Practical skills are a crucial part of science education and therefore there will be a requirement to pass the practical element of any science A Level taken. Where applicants are applying for science and related degrees, this is likely to be made explicit in the offers you will receive. Require grades AAA-ABB, including two of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths (the Hard Sciences). You must have a minimum of grades AB in at least two Hard Sciences and pass the practical assessments in these subjects. If your grades are AAB or higher, accept a grade A in Geography, Psychology, Environmental Studies or PE in place of one of the Hard Sciences. Subjects with overlapping content are not normally considered as separate A-levels, eg Further Maths is not considered alongside Maths and Human Biology is not considered alongside Biology. General Studies are welcomed but not normally included as part of the offer.
AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.
Unit grade information
The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available. Like all other information provided by applicants, this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application. Unit grades will not normally form part of the offer conditions.
Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/IGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/IGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/IGCSE English Language.
36-33 points overall with 6,6,6 to 6,5,5 at Higher Level including two science subjects, normally Biology and Chemistry.
All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency. The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:
- GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade C (or 4 in the newly reformed GCSEs in England)
- IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.5 in any component)
- An acceptable equivalent qualification.
English language test validity
Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.
Q: What is the difference between psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive neuroscience?
Psychology is the study of cognition (thinking) and behavior in humans and other animals. A first degree (BA or BSc) in psychology qualifies you for professional courses and qualifications by the British Psychological Society, e.g. as a clinical psychologist.
Neuroscience is the study of the brain in humans and other animals. This usually includes basic neural mechanisms at the cellular, molecular, systems (physiological) levels. The techniques may include histology, neuroanatomy, single-cell electrophysiology, brain imaging, and neurochemical and neuroendocrine assays. It generally has a separate degree, often housed in departments of biology, physiology, or anatomy. It may have some instruction on behavior and cognition i.e. psychology and ethology; the neural basis of behavior is called ‘behavioral neuroscience’. Both undergraduate (BA/BSc and MSc) postgraduate neuroscience courses are available (See Neuroscience Courses).
Cognitive Neuroscience is a more specialized area. It is essentially the intersection of cognitive psychology and neuroscience and mainly studies the neural basis of cognition and behavior in humans (N.B. ‘ behavioral neuroscience’ is the term usually reserved for similar studies in other animals). It includes techniques of cognitive and experimental psychology as well as some physiological techniques (e.g. galvanic skin response, heart rate), EEG recording, human elector physiology, transcranial stimulation, and a range of brain imaging methods e.g. PET, fMRI, etc. It may also include a computational element e.g. reinforcement learning. Cognitive neuroscience may be taught as an advanced module in first degree courses in psychology or neuroscience and some master’s courses are available. A qualification in cognitive neuroscience alone would be insufficient for professional courses or degrees e.g. in clinical psychology, organized by the British Psychological Society.
Q: Do I have to do a neuroscience degree to have a career in the field?
A: No, there are many paths in the field of neuroscience. Other health science degrees such as biomedical sciences, biochemistry, and pharmacology often teach you skills required to later specialize in neuroscience. These courses may also offer neuroscience modules where a student can tailor their knowledge and skills to the field. It is best to investigate the content and practical experience offered from a degree as these can differ considerably between institutions.
Alternatively, individuals with degrees such as physics, chemistry, engineering, and computer science are sought after in neuroscience and there are many applications for skills derived from these fields.
Q: Can I do a master's in neuroscience without a science-related undergraduate degree?
A: With difficulty - This would not be a standard route into the field for individuals without a science-related undergraduate degree such as neuroscience, biology, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, and, in some cases, psychology. If you do have related experience, it is best to contact course coordinators directly.
Q: Do you need a medical degree to become a neuroscientist?
A: However, with the integrated academic career path, there are a number of opportunities for trainee clinicians to gain experience and qualifications in academic research (e.g. BSc/Ph.D.). As a medical student, intercalated degrees entail an extra year of study that gives you the chance to study a particular area of medicine in depth. Other opportunities include involvement in research projects alongside your medical studies or in summer breaks and research-based student selected modules. Academic foundation programs (AFP) posts offer protected academic time during foundation year 2. Academic clinical fellowships (ACF) posts run for three years or, if the post is a general practice ACF, for four years. They combine specialty-specific training with academic training. During the post, 75% of your time will be dedicated to clinical work and 25% to academic work. Academic work may take the form of a nine-month block, three months a year, or up to two days a week.
Q: What is the difference between a neuroscientist, neurologist, and neurosurgeon?
A: A neuroscientist is typically a research scientist. The traditional career route would involve a science undergraduate degree followed by a Ph.D. No clinical practice or clinical qualifications are required. Neurologists and neurosurgeons are both medical specialties. Therefore, both require a clinical medicine degree, and individuals will go on to specialize in one of these disciplines. A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. As practicing physicians, they can order tests such as imaging studies including CT scans, MRI scans, or laboratory tests such as CSF examination. Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical treatments of the nervous system.