MSc Integrative Neuroscience
The Otto-von-Guericke University offers an interdisciplinary graduate programme "M.Sc. Integrative Neuroscience". Its purpose is to train master students for a professional career in neuroscience. All courses are taught in English and the program is aimed at both German and international students. Historically, the programme developed from a German-style diploma programme in Neurobiology/Neuroscience started in 1997.
Integrative neuroscience considers neural components in their functional context. All levels of analysis are of interest: How do molecular and cellular components build functioning neurons and synapses? How do brain cells work together to form operational circuits? How do circuits jointly generate behaviour and cognition? How are individual brains shaped by their interaction with other brains and with the natural environment?
The integrative study of the nervous system involves newer developments such as functional brain imaging and the application of molecular biology, genetics, and immunology, as well as more traditional areas like psychophysics, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy. In addition, neural modelling and quantitative analyses are growing rapidly in importance. Accordingly, the graduate programme introduces students to a wide variety of techniques from different disciplines.
The master program provides a broad background of the basic areas of neuroscience. This includes molecular and cellular neuroscience, systems and behavioural neuroscience, as well as theoretical and computational neuroscience. Students take core courses in all of these areas and choose from a range of advanced courses. They perform practical or laboratory exercises in all core areas and spend several weeks each in three research laboratories. The wide range of areas and requirements makes for an intensive and rewarding study experience.
While the graduate program is administered by the Faculties of Natural Sciences and of Medicine, the teaching faculty of the program is drawn also from the Leibniz Institute of Neurobiology, the Center for Advanced Imaging, and other Faculties of the Otto-von-Guericke University. Teaching is concentrated at the Institute of Biology building, which houses lecture rooms, teaching laboratories, a student lounge, and a student kitchen.
At present, there are approximately 30 faculty members in relevant areas of neuroscience, approximately 80 master students and a comparable number of doctoral students in the neuroscience programs.