Neuroscience is one of the most advanced and fastest-growing branches of biology today. It studies human thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and behavior. It looks at how the nervous system functions and finds ways to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. There are still many unanswered questions about the human brain, so working in this field will put you at the forefront of scientific discovery.
Most graduates of Neuroscience pursue a career in the medical field as a physician. However, a degree in neuroscience also gives you opportunities to work in research labs, higher education institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the government.
It truly is a very challenging yet rewarding field. If you’re considering taking a degree in Neuroscience, choose a school that offers rigorous academic instruction, strong faculty support, and good internship opportunities. Here are the some of the best neuroscience schools in Europe.
What is the Difference between Neurology and Neuroscience?
Neurologists are physicians who have a degree in medicine and have pursued neurology as the specialty of their choice. Neurologists go through intensive training for more than ten years before they can get their licenses. Neurologists can be physicians or surgeons, and pursuing the latter may take a few more years. Neuroscientists, on the other hand, are not certified physicians. Some of them are doctors in the sense that they have a Ph.D. in the field, but they have not gone to medical school to get their degrees. Unlike neurologists who examine human patients, neurologists, for the most part, conduct their research on animals like rats, mice, and monkeys. Unfortunately, there are no specific courses for either discipline on our website at the moment, but we implore you to check back soon as we keep updating our database. In the meantime, please check our Open Courses Page for related programs.
Top Neuroscience Schools in Europe
1. King’s College London
King’s College London was founded in 1829 but only started offering neuroscience and psychology courses in 1948. It quickly became the global leader in neuroscience research and education and no school has surpassed them to this day. It is now home to the largest neuroscience research center, and industry-leading clinicians and scientists form part of its faculty.
The school offers a 3-year BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology. For those who want to have real-life work experience, you have the option to pursue a year of professional placement. King’s College London is among the best neuroscience schools in Europe as it partners with South London & Maudsley Hospital and more than 100 research teams to ensure that students can find a placement that is relevant to their interests.
For postgraduates, King’s College offers a multitude of Master’s degrees that covers a diverse list of specializations. Students may choose to concentrate on Addictions, Affective Disorders, Applied Neurosciences, and Psychiatric Research to name a few. The study duration varies for every concentration and some may require professional placement.
2. University of Bordeaux
When it comes to having the best Neuroscience facilities on-campus, no school can beat the University of Bordeaux in France. It has the biggest campus in Europe and houses the Neurocampus, a 15,000 square meter research center fully devoted to studying the nervous system and its diseases. More than 650 neuroscientists and researchers from all over the world visit every year to use the latest technology in the industry.
While the University of Bordeaux does not offer any Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience, it does offer a 2-year Master’s degree. Lessons are conducted in small classes so you can enjoy a more personalized approach from their professors. Facilities at the Neurocampus are available for student use. Participating in international training is optional, but a Master’s Thesis is required to complete the degree.
3. University College London
The University College London (UCL) in the UK takes pride in being a multidisciplinary university that places high importance on research. No matter what program you are enrolled in, students are directly involved in research throughout their stay in school.
A leading neuroscience institution in Europe, UCL offers BSc Neuroscience and MSc Neuroscience with study durations that last for three years and one year, respectively. The research-based curricula for both degrees ensure that students are well-equipped with broad and deep knowledge that they could use as they transition to professional practice in medicine, education, or public policy.
Courses are taught by the best faculty, comprised of current clinicians and researchers in different aspects of the field. A few of them are Nobel Laureates in Physiology and Medicine.
4. University of Oxford
The University of Oxford (UO) is one of the oldest schools in the UK that is currently in operation, with evidence of teaching dating back to 1096. It is now one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Its faculty started to conduct research on Neuroscience in the seventeenth century, and they are keen on preserving the school’s status as an industry leader until today.
UO offers a 3-year BA in Neuroscience for undergraduates. It involves rigorous coursework, with students of this top neuroscience school attending six to ten lectures per week and one tutorial session. Tutorial sessions usually involve a small group of 2-4 students discussing the week’s lessons with a member of the faculty or doctorate students.
