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MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology MPhil/PhD

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Overview

  • 2008 RAE Divisional Results: Recognised as contributing 'world-leading quality' research work
  • Research income: £6.5m for 2014/2015

  • Current number of academic staff: 29

  • Current number of research students: 36

  • Current research projects include:

    • Lineage specification of cortical circuits
    • Integration of chandelier cells in visual cortex networks
    • Imaging activity and nucleogenesis in the zebrafish
    • Molecular mechanisms of cerebellar evolution
    • Morphological and molecular characterisation of transit amplifying granule cell precursors

Visit The Centre for Developmental Neurobiology for full information on our work.

Key information

Duration Expected to be three to four years FT, four to six years PT. The new full-time four-year programme includes a first year comprised of taught courses and three laboratory rotations. Registration usually October although students may commence at any time.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Locations

 

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Course detail

Description

The human brain is by far the most complex structure on Earth. Consider that it contains a thousand billion neurons, of a thousand or more different, individual types, and that each neuron is wired up to as many as five hundred other neurons; this allows the possibility for a really vast number of alternative wiring configurations - more, it has been estimated, than there are molecules in the universe. Yet the elaborate pattern of connectional networks between neurons that constitutes the machinery for sensation, movement, emotion and thought, is remarkably similar between individuals. Indeed, the basic plan of the brain - the layout of its command and control centres and all but the smallest details of its wiring diagram - appears to be virtually identical between individual humans and recognisably similar between human and mouse.

Furthermore, this 'ground plan' of the brain is genetically determined, or 'hard wired', leaving only the fine details of network construction to be influenced by the electrical activity of circuits and environmental experience. Such is the complexity of the brain's construction, however, that neurobiologists are still far from a complete structural and functional understanding of its basic operations, such as those we have in common with chickens and mice, let alone even beginning to understand the nature of the higher functions - such as thought and consciousness - of which possibly only the human brain is capable.

It is our goal to further the understanding of this structure through our current research programmes, which are:

  • Building brains: animal models and tissue engineering
  • Assembly and Plasticity of Neural Circuits
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Course study environment

Students work alongside staff researchers, are supervised by two members of academic staff and overseen by a divisional research co-ordinator. Students' progress is monitored closely and reported on every six months. For more details on study environment see the facilities description in the School entry.

Postgraduate training

All students are regularly notified about skills development opportunities through a monthly newsletter. Participation in the annual Research Showcase, co-ordinated by the School, is compulsory for all students and provides an opportunity to improve science communication and presentation skills.

Contact for information

For any additional queries regarding application and project approval procedures please contact

Education Support Team: Lauren Soules- ioppn.educationsupport@kcl.ac.uk

Admissions Tutor: Dr Matthew Grubb- Matthew.grubb@kcl.ac.uk

Business Manager: Ms Lauren Ryan- lauren.ryan@kcl.ac.uk            

Contact email

pg-healthadmissions@kcl.ac.uk, esther.bell@kcl.ac.uk

Course website

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/biohealth/research/divisions/devneuro/index.aspx

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

MRC Neurobiology Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements  
  • Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours, or a postgraduate degree in Molecular or Cellular Biology, with some previous experience of developmental and/or neurobiology. The successful candidates will be of the calibre expected of MRC and Wellcome Research students. 
  • A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit. 
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Application procedure

Step 1- Finding Supervisors: Firstly, you will need to find supervisors to work with you in this capacity. You can search through our research portal to find supervisors who work in your chosen research area. Applicants are expected to contact academics directly.

Step 2- Arranging funding: Unless you are applying for a studentship or can self-fund your studies, you will need to arrange for funding before you make the application. The following pages are useful:

For tips and advice from our students who have been awarded NIHR and MRC Research Training Fellowships, particularly regarding the interview stage click here.

Step 3- Make an online application: Next you need to make your online application here.  This application will be assessed by the Admissions team to assess your references, fee status as well as your eligibility in terms of education and experience.

Step 4- Submit a Project Approval Form: The project approval form (PAF) is used to assess your project in terms of planning, feasibility and appropriateness for a PhD. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the form is completed but it is recommended that applicants work closely with the supervisors.

Make sure you complete all sections, answering all questions fully, and signatures from all supervisors and student are included. There is no need to collect the signatures from the Head of Department/Business Manager and Sub-Committee Chair at this point.

 We strongly advise the submission of your application as early as possible to ensure that you can begin with your desired intake. If your application is not processed in time you run the risk of a deferral to the subsequent intake.

We advise Home students to submit their online application and PAF at least two months before their desired registration date, and EU and Overseas students to submit their online application and PAF at least three months ahead of their desired registration date, although the earlier the application submission the better. This is to take into account any English Language tests you may need to take and await the results of, and any visa applications that you may need to make.

It is typical that the process from the receipt of your online application and PAF through to offer letter stage (which includes the arrangement of the PhD interview) takes approximately six weeks.

Please note that the deadlines listed below are for both the online application and Project Approval Form (PAF) which is to be submitted in Microsoft Word format to ioppn.educationsupport@kcl.ac.uk.

Copies of the PAF can be downloaded here. 

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Developmt Neurobiology checklist
Personal statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required.
Research Proposal Yes

The proposal should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.

A letter of support from your proposed King's supervisor is also required. Futher details on this letter are available on the IOPPN webpages.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents. Please also list A-level subjects (or international high school equivalent) and the grades achieved.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application

Course intake

Four four-year MRC studentships and up to three three-year studentships.

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. We will open applications for an intake in 2020 after the final deadline passes in 2019.

  • February 2019 entry – 26th October 2018 for International students and 3rd December 2018 for Home/EU students
  • June 2019 entry - 12th April 2019 for International and Home/EU students
  • October 2019 entry – 26th July 2018 for International students and 30th August for Home/EU students
  • February 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students
  • June 2020 entry - 17th April 2020 for International and Home/EU students

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £5,000 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,500 per year

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,700 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,050 per year

International Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £22,050 per year

Part time tuition fees: £11,025 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £23,000 per year

Part time tuition fees: £11,500 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


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Next steps

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