So...What's Being a Neuroscientist Really Like? Read Here!

For many of you aspiring medics out there, a career in neuroscience may be something that you have never really considered. If that is the case, then read on! I’m Dhruv and I’m currently a second year Neuroscience student at Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry!

Some of you may be wondering what exactly studying neuroscience involves. In short, you study everything to do with the brain, whether that is looking at the anatomy of different parts of the brain and their functions, the diseases associated with the brain or certain systems within. In a nutshell, there is a LOT to know! As well as lectures, I am frequently in labs and small group sessions (where I learn about the drugs that target the nervous system and the mechanisms by which they work).

Many neuroscience students go on to pursue a career in research, where they may devote their time to exploring anything from cellular and molecular neuroscience, to computational neuroscience and translational/ clinical neuroscience. To help assist their research, you may end up obtaining a MSc or a PhD after you complete your undergraduate course, before completing further research. However, if you don’t get into medicine on your first attempt, you may choose to study neuroscience, as you’d be learning more about the brain (which is an important part of the body!), whilst gaining a solid foundation of understanding clinical science, so that you can later apply to graduate entry medicine.

The course is 3 years long and is accredited by the Institute of neurology at the university you choose to attend. Although this is pretty much a science degree where people have careers in academia, clinical science, medicine, neurophysiology etc, a degree in neuroscience can also open up opportunities for a career in the media, in business and public engagement.

As mentioned earlier, some students studying neuroscience go on to study graduate entry medicine. I applied to study Medicine, and despite having the grades to study at some great universities in the UK, I was unsuccessful on my first attempt. Nonetheless, neuroscience has given me more experience in certain fields that I may want to pursue as a doctor and has made me a better scientist as well.

A day in the life of a Neuroscience student consists of a 9am start, with 2 or three lectures in the morning, finishing at 1pm. After lunch is over, there will be labs and workshops throughout the day until 4pm, where there may be one more lecture. The content is quite heavy and requires you to keep up with work as you get it, so that you stay on top of it all (similar with most health courses, I imagine!)

I would definitely recommend studying Neuroscience, I never knew that you could learn so much about the brain; a degree that will shape you, teach you so much and give you a head start if you want to study medicine in the future :)

Do you have any questions about a degree in neuroscience? Contact us via www.Step2Med.co.uk, or feel free to contact Dhruv by dropping him an email! dhruvsoni1299@gmail.com

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