Which is better neuroscience or psychology

How does dementia develop? Why do emotional advertising messages influence our purchasing decisions? And what actually happens in the head when we dream? Would you like to get to know the brain inside out and follow in the footsteps of Amy Farrah Fowler 👩🏻‍🔬 from Big Bang Theory? Anyone who is keenly interested in the brain, its nerve cells and their functions should take a look at neurosciences (or rather the brain 😜).


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Fascination with memory and nerves: Interest in researching intellectual abilities is growing steadily

1. Frequently asked questions




2. What can you expect from studying neuroscience?

The neurosciences are still a relatively young discipline as an independent subject. The subject gained its popularity due to various factors:
  • More and more people are interested in intellectual abilities (or their analysis)
  • Modern imaging methods made it possible to understand brain function
  • Diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are on the rise - due to demographic change - which is why the findings of brain research are of immense importance.
Unite the neurosciences Biology, medicine, psychology and technology and are divided into four areas:
  • Neurobiology: This is about the molecular and cell biological basics of neuroscience. You deal in detail with the structure of nerve cells and the nervous system.
  • Neurophysiology: In neurophysiology, the functioning or the physical structure of the central and peripheral nervous system is examined.
  • Neuropsychology / Cognitive Neuroscience / Neuropsychoanalysis: In neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, the psychological performance of the brain in particular is examined: e.g. the ability to think, attention, memory, motor skills or language skills. In particular, the focus is on deficits. Neuropsychoanalysis combines psychoanalytic knowledge with neuroscience. Central questions are: How do people feel? How do you act? Why do they act the way they act?
  • Clinical-medical subjects: Within these subjects, you mainly deal with diseases of the brain (e.g. Alzheimer's) as well as their diagnoses and therapy.

What to bring:

We assume a basic interest in brain research, and you shouldn't be afraid of physics, biology and chemistry.

Unfortunately in neuroscience still a lot on the animal model researched - you should know this before you start studying.

Since the subject is still so young and very research-oriented, it will almost exclusively as a master offered. This is often found completely or at least partially English instead of.



3. Duration of neuroscience studies and degrees

Neuroscience is offered as a master’s degree. The Master of Science can in 4 semesters to be completed, where 120 credits must be provided.

In order to be able to study such a master’s degree at a later date, a related course of study must usually be studied in the bachelor’s program. The exact conditions and requirements for admission can vary from university to university. Inquire early if such a master is your goal!

Neuroscience: duration of study (standard period of study)
master3 - 4 semesters

Forms of study in neuroscience

The classic form of neuroscience studies is full-time face-to-face studies. You study full-time at a university where you go to events (lectures, exercises, tutorials, depending on the subject, also projects, laboratory, etc.) and where the exams take place. Full-time means roughly 40 hours / week, whereby in reality there are usually phases with less time expenditure compared to others (especially before larger exams) in which more time per week is spent studying.

Neuroscience can be studied part-time. This can be useful if you have already completed an apprenticeship and - perhaps even with the support of your employer - want to expand your knowledge.




4. Admission requirements for a neuroscience master's

To start a Neuroscience Masters, you don't necessarily have to have a Neuroscience Bachelor's degree. Since there are only two Bachelor's degree programs in Germany and the number of study places is very limited, this would hardly be possible.

It is more common for a master's degree in neuroscience to be preceded by a bachelor's degree in another course of study - usually in one of the natural sciences of biology, chemistry or physics. Depending on the orientation of the course for which you want to apply, admission is also possible with degrees from the following areas, as long as they are relevant for the desired master’s course: In addition, proof is often required that a certain number of credit points in another relevant field for the master’s course has been provided, e.g. biochemistry, biophysics or molecular biology.


5. What does studying cost?

Total cost of living

During a neuroscience degree you need a financial basis for accommodation at the place of study, for food, clothing, travel expenses, telephone & internet as well as books & workbooks. Depending on the location and your own thrift, the monthly expenses between € 630 and over € 1,500. On average, students now spend over € 850 a month.

Munich is the front runner in terms of rents and the cost of living per se, but Frankfurt / Main, Hamburg, Cologne and increasingly Berlin are also well above average. It is cheaper to live in smaller cities away from the metropolises, especially in the new federal states.

Main cost: rent

The Rent for a room in a flat share, depending on the city 269 ​​euros and 585 euros (2018 values ​​plus five percent). Since the 2019/20 winter semester, thanks to the 26th BAföG Amendment Act, the rental fee has been at least € 325. Despite the increase, this amount is not enough in many cities to cover the costs of a room in a shared apartment or even an apartment.


Costs depending on location and personal situation

There is another half-yearly for the course Semester fee to pay. This enables cheaper cafeteria prices, for example. In some study cities, a semester ticket for local public transport is included, which increases the semester fee, but is significantly cheaper than other season tickets for the respective transport association. There are also student bicycle workshops at some of the larger universities.

