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Would you like to know more about what it’s like to have a career in neuroscience? Watch this video with researcher Dr Clemens Kiecker to discover what it’s like to work in this area.

What is neuroscience?

Neuroscience is fundamentally the science of understanding the brain and central nervous system of animals and humans. Our brains enable us to memorise things, endow us with emotions, intelligence and the ability to speak. As a neuroscientist, you can help discover exactly how this happens.

By looking at how single cells in the nervous system of a person or animal interact and signal to one another, neuroscientists can develop a greater understanding of what happens in the brain of patients suffering from neuro-psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression.

This knowledge enables neuroscientists to make ground-breaking contributions to research helping to prevent these and other illnesses as well as to develop treatments for patients suffering from these debilitating conditions.

I got drawn into neuroscience by the basic question: how can you construct something as complex as a brain that can do all these amazing things?'

Dr Clemens Kiecker, Neuroscientist


To become a researcher in neuroscience, you first need to study science subjects at school. You should then study a science-based undergraduate degree such as Neuroscience or Biomedical Science, followed by a Masters and PhD programme in Neuroscience.

As well as being passionate about science, it’s useful for neuroscientists to have good manual skills. You are likely to be involved in dissecting very small samples under a microscope, which can be manually challenging.

Careers opportunities

Many Neuroscience students go on to further study and become academic research scientists. Others go on to study medicine by taking graduate entry into medicine programmes. There are also many other potential careers for Neuroscience students, including:

  • Researchers for charities or government organisations
  • Scientific publishers
  • Patent attorneys

Top tip

Neuroscience and Psychology both look at how the brain works but from very different perspectives. Visit a university open day to find out more about both of these areas to see which would be best for you.

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