that usually coincides with Easter, students begin their research projects. The project phase lasts approximately 20 weeks and may require students to attend Mondays through Friday, depending on the nature of the project. Each student ranks their preferred projects in order of preference from the list of projects offered. During this time, students also prepare and submit a research report of between 7,500 and 10,000 words. Usually around mid-September, students present posters of their research projects for assessment and have to be available the following day for a possible viva by members of the programme's Board of Examiners.


The part-time programme is conducted on a day-release basis (currently on Fridays) and lasts for two years. Enrolment takes place on alternate, even-numbered years. The programme has the same Fundamental modules as the full-time programme and a Specialised Further Neuroscience module (Module B). The other optional Specialised modules (B1-B8) will not be taught separately to the part-time students but they will have the option to attend them when they are given to the full-time students during February. The written assignments and examinations take place during the first and second year of the programme (for details see the general timetable). The project report submission and the poster presentation dates will be the same as for the full-time students.

C6. Syllabus

As described above, under C5. Curriculum, the programme is divided into the following phases.

Please note that any last minute changes to the lecture timetable will be shown on the list of upcoming lectures on the Homepage and on the calendar.

The introductory material is presented during the first few days of the programme. It has two purposes. The first is to provide a general overwiew of how the programme is organised, how students access information and submit coursework, how research projects are advertised, the processes by which students select their preferred projects and how they are then allocated. The second purpose is to ensure that students understand certain underlying principles of the structure, life cycle and molecular biology of cells, including protein chemistry, gene expression, genetics apoptosis, etc and also of the psychological tests used to assess cognitive function.

Fundamental modules
There are three Fundamental modules each covering 4 different subject areas, as shown below


Fundamental module A1
(30 credits)

Fundamental module A2
(30 credits)

Fundamental module A3
(30 credits)
neuroanatomy and neuropathology
cell biology
cell signalling
developmental neurobiology
neuronal plasticity
systems neuroscience
addiction biology
neuropsychology of mental health

The modules, each consisting of approximately 30 1h lectures, are taught immediately after the introductory material. For the full-time students, teaching takes place on Mondays through Thursdays and for the part-time students on Fridays only (see general timetables). The actual lectures are recorded live and the lecturer's voice synchronised with the slides is then made available. The material within Moodle remains available until it is updated as the lectures are given to the next cohort of students.

Assessment Each module is assessed by a 2.5h written examination that requires each students to answer 4 questions from a choice of 10 questions and by a 2000 word coursework essay selected from a choice of 10 titles (2-3 from each of the 4 subject areas in each assessment). The deadlines for submission are shown on both the general and lecture timetables. The essays are submitted to Turnitin through Moodle (see C6.Web-based resources below). The guidance notes on style, word count etc should be consulted.

Specialised modules
There are 8 taught Specialised modules, from which students select one. These are:

  • B Further neuroscience research (part-time students only)
  • B1 Psychiatric genetics research
  • B2 Addiction biology research
  • B3 Developmental neurobiology research
  • B4 Neurodegeneration research
  • B5 Neuroimaging research
  • B6 Functional neuroimaging and tractography research
  • B7 Cognitive neuroscience research
  • B8 Neural Stem Cells and Nervous System Repair

Descriptions of each module can be found here. The titles of the individual lectures are on this page.

Students select their preferred module after they have completed the Fundamental modules and after they have had introductory talks on the aims and content of each module. The modules are taught simultaneously during an intensive 2-3 week period commencing the last week in January. Their general aim is to introduce students to current research in their chosen speciality and they are taught with a mix of didactic lectures and tutorials/seminars.

Assessment Each module is assessed by a 2.5hrs written examination that requires each students to answer 4 questions, from a choice of 8, and by giving students a published research paper without the abstract. The paper is different for each subject area. Students are expected to answer 4 general questions about the paper and then to write a 250 word abstract to accompany it (abstract exam duration is 3hrs).

Research projects (C1-C8)
These notes should be read in conjunction with the
guidance notes on the website and with the guidance notes that you and your supervisor will receive before you start your project.

Project tiles are made available at the end of February. The MSc project is approximately 20 weeks fulltime (or the equivalent part-time) ending with the submission of your project report. Usually the project investigates a question that is either related to the current research interests of your project supervisor or investigates a novel topic that your supervisor wishes to explore. In both cases, the questions which the project seeks to answer are based on a body of scientific literature that forms the background to the project.