Health insurance costs must be taken into account if family insurance through the parents is no longer possible.


Do I have to pay tuition fees to study neuroscience?

Practically all bachelor's and consecutive masters can attend state universities without tuition fees to be started. Consecutive Master’s degrees follow a bachelor’s degree in the same subject (or at least a similar one) and do not require any professional experience. In some federal states, however, a long course or a second course is subject to a fee. The same applies to the extra-occupational Bachelor's degrees, which have so far been rare at state universities.



6. How can I pay for my neuroscience degree?

Parental support

A job of yours parents is it to give you one adequate professional training to enable. This also includes you during your studies financially or with board and lodging to help out. The decision as to whether it should be a degree and which subject is primarily up to you, if your school leaving certificate enables you to take this path. The state supports your parents with child benefit, among other things, which in exceptional cases can also be paid out directly to you.

If your parents have little income or are no longer obliged to support them, BAföG comes into play.


BAföG benefits: it pays to apply

BAföG intended for students step in when your parents - from the point of view of the law - have too little incomein order to provide sufficient support for the (planned) studies. If you are under 30 years of age and have not started any vocational training, BAföG is usually safe for your studies - otherwise check your BAföG entitlement. With our BAföG calculator you can calculate the amount of your BAföG.

Student BAföG is a social benefit, of which a maximum of 50 percent must be paid back. The BAföG repayment is limited to € 10,010, starts only years later and only if enough is earned. Have you already completed an apprenticeship and then worked for several years and in a few other exceptional cases you could even do it Parent-independent BAföG give for you.


Scholarships for studying neuroscience

Scholarships are available to a much smaller group than BAföG. Greatest advantage: Received through grants Funding is given. Often there is also one ideal support. In order to apply for a scholarship, a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, recommendations and certificates are usually required. You can only be suggested for a few scholarships.

The major student funding agencies award scholarships according to BAföG rules (i.e. depending on the parents' income). In addition, there are 300 euros “book money” per month for everyone. The application process begins at least six months in advance.

In addition to the large student funding agencies, there are also many other foundationswho each award a few (or really only individual) scholarships. Such small foundations are often very persistent special funding purposes, so that not always just performance is crucial.

For Stays abroad during your studies there can be funding in the form of ERASMUS grants or through the DAAD.


Jobs as a student trainee / mini job / self-employed

Most students work at least part of the time during their studies, often as Mini jobbers or as Working student. Working hours are allowed during the lecture period 20 hours per week do not exceed.

BAföG will be offset if your average earnings are over 450 euros in the month. In contrast to tax, the decisive factor is not the calendar year, but the period in which the BAföG is granted.

Special features apply if you are self-employed as a student.


State education loan and other options

There is the for students in higher semesters or in the Master’s program state education loan with low interest rates and a payout of up to 300 euros / month for at most two years.

A student loan (or an education fund), on the other hand, should only be considered as a last resort if the cheaper options are insufficient or if, for example, at the end of your studies you should be able to concentrate on studying without a job.

If you have already reached the last semesters of your studies, can possibly - especially in social emergencies - also a Graduation loan or bridging loans are possible. Do not be afraid to inquire and - if possible for you - to take advantage of one. The conditions are much better than for educational loans or even student loans!



We have collected all the relevant sources of funding for your studies: BAföG, educational loans, jobs, child benefits, scholarships, student loans, parental support and much more



7. Salary of neuroscience graduates

Salary in € Master / Diploma FH
Ø Specialist group natural sciences and mathematics; Survey: DZHW.
As an approximation, we give salary values ​​for neuroscientists with a master's degree or diploma. The Starting salary is over € 34,000, the number refers to science and math graduates.

Five years after graduation puts on the annual salary 47.240 € to (numbers for biology). 10 years after graduation it is enclosed 60.740 €.

As with many interdisciplinary courses, the possible employment opportunities for neuroscience graduates are diverse - but also the possible differences in salary. As in practically all salary information, the following applies: Depending on the specific position in the company, industry, size of the company, place of employment and much more, concrete salaries differ more or less strongly from average figures.

Source: DZHW graduate surveys. All salaries for full-time employees including bonuses, rounded to the nearest hundred. Starting salary as of 2013. Salary after 5 years as of 2014. Salary after 10 years as of 2015. Surcharges for 5/10 years self-estimated.


For all departments and many degree programs, details on the salary prospects for starting a career and five and 10 years later



8. Career prospects

As a graduate in Neuroscience, there is a high likelihood that you will later find yourself in the research become active. For this, however, a doctorate is usually required. But of course other areas are also open to you. Here is an overview of possible fields of work:
  • science
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Medical technology
  • clinical research
  • scientific publishing
Getting a taste of possible fields of work at an early stage - e.g. through an internship - is highly recommended. Contacts are also important in science - and staying power!


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