What will I learn

Neuroscience (Master's Programme)

What will you learn?

About the programme of study

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary research field, including disciplines such as biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, physics, psychology and statistics. Neuroscientific problems and hypotheses are explored in different research groups at NTNU, through studies of humans, animal models and biochemical systems. This is also reflected in the wide range of available master's thesis projects.

The international MSc programme in Neuroscience at NTNU is the first of its kind in Norway, and it offers a comprehensive and coherent graduate education in Neuroscience. The programme is the result of cooperation between the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences. It is embedded in strong research programmes in Neuroscience, as for example the Norwegian Centre of Excellence on Neural Computation and the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience. In addition, the MSc programme builds on strong clinical research into major neurological and psychiatric disorders, for instance the Norwegian National Headache Centre.

Why study Neuroscience?

One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to understand how mental activity arises in the brain. What is the neural basis for psychological phenomena like thoughts, emotions, ideas, memories and problem-solving? These questions have interested humans for thousands of years, but the methods and technologies necessary to be able to provide the answers have only evolved during the last few decades. Neuroscience technology is developing rapidly, and progress in gene technology, electronics and data processing now allows researchers to relate microscopic activity in individual cells and cell populations directly to mental activity and disease.

This development not only lays the foundation for a better understanding of human cognition, but also contributes to preventing and treating diseases of the nervous system. Disorders of the nervous system are among the most common reasons for hospitalization in Norway. About 30 percent of the population will be struck by some disturbance in the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, schizophrenia, depression, multiple sclerosis or chronic pain disorders. As many of these disorders are age-related, the number of affected individuals will increase due to the rising proportion of elderly people in the population.

The MSc in Neuroscience is an international programme with small classes and access to high-tech laboratory facilities.

Programme Components

MSc in Neuroscience is a two-year, full-time programme starting in the autumn semester (mid-August). There are two main components:

Master's thesis (60 ECTS)

Theoretical and methodological courses (totalling 60 ECTS)

Five courses, making up 37.5 credits, are compulsory. The remaining courses, adding up to 22.5 credits, are selected from a list of electives. Ideally, electives should be linked to the master's thesis.

Neuroscience in Norway

Norwegian neuroscience has a long and distinguished history dating back to Fridtjof Nansen, whose early work anticipated Cajal's discovery of neurons as the elementary units of the nervous system.

Although Nansen quit neuroscience, his colleague Gustav Adolph Guldberg established the Institute of Anatomy in Oslo, and eventually the Oslo environment turned into the place to be for scientists interested in the wiring and the firing of the brain and talented students were attracted from all corners of the world.

Pupils from the Oslo school, May-Britt and Edvard Moser (the Nobel laureates of 2014) were instrumental to boost Neuroscience at the Norwegian University for Science and technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.