Aims These are to give students the opportunity to carry out a closely supervised, but independent, piece of original research within the field of neuroscience and to present the results in the form of a 7,500-10,000 word research report, laboratory notebook and poster presentation. In doing so, students will develop skills in:

  • understanding through a critical evaluation of the relevant scientific literature, how to progress knowledge in the field by developing hypotheses that are testable with the methods available
  • managing the project so that it is doable within the ~20 week period
  • the different aspects of scientific writing that are necessary in order to:
    • condense the background literature into a concise Introduction that includes the research that has led to the current project
    • write a Methods section that has the minimum information required for a reader to understand, and if necessary repeat, the experiments
    • place the student's results in the context of the literature presented in the Introduction, to show an awareness of the limitations of the study and, in the light of the new knowledge, to make suggestions for future research
  • presenting the data in a poster format and being able to defend it orally

Outcomes These are many and include the abilities to:

  • formulate a testable hypothesis
  • acquire the time management skills necessary to execute a project that is designed to test the hypothesis
  • be able to critically anlayse the results and to place them in the context of existing literature
  • present the results in the form of a writen document and to discuss them orally in front of a poster

Supervision Throughout your project, your supervisor, or others within their research team, will be available to monitor and support you while you are working on the project. The frequency and nature of this supervision will vary considerably, for example, between a supervisor who may be working alongside a student in a wet-lab to a psychiatrist/psychologist who may spend most of each day in the clinic. Students should also be aware that their supervisor may be away on occasions, either at a scientific meeting or on holiday (the projects are usually written up and submitted during the peak holiday season), and make appropriate arrangements with their supervisor.

With these provisos, students should expect to see their supervisors:

  1. Initially, to
    • ensure that they understand the project
    • identify any training that they may need
    • agree a timetable of work (note that some wet lab projects may occasionally require longer working days and if, for example, cell culture media need to be changed weekend attendance
  2. Mid project, to discuss progress and to review the timetable to ensure compliance with the submission deadline
  3. Towards the end of the project to agree a draft structure for the Project Report and to make arangements for the supervisor to see and make comments upon the draft report

C7. Web-based resources

Students utilise the programme's web-based resources in three ways.

Programme specific
Moodle Moodle, the content management system, requires a login and is used primarily as the repository for the lecture material. Current students use Moodle to access the lectures learning objectives, Flash files and pdf handouts of the PowerPoint presentations, audio-visual recordings of each lecture, and links to additional material reading, etc. Coursework essays are submitted to Turnitin through Moodle. Prior to enrolment, students are given access to a pre-enrolment site within Moodle that enables them to view Flash files of all the current lectures to help them prepare for the programme.

MSc website The programme's website is used to inform prospective students about the programme and to give current students access to the lecture timetable, assessment deadlines, guidance notes, past assessments, regulations, etc as shown in the table below which relicates the programme website's Homepage.

Prospective students

Current students

Pre-enrolled students

Upcoming lectures/events
Aims and objectives
Programme structure
MSc pathways
Modules and sections
Fees and costs
Internationsl students (guest login)
History of the programme
Student feedback
How to apply
How to find us
General timetables
Fundamental lecture timetable
Essay titles
Past papers
Guidance notes
Project report
Lab notebook
Poster presentation
Programme handbook
Programme specifications
Moodle e-learning site (login required)
Current lectures (login required)
Useful links (login required)

College and Institute web resources
The hierarchy of this handbook - College > School (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience) > MSc Neuroscience - is repeated in the web resources. The College and School websites provide access to information (e.g., regulations, news and events) that are not specific to the MSc.

C8. Programme Committee

The responsibility for the overall programme, including syllabus and assessment criteria, is overseen by the Programme Committee. The Programme Committee consists of the:

  • Programme Chair
  • Programme Administrator (secretary)
  • Programme Leader
  • Student Representatives
  • Leaders of the Specialised modules
  • Quality Assurance and Programmes Manager from the Education Support Team
  • Head of the Education Support Team (ex officio)
  • The Dean (ex officio)
  • Institute Secretary (ex officio)

The members can be found on the Home Pages for the Full-time and Part-time students in Moodle

The terms of reference of the Programme Committee are:

  • To ensure that the programme is academically sound and compares favourably with other similar programmes.
  • To consider feedback from students on the programme.
  • To ensure the programme falls within the remit of the Institute's academic profile.
  • To guarantee that entry requirements, teaching methods, assessment procedures and provision of support are suitable for both the programme and students.
  • To make sure adequate resources are made available to the programme.
  • To liaise with the Institute Teaching Committee and consider any business required by that committee.

