About the course
Cognitive neuropsychology is a branch of cognitive psychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relates to specific psychological processes. It places a particular emphasis on studying the cognitive effects of brain injury and neurological illness with a view to inferring models of normal cognitive functioning.
Evidence is based on case studies of individual brain damaged patients who show deficits in specific brain areas and from patients who exhibit double dissociations between cognitive impairments. From these studies, and from studies of functional brain imaging, researchers can infer the components of the cognitive system that are responsible for our ability to remember, perceive and communicate.
Our MSc Cognitive Neuropsychology provides you with an advanced education in the core areas of cognitive neuropsychological research, plus knowledge of appropriate statistical methodology and neuropsychological research methods. You study topics including:
- Brain structure and function at the molecular and cellular levels
- The cognitive processing of words
- Psychology in the real world
- Visual attention
Our research is challenging and ground-breaking, with 90% rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us in the top 15 in the UK. We are supported by some of the most prestigious funding bodies, including the European Commission and the Leverhulme Trust.
We are a warm and friendly Department, and we wish to welcome both recent graduates of psychology (or a related subject), and mature students who may wish to upgrade their qualifications, refresh their CV, or return to academic study after a period of time away from education.
Our expert staff
Our academic staff include award-winning teachers and prize-winning researchers who are international experts in their own research areas.
The Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Group are researching attention, language, decision-making, and memory. Recent projects have investigated the psychology of energy reduction, the enhancement of human memory through technology, and improvements in the usability and design of transport maps.
The Social and Health Psychology Group work on motivations, needs, intercultural contact, and sexual attraction. Recent projects include the impacts of living and studying abroad, and how personal relative deprivation is linked to problem gambling.
The Cognitive and Sensory Neuroscience Group research brain function and human behaviour. Recently they have been working on projects on the neural processes underlying language production, how motivations are communicated through tone of voice, and how the brain performs 3D vision. They previously developed the BioAid mobile phone app that turns an iPhone into a biologically inspired hearing aid.
Our department is expanding, and has recently appointed a number of excellent researchers whose expertise increases the diversity and depth of our skills base.
We are committed to giving you the best access to state-of-the-art facilities in higher education, housed entirely within our purpose-built psychology building on our Colchester Campus:
- Dedicated laboratories including a virtual reality suite and an observation suite
- Specialist areas for experimental psychology, visual and auditory perception, developmental psychology and social psychology
- Study the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities in infants in our Babylab
- Our multimillion pound Centre for Brain Science (CBS) contains specialist laboratories, office space for research students, and research rooms and social spaces which foster opportunities for innovation, training, and collaboration
With the skills and knowledge you acquire from studying within our Department of Psychology, you will find yourself in demand from a wide range of employers.
Our graduates have been employed in clinical psychology, educational psychology, criminal and forensic psychology.
We also have excellent links with the research community; we are recognised by the ESRC as providing excellent postgraduate training and are an accredited Doctoral Training Centre, offering several studentships.
Our recent PhD students have taken up post-doctoral positions in other top UK universities and international universities (in the US, Italy and Australia), as well as being appointed to lectureships.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
This module is your chance to investigate the main research areas and methods used in investigating how the brain works. It asks difficult questions such as how mental processes like perception, memory, language and emotion are implemented within the brain and will provide a solid background in brain structure at a molecular and cellular level.
This module will revise the group data analysis techniques used for research in cognitive neuropsychology. It will also explore and evaluate some of the problems that occur in single case designs.
Become familiar with most of the present-day methods used in Cognitive Neuroscience. Through hands on experience you will gain a practical knowledge of the methods used at Essex (such as eye tracking) and be exposed to career opportunities available within the field of Cognitive Neuroscience.
- Your modules are taught through lectures, laboratory practicals, tutorials, seminars, fieldwork, independent reading and research projects
- We host a very active programme of research seminars
- Full-year modules are most often examined using a three-hour examination, and half-year modules by a two-hour examination
- An original psychological study carried out under the supervision of a staff member
- Maximum of 10,000 words, written up as a research report
UK entry requirements
You need a first, upper second or high lower second class honour degree, or equivalent, in psychology or a related subject.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.