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 and computational 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 – FAQ MSc Neurosciences). 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 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.

Recommended lectures and courses:

BIO 342 Comparative Behavioral Neuroscience (3 ECTS)
BIO 344 Development of the Nervous System (3 ECTS)
BIO 347 Concepts in Developmental Biology: from Cells to Animals (3 ECTS)
BIO 348 Concepts in Modern Genetics (6 ECTS)
BIO 360 Topics in Neurogenetics (2 ECTS)
BIO 377 Basic Quantitative Methods (2 ECTS)
BIO 388 Human Genetics (2 ECTS)
BIO 389 Clinical Neuroscience (3 ECTS)
BME 322 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (2 ECTS)
BIO 394 Interdisciplinary Research Methods in Computational Biology (4 ECTS)
BIO 557 Scientific Writing and Experimental Design for the Life Sciences (2 ECTS)

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 und Genomics (12 ECTS)
BIO 326 Experimental Developmental Biology (12 ECTS)
BIO 327 Neuroscience Communication Course (6 ECTS)
BIO 407 Practical Microscopy (6 ECTS)
BIO 434 Electrophysiological Recording Techniques (6 ECTS)
BME 302 Systems Neurobiology (6 ECTS)
BME 323 Brain Disorders (6 ECTS)
BME 355 Pain - Mechanisms and Clinical Presentations (6 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