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The overall structure of the curriculum for students in the Neuroscience Ph.D. Programme is the following:

1) Coursework to be carried during the first 1.5 years (minimum of 18 academic units in Neuroscience-related coursework);

2) Rotations in up to 3 different laboratories, across NTU colleges and schools (concurrent with coursework), that is completed within the first year;

3) Focused research, which starts during the first 1-1.5 years, in parallel with coursework and after concluding any laboratory rotations. Research becomes the primary activity in years 2-4 after completing the Qualifying Examination.


Coursework - Given that students enter with diverse academic backgrounds, the initial goal of the Neuroscience Ph.D. Programme is to expose students to a wide spectrum of neuroscience-related fields. Thus, during their first year in the Programme, students will take modules from a shared core curriculum prior to taking more advanced elective coursework in their area of research specialization:

To ensure a broad-based education, core modules are divided into two different themes; students are required to take at least 2 modules from one theme and another module from the other theme. These themes and their constituent core modules (each 3 academic units) are shown here:

Theme A: Neuroscience based on biology or psychology

Introduction to Neuroscience: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (MD9104)

Introduction to Neuroscience: Neural Systems and Behaviour (MD9108)

Introduction to Neuropsychology


Theme B: Neuroscience based on engineering and/or technology

Engineering Approaches to Neuroscience

Computational/AI Neuroscience

Experimental Techniques in Neuroscience


After taking core modules, students complete their coursework requirements by taking 3 additional modules from the list shown below, in addition to taking a communication course and participating in a 3-minute Thesis Symposium. Students entering with a M.Sci. degree are eligible to receive credit for up to 9 academic units for courses taken during their M.Sci. training.​

Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

MD9103 – Biological Imaging

MD9110 – Advanced Genetics in Diseases, Ageing & Cancer

Nanyang Business School

NS9001 - Management Neuroscience: Incorporating Cognitive and Neuroscience Research to Management

MG9003 - Theory Construction & Experimental Methods in Behavioral Research

School of Biological Sciences

BS7001 – Foundation Course in Molecular & Cell Biology

BS7107 – Computational Biology and Modelling

BS7414 – Practical Course in Advanced Microscopy

School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering 
CH7102 - Cell Therapeutics Engineering

School of Computer Science and Engineering

CE7412 - Computational Biology

CE7429 - Computational Intelligence: Methods & Applications

CE7454 - Deep Learning for Data Science

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
MA7511 – Design and Analysis of Experiments

School of Social Sciences

HP7001 - Advanced Research Design and Data Analysis

HP7108 - Pro-seminar in Cognitive Psychology

HP7209 - Multisensory Integration

HP7216 - Behavioral Decision Making

HP7212 - Applied Functional Neuroscience

HP7218 - Language in Perception and Thought

HP7227 - Primate Psychology

HP7237 - Comparative Physiology of Social Interaction: Clinical and Technological Applications

National University of Singapore 
GS6004 - Vision and Perception
​GSN6501 - Neuronal Signaling

GSN6503 - Techniques in Neuroscience

GSN6504 - Behavioural & Cognitive Neuroscience

GSN6505 - Brain Disorders and Repair

GSN6506 - Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering​

Laboratory rotations - Neuroscience Ph.D. students are encouraged to complete up to 3 laboratory rotations.  The goals of these rotations are to provide exposure to different conceptual approaches and experimental techniques, as well as to expose students to several laboratories to help them identify their Ph.D. mentor and home laboratory. Each lab rotation should last approximately 2 months and should be completed during the first year in the Programme, These rotations are optional, so that students who have already identified a mentor are not required to participate in rotations. At the beginning of each academic year, a list of mentors willing to host rotation students will be complied and this list will be provided to aid selection of laboratory rotations.

Research project and mentoring – After completing coursework and laboratory rotations, a Neuroscience Ph.D. student will decide on a research project and successfully complete their Qualifying Examination by the end of their second year. Students should plan to defend their Ph.D. thesis within 4 years. A research project will be identified by the student, in close consultation with their mentor. Students have the option of performing research projects that span more than one research field and benefit from mentoring by faculty in different disciplines.

The mentor will also have primary responsibility for supervising the research progress of a student. All Neuroscience Ph.D. Programme students, along with their mentors, will be expected to identify a Thesis Advisory Committee that will interact regularly and meaningfully with each student to provide academic and scientific guidance. The Director of the Neuroscience Ph.D. Programme will provide initial guidance to students prior to selection of a faculty mentor and Thesis Advisory Committee.​

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