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Neuroscience is all about understanding how the brain and wider nervous system works, and is one of the fastest growing areas of science

Neuroscientists 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.

The University of Otago is the only New Zealand university to offer an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Neuroscience

What papers should I enrol in?

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Neuroscience is made up of twenty papers with at least 10 papers required above 100-level.

Required papers

Six papers are required: three at 100-level and three at 200-level. See blue boxes in Subject requirements diagram.

Chosen papers

Six papers are optional but must come from prescribed lists. See yellow grouped papers in Subject requirements diagram.
Note: at least one of CHEM191 or PHSI 191 at 100-level must be included (hatched blue boxes in Subject requirements diagram).

Additional papers

Of the remaining eight papers, three must be at 200-level or above and up to five can be taken outside of Sciences.
Note: if you intend to continue with your study by doing a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience, you need to take five papers at 300-level.

  • The additional eight papers you choose will depend on your specific interests. If you want to select papers that are within a field of Neuroscience, some suggestions are listed in the Optional papers list.
  • Also included are a list of Māori-focused papers you may wish to consider. These papers will increase your cultural understanding which is important for all University graduates in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • In each case, you still need to ensure that you meet the paper's entry prerequisites, and you still need to ensure that your chosen papers can be satisfactorily timetabled.

Diagram of the major subject requirements for the BSc majoring in Neuroscience (PDF)

Optional papers according to fields of study in Neuroscience (PDF)

Find out more about studying Neuroscience

Explore career opportunities, minor subject requirements and available papers

If you have any questions or need course advice, please contact Student Development.

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