In practice, responsibility for day-to-day shaping of the programme is devolved to the Programme Sub-Committee, which comprises:

  • Programme Chair
  • Programme Administrator
  • Programme Leader
  • A Specialised Module Leader, as appropriate
  • Student Representative, as appropriate

C9. Regulations

Student guide
The College have produced this useful guide to those College regulations that are relevant to students.

C10. Personal tutors

The Programme Team appoint a Personal Tutor to each student, as required by the College see above. The Personal Tutor will meet students individually at the beginning of the programme and at least once a term thereafter. They, or a member of the Programme team, should be the first person you speak to if you are having any personal difficulties (e.g. academic, financial, health-related) that are affecting your work. If you have such a problem then please discuss it with one of the above and the sooner you do so, the more likely that it can be resolved. Your main support for academic issues relating to particular lectures will be the person who gave that lecture. More information on Personal Tutors and their role can be found here

C11. Student forum

There is an active student forum. Its primary purpose is to provide a physical (through the Student Forum) and virtual (through online discussion boards) space to facilitate social and business activities between students from every department. The physical Forum is a quarterly meeting of student representatives from MSc and research programmes, in which we discuss any comments, questions, concerns or plans which need our attention. It aims to foster a supportive and collaborative student body, which enables all those to get involved who want to, and to offer an accessible point of social entry to those less sure.

C12. Quality assurance

External examiners
The MSc Neurosience programme currently has 4 external examiners, the minimum number believed to be necessary to cover the breadth of topics in the syllabus and to properly examine the poster presentations. Their names may be found in the Home Pages for the Full-time and Part-time students in Moodle. Their role is best described in the Universities UK website. They expect external examiners typically to report on:

  • whether the academic standards set for its awards, or part thereof, are appropriate
  • the extent to which assessment processes are rigorous, ensure equity of treatment for students and have been fairly conducted within institutional regulations and guidance
  • the standards of student performance in the programmes or parts of programmes which they have been appointed to examine
  • where appropriate, the comparability of the standards and student achievements with those in some other higher education institutions
  • good practice they have identified

The external examiners, together with the internal examiners,:

  • approve the examination paper questions and essay titles
  • have access to all the written assessments (examination papers and essays) and marks
  • have access to all the project theses and laboratory notebooks
  • examine the poster presentations and participate in the oral examinations
  • recommend the final marks/grades obtained by the students

After completing the above assessment processes, the external examiners write individual reports that address the points listed in the first paragraph. The report is sent directly to the College Principal's office for scrutiny before being returned to the Education Support Team for them to ensure that any necessary action is taken

Programme review
The College conducts an external reviews all its taught progammes at intervals of not more than six years to ensure that their programmes remain valid, that they are of an appropriate academic standard and that their management and academic content meet the expectations of the College, School, students and the external expert. This is achieved by appointing a panel whose membership includes:

  • The Chair/Vice-Chair of the School teaching committee
  • A representative of the College Teaching Committee
  • The student representative on the School teaching Committee
  • A member of the School teaching Committee
  • An external member of the School Teaching Committee
  • An external expert
  • The Quality Assurance and Programmes Manager from the Education Support Team

Prior to the review, the panel members receive documentation that includes:

  • a self-evaluation document (SED)
  • statistical data prepared by the College's Student Data Analysis Section (SDA)
  • Programme and module specifications
  • Student feedback forms and;
  • External examiners reports

The review panel first interview a selection of students on the programme followed by members of the programme team (Head of Department, Programme Leader and Programme Administrator). The panel then deliberate and produce a list of recommendations graded on a three point scale ranging from those requiring immediate attention, attention within 12 months and suggestions for consideration and also how long the programme should be approved for up to a maximum of 6 years. The recommendations and decision are given to the programme team at the end of the review and included in a full report that is submitted to the College's Quality and Assurance Section.