For those seeking Master’s degrees, you may choose to specialize in Clinical Neurosciences, Psychology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, or Psychiatry. Study duration ranges from two to four years, depending on your field of specialization. A Master’s Thesis is required to be awarded the degree.
5. University of Sussex
Another one of the best neuroscience schools in Europe is the University of Sussex (US), a public university in the UK. It began to offer Neuroscience programs in 1965. It is a research-intensive university, which is why more than 30% of its students are pursuing postgraduate degrees.
US offers BSc Medical Neuroscience, BSc Neuroscience, and BSc Psychology with Neuroscience. These run for three years, with an option to add a year for professional placement or study abroad. The faculty heavily focuses on medical courses since most students here aim to pursue medical careers after graduating.
Postgraduates can enroll in MSc Neuroscience, which runs for a year. Courses taught in Master’s classes dive deeper into the field and discuss advanced research methods, complex math, machine learning, and molecular pharmacology. Students also get the opportunity to conduct research with postgraduates in related fields, such as engineering and chemistry.
6. Trinity College Dublin
Established in 1592, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s oldest surviving university. It was modeled after Oxford University and Cambridge University, which is why it is considered one of Europe’s most elite schools. It is a very selective school that admits students solely based on their academic merits.
Trinity College does not offer a full Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. However, undergraduates may enroll in BSc Biological and Biomedical Sciences and choose Neuroscience as their specialization during their second year.
Postgraduates, however, may enroll in Trinity College’s MSc Neuroscience program. It runs for one year and provides fast-paced multidisciplinary training in Neuroscience. Students undergo a mix of lectures, workshops, laboratory practical sessions, and seminars. Some topics of study include Neuropharmacology, Neuroimmunology, and Neuroimaging.
7. University of Copenhagen
Another one of the best neuroscience schools in Europe is the University of Copenhagen (UC). Fun fact, it is the oldest surviving university in Denmark. Today, it is the largest educational institution in the country, with over 8,000 students enrolled every year. Through the years, UC has developed research-based curricula and became a member of prestigious research alliances, including the International Alliance of Research Universities.
UC conducts its classes for Bachelor’s degrees in Danish. While the school does not offer any undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, students may enroll in related fields, such as Biotechnology or Molecular Biomedicine.
Classes for Master’s degrees are conducted in both English and Danish. The 2-year MSc in Neuroscience at UC involves attending intensive lectures, doing case studies, and visiting top-notch laboratories in Denmark. Postgraduate students are required to complete a Master’s Thesis by Year Two.
8. University of Cambridge
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest surviving universities. With its traditional scholarly values and academic excellence, this institution often ranks among the top universities across the globe. This prestigious school has produced 121 Nobel Prize laureates, 47 Heads of State, and 210 Olympic medallists over the years along with thousands of graduates who excel in their respective fields.
With its rigorous curriculum, modern facilities, and qualified professors, the University of Cambridge is renowned as one of the best European schools for Neuroscience. Various seminars are conducted on campus to help students gain more insight into the subject.
9. University of Zurich
The University of Zurich (UZH) is one of the leading public research universities in Europe. It is the largest university in Switzerland offering the widest range of degree programs, allowing more than 28,000 students to pursue their fields of interest.
UZH started in 1833 with colleges in theology, law, medicine, and philosophy. While these faculties remain excellent to this day, UZH has garnered an even bigger reputation in the fields of economics, medicine, biology, genetics, immunology, and neuroscience.
Just recently, The Faculty of Science of UZH has started a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences together with the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) of ETH Zurich. This joint program deals with neuroscience education with an emphasis on three areas: Brain Biology, Systems, Computation, and Neural Technology, and Translational, Clinical, and Cognitive Neuroscience.
10. VU University of Amsterdam
Founded in 1880, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) is an internationally recognized institute. It is one of two publicly funded research universities in Amsterdam. With its great profile on academics, the school has become a top choice for many students.
