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University

University of Otago
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Bachelor of Science (BSc) Majoring in Neuroscience

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

Duration

3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year undergraduate degree which enables each student to develop his or her own interests in a science subject (science major) and related subjects. Students have the flexibility to combine their major subject with other science subjects, as well as subjects from other disciplines across the University.

Why study Neuroscience?

The brain is a final frontier... a last great unknown.

Neuroscientists are its explorers. They try to understand how the brain functions, how it deals with injury or damage, and how it develops and changes over time.

What they find helps neurologists, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists – and provides important models for high-level information processing and robotics.

Knowing how the brain perceives stimuli and controls movement helps those working on human performance from sports science to space medicine.

Neuroscience research

Neuroscientists at the University of Otago are involved in a range of exciting research. Neuroscience students learn about this (and other) research as undergraduates, and can work in the lab with Otago’s neuroscientists as postgraduates.

For example:

Professor Cliff Abraham is interested in the neural mechanisms of memory. His lab is also investigating biomarkers and therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease.

Associate Professor Mike Paulin is investigating how animals use sensory information to move quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

Professor John Reynolds is interested in how we learn and remember skills, with a focus on Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

Professor Colin Brown investigates how the brain controls reproduction and cardiovascular function.

Associate Professor Christine Jasoni is researching how a mother’s health during pregnancy affects the formation of the foetal brain to elevate risk of mental illness.

Associate Professor Beulah Leitch is interested in the changes that occur at synapses (the contacts between brain cells that allow them to communicate with each other) during ageing and various brain disorders including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Paul Szyszka investigates olfactory search behavior in insects – what are their perceptual limits in olfaction, and what patterns of neural activities are behaviourally relevant?

Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) is also available.

A specific aim of the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) degree is to develop advanced theoretical and research skills and in so doing to provide a platform for an advanced professional or academic career.

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8
  • A minimum of CCC across the NCUK IFY
  • Satisfactory completion of one year's study at a recognised tertiary institution.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.0, no individual band below 5.5.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 80 and a writing score of 20.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 169 (with no individual band below 162)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 3 or higher

July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

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