The School also conducts two biennial interim programme reviews to ensure that no problems have arisen within the above 6-year cycle. These reviews are carried out by an internal panel consisting of the:

  • Chair/Deputy Chair of the School Teaching Committee
  • Another member of the Teaching Committee not involved with the programme, preferably the member who attended the full programme review
  • The Quality Assurance and Programmes Manager from the Education Support Team

The panel will consider the last Programme Review report and both the Annual reports and Programme committte minutes since the last Programme or interim review. It will also meet with a selection of students. It will report its findings directly to the programme team and submit a short report to the School Teaching Committee.

Annual monitoring
Student feedback also forms a large part of the annual monitoring process. All programmes are required to produce a report on the operation of the programme each year. As part of this report, it is expected that a summary of the feedback received from students is included, the mechanisms used for assimilating and processing students’ comments and also examples of how previous feedback from students has resulted in changes being made to the programme.

C13. Examinations and Assessment

Boards of Examiners
There are three levels of examination boards:

  • The College Board of Examiners has a responsibility to co-ordinate, regulate, advise and to maintain consistent standards throughout the College, ensuring that procedures and regulations in relation to examinations are properly carried out.
  • Within the Institute, there is a School Board of Examiners, that is responsible for all its taught programmes. Its membership includes the Chairs of the individual Programme Boards of Examiners. The individual boards submit the raw marks and degree classifications for each student to the School Board for approval and submission to the College Board. It is responsible for the approval and co-ordination of marking schemes. The Institute Board meets a number of times a year to discuss and decide on matters relating to examinations. In this way, the Institute Board ensures that comparable standards are applied across the various fields of study within the Institute.
  • Individual Programme Boards of Examiners are responsible for one or several related programmes. The Programme Boards consider and agree upon the content of examination papers, make recommendations on the appointment of Visiting Examiners and on the examination marks for individual students on their degree programmes. The Programme Boards make recommendations to the Institute Board of Examiners on awards to individual students. Programme Boards may also recommend that individual students be permitted to re-sit failed examinations.

External examiners
See above

Assessment criteria

Module Credits %
Module A1
consists of 1 x 2.5h written examination (60%) and 1 coursework essay (40%)
30 ~16.7
Module A2
consists of 1 x 2.5h written examination (60%) and 1 coursework essay (40%)
30 ~16.7
Module A3
consists of 1 x 2.5h written examination (60%) and 1 coursework essay (40%)
30 ~16.7
Modules B1 - B6
consists of 1 x 2.5h written examination (50%) and an analysis of a research paper (50%)
30 ~16.7
Modules C1 - C6
Research report (60%), laboratory notebook (20%) and poster presentation (20%)
60 ~33.3


Three categories of grades are awarded (with no module grade lower than 40%):

Overall weighted average mark of 50% - 59%.

Pass with Merit:
This grade requires a weighted average mark of between 60% and 69%.

Pass with Distinction
This level requires a weighted average mark of 70% - 100%.

Exit Award:
A Postgraduate Diploma in Neuroscience is available as an exit award only in cases where students must obtain 120 credits. A Postgraduate Certificate in Neuroscience is available as an exit award only in cases where students must obtain 60 or 90 credits.

Acceptance of late coursework

The penalty for work submitted up to 24 hours after the deadline will be 'mark capped at the pass mark'. Late submission after 24 hours will be marked at zero. If there are legitimate reasons to apply for an extension for any assignment (essay and/or exam), you should contact the Programme Administrator with the Mitigating Circumstances Form. There are specific deadlines to submit this form, please read the information given in the following link for the details: Mitigating circumstances form (MCF).


The programme allows one Condoned Fail for marks between 40%-49% (F+). A re-sit is only available to students who fail two or more modules. In that case, the student re-sit one of the modules.

If a student fails with a mark less than 40%, they will need to re-sit the module since grades between the range of 0-39% are not eligible for Condoned Fail.

The table below shows the circumstances under which a student may pass the MSc with a Condoned Fail or may be required to re-sit a failed element of a module in order to successfully complete the MSc.



Taught modules (1-4)
(30 credits each)
Research module (5)
(60 credits)
4 modules ≥ 50% module ≥ 50% Pass or higher grade
3 modules ≥ 50%, 1 module 40-49% module ≥ 50% Pass or higher grade with a condoned fail
2 modules ≥ 50%, 2 modules 40-49% module ≥ 50% Option to sit failed elements in one module; module grade capped at 50%


Representations concerning decisions of the Board of Examiners
You should note that decisions of Boards of Examiners cannot be challenged on academic grounds. If you are considering appealing your examination marks then you should first familiarise yourself with the EDR2 Form.