Undergraduate Course

Integrated Master in Science: Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience

Now In Clearing
Integrated Master in Science: Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience

Overview

The details
Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience
C999
October 2021
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Psychology

How do we understand relationships and interpret the behaviour of others? What drives people to act, respond, remember and recognise things in the way they do? Is it possible to predict with complete certainty how someone will behave? At Essex, satisfy your curiosity about how our mind works and what drives human behaviour.

Our Integrated Masters provides one of the most immersive and exciting experiences of studying the human mind in the UK through incorporating in-depth coverage of all areas of psychology and an exceptional understanding and practical skills in advanced research methods. This will include combining modules from existing courses and building on skills learned to an advanced level of research methods.

You’ll learn from our researchers and work together in the same space via our Research Experience Scheme (RES) which gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with a psychologist as their research assistant. Upon completion of the course you'll graduate with a Masters-level qualification, a strong theoretical background and specialist expertise through advanced independent research. This combination makes our graduates attractive candidates for many employers.

Our staff have a wide range of research interests, which means you’ll gain a critical and detailed understanding of the core areas of psychology, plus some specialisation. You’ll also learn research methods to an extent which will enable you to devise, carry out and analyse an empirical research project. Our course will equip you with a critical and detailed understanding of the core areas of psychology (development, cognitive, social, biological, personality) plus training in research methods and statistics.

Topics you’ll explore include:

  • Visual and auditory perception and cognition
  • Language, concepts, memory and attention
  • The relation between brain and behaviour
  • Developmental psychology
  • Social psychology

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 European Commission and the Leverhulme Trust.

Why we're great.
  • Fast track your degree with an Integrated Masters and you’ll complete your final year in nine months compared to a regular MSc which usually takes twelve months.
  • Our University is one of just 21 ESRC Doctoral Training Centres, enabling us to offer studentships to psychology students intending to pursue a research degree.
  • Our Centre for Brain Science is our purpose-built centre for research and houses many of our labs.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The five-year version of our Integrated Masters allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the four-year Integrated Masters.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Placement year

You can also undertake a placement year in which you gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

You’ll be 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.

The Cognitive and Sensory Neuroscience Group research projects range from 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.

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.

Specialist facilities

We are committed to giving you access to state-of-the-art facilities in higher education housed entirely within our purpose-built psychology buildings on our Colchester Campus:

  • Dedicated laboratories including a virtual reality suite and an observation suite.
  • Specialist areas to study visual and auditory perception, developmental psychology and social psychology.
  • Study the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities in infants in our Babylab which houses an observation suite, visual perception lab, cognitive perception lab, two psychoacoustic hearing labs and group testing suite to allow real-time group behavioural studies.
  • Our Centre for Brain Science contains specialist laboratories, office space for research students, and research rooms and social spaces which foster opportunities for innovation, training and collaboration.

Your future

The skills and knowledge you’ll acquire will find yourself in demand from a wide range of employers. Our graduates have been recently employed as Research Associates, Research Coordinators, Data Analyst, Lab Managers and Research and Development Companies.

We have excellent links within the research community and our Integrated Masters course is the perfect stepping stone to a PhD or clinical training. 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.

Studying an Integrated Masters demonstrates your level of commitment and advanced, in-depth knowledge in the field, showcasing you as an attractive candidate to employers. With a Masters-level qualification you’ll be equipped to pursue careers as a clinical, forensic, educational, or occupational psychologist. You could also work in related fields such as special educational needs, social work, or mental health care. Many of our graduates pursue successful careers further afield, working in areas like management, human resources, financial services, the media, information technology, and market research.

We also work with our University's Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

Specific entry requirements for this course in Clearing are not published here but for most of our degree courses you will need to hold a Level 3 qualification. If you are interested in applying and have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2021 entry and find out if you are eligible. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. The first three undergraduate years listed below are an example structure from the current academic year. Your course structure could differ from this if modules change from year-to-year. The final Masters year shows you all of the modules currently available (compulsory and optional) so you can see the breadth of what is on offer.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Discovering Psychology: The Science Behind Human Behaviour
(30 CREDITS)

From this module you will gain an introduction to some of the various sub-fields that comprise psychology. It will include lectures on topics such as sensation, perception, learning, memory, abnormal psychology, child development, language, personality and social psychology.

