Contact: Prof. Esther Stoeckli


Contrary to many other research fields, the neurosciences are not defined by methods but by the object of research – the nervous system. Therefore, development, structure, and function of the nervous system are studied with a broad spectrum of techniques, including biochemical, molecular and cellular, as well as physiological approaches. Obviously, for functional studies in vivo studies are particularly important although challenging. A wide variety of imaging methods are crucial for neuroscience research. Neurological diseases are still one of the biggest challenges in human health. However, for the development of therapies a more detailed understanding of development, structure and function of the nervous system is key.


The central part of the Master’s degree course is the Master thesis of 52 weeks of duration (BIO506) carried out in a research group (see detailed information in the Infobox). During this time the candidate is expected to acquire expertise in a particular field of neuroscience but also to get an overview of the neurosciences at large. To this end, we offer a variety of lectures and courses. The main practical and mandatory course is BIO328. During these seven weeks the candidate will get an overview on neuroscience research in Zurich. Therefore, this course is also a good starting point to find a laboratory for a future Master project.


Compulsory modules:

BIO 328 Neurobiology (12 ECTS)
BIO 520 Integrated knowledge in Biology/Neurosciences (10 ECTS)
BIO 338 Introduction to Scientific Writing (0 ECTS, one day in September or February). The module should be taken before writing the Master thesis.

and two of the following lectures:

BIO 343 Neural Systems for Sensory, Motor and Higher Brain Functions (3 ECTS)
BIO 344 Development of the Nervous System (3 ECTS)
BME 322 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (2ECTS)

Recommended block courses:

BIO 209 Discovering Statistics using R (6 ECTS)
BIO 248 Functional Assessment of Human Spinal Cord Injury (6 ECTS)
BIO 260 Molecular Biology Course for Biology and Medicine (6 ECTS)
BIO 320 Sleep and Wake Regulation (6 ECTS)
BIO 321 Microscopy in Cell and Developmental Biology (6 ECTS)
BIO 323 Modern Genetics and Genomics (12 ECTS)
BIO 326 Experimental Developmental Biology (12 ECTS)
BIO 327 Neuroscience Communication Course (6 ECTS)
BIO 337 Introduction to Neuroscience Grant Writing (4 ECTS)
BIO 407 Practical Microscopy (6 ECTS)
BIO 412 Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science (2 ECTS)
BIO 434 Electrophysiological Recording Techniques (6 ECTS)
BME 302 Systems Neurobiology (6 ECTS)
BME 308 Human Molecular Genetics (6 ECTS)
BME 323 Brain Disorders (6 ECTS)
BME 350 Experimental Neuroimaging (6 ECTS)
BME 352 Auditory Biomechanics (6 ECTS)
BME 353 Human Brain Activity and the Mind (6 ECTS)
BME 355 Pain – Mechanisms and Clinical Presentation (6 ECTS)

Recommended lectures:

BIO 342 Comparative Behavioral Neuroscience (3 ECTS)
BIO 360 Topics in Neurogenetics (2 ECTS)
BIO 388 Human Genetics (2 ECTS)
BIO 389 Clinical Neuroscience (3 ECTS)


Contact the Student Affair’s Office or the Master coordinator Neuroscience if you want to carry out your thesis in a group that is not part of the list. The list is subject to change.

Useful links: Zurich Neuroscience Center