VU Amsterdam offers a two-year Master’s in Neurosciences. It is taught in English and has a complex curriculum that features interdisciplinary learning. The university does not offer undergraduate studies in neuroscience, but it offers a minor in Biomolecular Science and Neuroscience for students in the life sciences department. This allows students to gain insight into the latest knowledge of experimental cell biology, which is beneficial for those pursuing graduate studies in neuroscience.
11. Karolinska Institute
Karolinska Institute (KI) is Sweden’s single largest center of medical academic research that offers the country’s widest range of medical programs and courses, including neuroscience. Consistently ranking among the world’s best medical schools, KI always comes up at the top of lists of best schools for neuroscience in Europe.
KI has very selective admissions and only has a 3 percent acceptance rate. The university has undergraduate and Doctorate studies for neuroscience programs with competitive research fields that study cognitive neuroscience, the genetic and molecular basis of nervous system disorders, and neural cells.
12. LMU Munich
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) is a public research university in Munich, Germany. It is the country’s sixth-oldest continuously operating university. With outstanding research with a diverse range of courses, LMU has consistently received excellent ratings in international university rankings.
The Munich Center for Neurosciences (MCN) of LMU was founded in 2005 and aims to connect various groups in the fields of neurobiology, cognition, and the brain and mind. The center has built a unique teaching philosophy that draws great students at all stages of training, fosters the formation of new collaborative research programs, and offers a platform for interdisciplinary connections.
13. Heidelberg University
Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany and one of the oldest still operating universities in the world, was established in 1386 at the request of Pope Urban VI. Heidelberg University describes itself as a globally connected academic institution committed to research-oriented teaching. The institution values personalized experiences and believes it is the way to assist its students in realizing their goals and dreams.
Heidelberg offers neuroscience programs for students at the graduate level. These provide input on various subjects including Medical Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Neurophysiology, Neurosurgery, Pharmacology, and more.
14. University of Tubingen
One of eleven German Excellence Universities, the University of Tubingen is a reputed public research university located in the city of Tubingen, Germany. The school is highly regarded as a center for the studies of medicine, plant biology, law, archeology, ancient cultures, philosophy, theology, and religious studies. It is also popular in the field of artificial intelligence.
Under the Faculty of Science, the University of Tubingen has established an Institute for Neurobiology. This dedication to the field is one of the reasons why the university is known as one of the best places to study neuroscience in Europe. A Master’s program is available at the university, which encourages students to conduct high-level research while learning from top neuroscientists in the world today.
15. University of Bristol
With an international reputation for high-quality education and research, the University of Bristol is one of the best universities in the world. It is consistently recognized as one of the top ten in the UK. This Russell Group research institution has made innovations in nanotechnology and cot death prevention and has continued to lead international research in intelligent systems and more.
The University of Bristol offers an excellent undergraduate program for students who wish to study neuroscience. Students will have access to well-equipped modern laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities. There is also a high-fidelity Human Patient Simulator and a dynamic lab manual called eBioLabs, allowing students to put what they have learned in the classroom into practice.
16. University of Edinburgh
Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s four oldest universities. It is globally recognized for its research, innovations, and world-class teaching. The university has attracted approximately 35,000 students, the majority of which study in the largest of its colleges, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science.
The University of Edinburgh is also reputed to be a world-class leader in the field of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Edinburgh’s neuroscience program has placed 2nd in the UK for quality in its academics and research.
17. Cardiff University
Located in the beautiful and thriving capital city of Wales, Cardiff University is among the top universities in Europe offering neuroscience programs. This world-leading research institution has maintained its position as an excellent school where students are guaranteed high-quality academics and innovative research.
Cardiff University offers neuroscience programs for both undergraduate and graduate studies. With modern laboratories and equipment, the school grants its learners a chance to study the brain in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary environment. The faculty are from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and neuroimaging expertise, ensuring the quality of teaching at the university.
I hope that you found this article on the best neuroscience schools in Europe informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!