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Psychology undergrad to Neuroscience masters

I want to go into neuroscience research. Is it possible to do an undergraduate degree in psychology (at bio-psychology heavy unis eg QMUL, Cambridge, Kings), and then a masters and PHD in neuroscience? Or should I just apply for neuroscience degrees instead of psychology...

If I were to apply to both psychology (at Cambridge, QMUL, Kings) and neuroscience (UCL, Bristol) how would I write my personal statement so that is appeals to both?
Psychology is a pretty broad subject so I think you'd be able to onto a masters and PHD in neuroscience from having doing psychology at undergrad. I do know that with some universities you can actually do psychology and neuroscience as a joint honours so if you are interested in psychology as well, i'd recommend looking into the joint honours. To be safe maybe apply to some psychology courses and maybe 1-2 neuroscience courses. In terms of your personal statement it would depend on the subjects you do and your extra/super curriculars, if you do any science based a levels then its pretty easy to apply aspects of those subjects to both psychology and neuroscience. Hope this helps, I'm somewhat similar to you! :smile:

(Original post by indizino)I want to go into neuroscience research. Is it possible to do an undergraduate degree in psychology (at bio-psychology heavy unis eg QMUL, Cambridge, Kings), and then a masters and PHD in neuroscience? Or should I just apply for neuroscience degrees instead of psychology...

If I were to apply to both psychology (at Cambridge, QMUL, Kings) and neuroscience (UCL, Bristol) how would I write my personal statement so that is appeals to both?
Original post by Shakira_oforixx
Psychology is a pretty broad subject so I think you'd be able to onto a masters and PHD in neuroscience from having doing psychology at undergrad. I do know that with some universities you can actually do psychology and neuroscience as a joint honours so if you are interested in psychology as well, i'd recommend looking into the joint honours. To be safe maybe apply to some psychology courses and maybe 1-2 neuroscience courses. In terms of your personal statement it would depend on the subjects you do and your extra/super curriculars, if you do any science based a levels then its pretty easy to apply aspects of those subjects to both psychology and neuroscience. Hope this helps, I'm somewhat similar to you! :smile:

(Original post by indizino)I want to go into neuroscience research. Is it possible to do an undergraduate degree in psychology (at bio-psychology heavy unis eg QMUL, Cambridge, Kings), and then a masters and PHD in neuroscience? Or should I just apply for neuroscience degrees instead of psychology...

If I were to apply to both psychology (at Cambridge, QMUL, Kings) and neuroscience (UCL, Bristol) how would I write my personal statement so that is appeals to both?


Yh I looked into it and kings and Bristol seem to have pretty good psych+neuro joint honours
Thank you for your help :smile:
Yes, this is a fairly well worn path.

I used to do some teaching on MSc Neuro courses at one of the universities you mentioned, myself at the time having gone from Psychology BSc to a heavily Neuro based PhD (I later became a clinician so no longer do that and kinda miss it). About a quarter of the intake were psychology BSc grads. It really helps if your undergrad degree is more biologically based and empirical but if it is BPS recognised you will have some of that built in.

Really interesting masters course, and several fond memories.
Original post by Lord Asriel
Yes, this is a fairly well worn path.

I used to do some teaching on MSc Neuro courses at one of the universities you mentioned, myself at the time having gone from Psychology BSc to a heavily Neuro based PhD (I later became a clinician so no longer do that and kinda miss it). About a quarter of the intake were psychology BSc grads. It really helps if your undergrad degree is more biologically based and empirical but if it is BPS recognised you will have some of that built in.

Really interesting masters course, and several fond memories.


thank you, thats very reassuring.
when you went from psych bsc to neuro phd, how did you find the cell biology, biochemistry, pharmacology etc aspects (if there were any)? my main concern is being limited to cognitive neuroscience and not having the option of studying eg brain injury and disease, genetics, cell biology etc
Original post by indizino
thank you, thats very reassuring.
when you went from psych bsc to neuro phd, how did you find the cell biology, biochemistry, pharmacology etc aspects (if there were any)? my main concern is being limited to cognitive neuroscience and not having the option of studying eg brain injury and disease, genetics, cell biology etc


It helped that a) I did Chemistry and Biology A-Level at a school that overtaught us beyond the syllabus b) my undergrad was at a psychology department that was focussed on the more empirical aspects of psychology, so had modules on Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and 'Abnormal' Psychology, with some lectures on things like MRI and neuroscience. I now realise that is not standard for all degrees and my own undergraduate journey had little on qualitiative methods or the softer parts of psychology. That's the good thing about degrees though. Nothing stops you learning about those other areas if you devote the time to it and we had open lectures and seminars from other science departments.

The final thing is that doing my PhD was the time I learnt the most about neuroscience, MRI, pharma, neuropsychology and clinical disorders. Most of it I learned from my very hands-on supervisor on a 1 to 1 tutorial basis (which is what I do with my trainees, but that may vary from supervisor to supervisor). That is pretty much all I did for that portion of my life 6 days a week for 3-4 years and was paid to do that and write/teach about it.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by indizino
Yh I looked into it and kings and Bristol seem to have pretty good psych+neuro joint honours
Thank you for your help :smile:

Your welcome :smile:
If you're 2023 applicant maybe I'll see you next year, I'm looking to do the same course!
Original post by indizino
I want to go into neuroscience research. Is it possible to do an undergraduate degree in psychology (at bio-psychology heavy unis eg QMUL, Cambridge, Kings), and then a masters and PHD in neuroscience? Or should I just apply for neuroscience degrees instead of psychology...

If I were to apply to both psychology (at Cambridge, QMUL, Kings) and neuroscience (UCL, Bristol) how would I write my personal statement so that is appeals to both?


I applied for psychology even though I want to do a masters and PhD in a cross between psych and neuroscience. When I did my research it was okay to take a psych degree but when I spoke to some professors they said that if you want to go into neuroscience research its better to do a neuroscience degree as it is then easier to get funding.
Hope this helps :smile:

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