Institut für Neurobiologie

Required Modules

Three courses as mandatory when pursuing the Master in Neurobiology program. Two of these are in the first semester and teach the fundamentals we regard as essential for every sucessful student in this program. The third, the "Grosspraktikum",  and takes place in the third semester and consist of hands-on laboratory work.

1st semester

In the first semester these are the Integrative Neurobiology (lecture plus tutorial) and the Introduction to Scientific Computing and Statistics (lecture plus exercises).

3rd semester

The Research Lab Course in Neurobiology (Grosspraktikum) offers the opportunity to visit four different laboratories and work on current research topics before deciding where to do the Master's thesis.


Integrative Neurobiology

(Arrenberg, Benda, Mallot, Nieder, Ostwald, Volkmer; 12 ECTS)

This module consist of three parallel lectures and a tutorial.

  • Integrative Neurobiology: Cellular & Molecular (lecture)
    Fundamental topics of cellular and molecular neurobiology are introduced in this lecture. A special focus is on ionic currents, equilibrium potentials, time-scales and filter properties.
    (Arrenberg, Benda, Volkmer)
  • Integrative Neurobiology: System (lecture)
    (Ostwald, Nieder)
  • Integrative Neurobiology: Behaviour & Cognition (lecture)
  • Tutorial: Integrative Neurobiology
    Exercises and overarching discussions related to the topics introduced in the lectures.
    (Benda, Mallot)


Introduction to Scientific Computing and Statistics

(Benda, Grewe, Pilz; 9 ECTS)

Automatized handling and analysis of neurobiological data is an integral part of neuroscientific research. Running computer controlled experiments, handling and analyses of large amounts of recorded data, the implementation of models requires skills in high-level programming languages (such as Python or Matlab) and statistics tools.

This module teaches:

  • how to perform data analyses with Matlab.
  • how to convert a scientific question into an algorithm.
  • how to visualize scientific data.
  • how to perform automatized analysis of large datasets.
  • the foundations of biostatistics.
  • how to work with an up-to-date statistics tool (JMP).

Research Lab Course in Neurobiology (Grosspraktikum)

(Westendorff, and many more; 30 ECTS)

The "Grosspraktikum Neurobiology" is a unique and central course covering the full 3rd semester. In four blocks of three weeks students work in small groups in different laboratories at the Institute for Neurobiology and beyond.

Students can select from about 20 courses offered by the participating groups. The work is often related to the current research topics in the respective laboratories. With this the Grosspraktikum Neurobiolgy offers a solid basis for deciding on the topic of the Master's thesis which is scheduled for the 4th semester.