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Careers and the brain


So you want to be a brain scientist?
The brain is involved in everything we do: the thoughts we have, the movements we make, the things we sense. Scientists studying the brain are helping to unravel the mysteries of this complex organ.



Most people involved in the scientific investigation of the nervous system regard themselves as neuroscientists. Scientists are currently trying to understand the brain at every level, from individual neurons to the whole system itself, but there is still much we don't understand. How does our memory work? Why do we dream? What is consciousness? What happens when brains work differently?

Brain science is an exploding subject. It has experienced a rapid increase of interest and support over the last 15 years.

The number of universities offering neuroscience courses has increased from 3 in 1989 to over 30 now. Most UK Universities offer courses in neuroscience, some at BSc or MSc level.

For more information on careers in neuroscience, follow this link to the British Neuroscience Association careers page.



Psychology is the study of people: how they think, how they act, how they react and interact. Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts, feelings and motivation underlying our behaviour.

Psychology is one of the fastest growing university subjects and is becoming more and more available in schools and colleges. Media interest is strong, and the subject and its applications regularly find their way onto prime-time radio and television.




Psychology can be studied at school or college at GCSE, AS-level, A2 level, A Level or Scottish Highers, or as SCOTVEC modules leading to GNVQs.

A or AS-level psychology is not usually required for entry to a degree course, but many students may find is useful.

Follow this link to the British Psychology Society website for more information on courses and careers in psychology.


If you are interested in the brain and research the University Central Admissions Service can give you more information on specific universities, colleges and courses.

If you are interested in supporting technical roles visit or


Feeling inspired? Meet some individuals who work in all aspects of brain science.