2020 applicants
Postgraduate Course

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

Overview

The details
Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
October 2020
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
Psychology

Studying both cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology will give a thorough grounding in the scientific investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying human behaviour and the effects of brain injury on cognitive function. You will be taught the theoretical and biological foundations of cognitive science, and undertake advanced training in statistics and neuropsychological research methods.

Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific study of biological substrates underlying cognition, with a focus on the neural substrates of mental processes. It is a branch of both psychology and neuroscience, overlapping with disciplines such as biological psychology, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. Cognitive neuropsychology uses data from single cases of individuals with brain injury or neurological illness to refine theoretical models of cognitive processing.

You explore topics including:

  • The physiological bases and practical applications of cognitive neuroscience techniques
  • How brain activity translates into cognitive processes
  • The theoretical and biological foundations of cognitive science
  • How brain damages impact on cognitive functions
  • Cognitive neuroscience of language
  • Cognitive neuropsychology of reading and face processing

Our research is challenging and ground-breaking, rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We are supported by some of the most prestigious funding bodies, including the ESRC, European Commission and the Leverhulme Trust.

We are a warm and friendly Department, and we wish to welcome recent graduates of psychology (or a closely related subject such as cognitive science). This course is popular with international students (particularly those from North America). Our students receive a high quality Masters degree within one year and benefit from small class sizes and strong research training.

Why we're great.
  • Develop expert knowledge of both neuroscience and neuropsychology
  • Gain full use of neurophysiological and neurostimulation facilities, our virtual reality suites, babylab and observation suites and eye-tracking labs
  • We are ranked top 15 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014)
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

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, reading development in different writing systems, and improvements in the usability and design of transport maps.

The Cognitive and Sensory Neuroscience Group research brain function and human behaviour. Recently they have been working on projects on the neural processes underlying sensory and multi-sensory processing, awareness of body sensations, empathy, perspective taking, social communication, and language production.

Students are taught by our award-winning teachers and administrative staff and researchers who are international experts in their own research areas. Our department is expanding, and has recently appointed a number of excellent researchers whose expertise increases the diversity and depth of our skills base.

Specialist facilities

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:

  • Several systems to record and alter brain activity including, near infrared spectroscopy, electroencephalography, transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, transcranial alternate current stimulation and transcranial random noise stimulation
  • Neuronavigation systems
  • Dedicated laboratories including a virtual reality suite and an observation suite
  • 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.

Your future

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 MSc graduates have been employed as Research Associates, Research Coordinators, Data Analyst, Lab Managers and Research and Development Companies. The course also may be taken prior to a PhD or Clinical Training.

We also have excellent links with the research community; we are recognised by the ESRC as providing excellent postgraduate training and are an accredited Doctorial 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.

"Since graduating from Essex I have been working for a biotechnology company called IXICO as an associate image analyst. I analyse and quality-check brain images of individuals with neurological and neurodegenerative diseases who are undergoing clinical trials, as well as setting up MRI scanners around the world making sure they scan patients in a safe way."

Sammy Shittu, MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology, 2019

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2.2 degree in Psychology, Cognitive Science or a related subject .

If you hold a degree in Psychology it would be preferable, though not essential, if this was British Psychological Society accredited.

Applications from students with a degree below a 2:2 or equivalent will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language 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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

Research Project (MSc)

In this module you complete a research dissertation with a maximum of 10,000 words, written up as a report. You have a lot of flexibility as there are a wide variety of topics that you can choose to research. You report on the results of an original psychological research study carried out under the supervision of a staff member. A good research report will look like a psychology study reported in a peer-reviewed journal (such as Cognitive Neuropsychology, or Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology).

View Research Project (MSc) on our Module Directory

Research Methods & Statistics in Cognitive Neuropsychology & Neuroscience
Theory and Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
Research Management (optional)

Knowing how to manage your research effectively will be invaluable when producing quality work throughout your course. This module will teach you how to critically review existing literature, communicate effectively to a scientific audience and take into account ethical issues. You’ll then have the opportunity to put this into practice, preparing your own presentations and research proposal

View Research Management (optional) on our Module Directory

Critical Literature Review (optional)

Examine at an advanced level, the in-depth understanding of theoretically influential papers within a chosen specialised area of psychology. You will develop a critical awareness of advanced theoretical ideas in relation to a background of empirical knowledge, as well as refining your written articulation and critiquing skills.

View Critical Literature Review (optional) on our Module Directory

Special Topics in Social Psychology (optional)

An advanced survey of major topics in contemporary experimental social psychology. Provide critical analysis of the relevant theory and research including: motivation, emotion, self and identity, intergroup bias, automaticity, existential psychology, social justice, evolutionary psychology and health.

View Special Topics in Social Psychology (optional) on our Module Directory

Special Topics in Individual Differences and Developmental Psychology (optional)

Be inspired by the current research of the academics in your department, and examine major contemporary topics in individual differences and developmental psychology. In doing so, you’ll gain an insight into the major unresolved questions and controversies in the field, as well as the opportunity to engage critically and scientifically with relevant theory and research, in preparation for the research project module.

View Special Topics in Individual Differences and Developmental Psychology (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching

Your modules are taught through lectures, laboratory practicals, seminars, independent reading and research projects and we host a very active programme of research seminars.

Assessment

Full-year modules are most often examined using a three-hour examination, and half-year modules by a combination of two-hour examination and coursework (e.g., essays, oral presentations).

Dissertation

A research study in cognitive neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience or neuroscience of language carried out under the supervision of a staff member (maximum of 10,000 words, written up as a research report).

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£8,340

International fee

£17,900

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2020 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 19, 2020
  • Saturday, October 24, 2020

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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