View Discovering Psychology: The Science Behind Human Behaviour on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Research Methods in Psychology
(30 CREDITS)

This module introduces you to the basic principles of research design, and to a variety of experimental and correlational techniques for studying behaviour. Learn to apply techniques of statistical analysis to data collected from experiments, and write laboratory reports for all the research you carry out, which will form part of your assessment.

View Research Methods in Psychology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Statistics for Psychologists
(30 CREDITS)

The main purpose of this module is to make you a better psychologist by giving you the skills to analyse and present psychological data, and to improve your ability to understand and assess the psychological research that others have carried out. Use the techniques and skills you develop in this module in the Year 1 research methods module (PS114) and throughout all three years of your degree course

View Statistics for Psychologists on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Preparing for University Psychology
(0 CREDITS)

This module will help you develop the skills and techniques you will need to get the most from your psychology degree. The module will take place during your first two weeks which means you can start applying your new knowledge and skills almost immediately. You’ll also benefit from an extra revision session at the end of the spring term

View Preparing for University Psychology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Introduction to Personal Development and Employability
(0 CREDITS)

It’s important to plan your career. This is the one of three modules that will make sure you are career ready when you leave university. You will decide on your career aspirations and goals, plan how you will achieve them and identify the resources available to help you.

View Introduction to Personal Development and Employability on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Statistics for Psychologists, 2nd Year
(30 CREDITS)

Building upon the statistics knowledge gained in your first year this module combines statistics lectures with computer workshops. You will be taught the data analysis skills and underlying principles needed to carry out a range of statistical tests. There are a number of studying formats from group and peer collaboration, observing graduate demonstrations and computer work, which will give you the opportunity to question and analyse the work you have done so far.

View Statistics for Psychologists, 2nd Year on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Brain and Behaviour
(15 CREDITS)

The brain is an extremely complex organ, and there is much that we still have to learn about its processes and functions. This module will detail the psychological mechanisms that underlie human behaviour and highlight the possibility that even our deepest thoughts and feelings arise from electrical and chemical activity in our brains.

View Brain and Behaviour on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Seeing and Hearing
(15 CREDITS)

This module will introduce you to cognitive psychology and covers major areas such as visual and auditory perception, and visual cognition. Through a series of laboratory sessions you will study the methods, theory and data underpinning our understanding of the processes involved in visual and auditory perception, and visual cognition.

View Seeing and Hearing on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Developmental Psychology
(15 CREDITS)

Explore classical and contemporary themes of child development such as prenatal and perceptual development, early language acquisition, and cognitive and social development, whilst examining the research methods and designs employed in Developmental Psychology.

View Developmental Psychology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: CORE

Social Psychology
(15 CREDITS)

Through exploring and addressing a range of theories and research on how people think and behave, you will gain a clear understanding of the topics social psychologists are interested in and their approaches to studying them.

View Social Psychology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: CORE

Personality and Individual Differences
(15 CREDITS)

An in-depth look into cognitive, trait and biological theories and approaches to personality, individual differences and intelligence. This module will also give you the opportunity to cover and debate contemporary topics in individual intelligence (such as how individual differences explain behaviours, feelings and thinking).

View Personality and Individual Differences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: CORE

Memory Attention and Language
(15 CREDITS)

Building on your knowledge from Cognitive Psychology 1, this module covers the major areas of cognitive psychology such as language, memory, and attention. You will develop your understanding of the psychological theories and data related to major areas of cognitive psychology.

View Memory Attention and Language on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Enhancing employability and career planning
(0 CREDITS)

It’s important to plan your career. This is the one of three modules that will make sure you are career ready when you leave university. You will decide on your career aspirations and goals, plan how you will achieve them and identify the resources available to help you.

View Enhancing employability and career planning on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Psychology Project
(30 CREDITS)

This module gives you the chance to utilise the statistical and research methodology which you gained during your first two years and apply it to your own original research project. You’ll submit a written report and a supporting poster which will be assessed.

View Psychology Project on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

The Neuroscience of Human Nature
(15 CREDITS)

Discover the neuroscience behind key elements of human nature. These include, understanding the faces and bodies of others, how we copy body language to show empathy and the processes that drive motivation and emotion. You will also investigate autism and schizophrenia which occur when these processes aren’t working effectively.

View The Neuroscience of Human Nature on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Advanced employability skills and career progression
(0 CREDITS)

It’s important to plan your career. This is the one of three modules that will make sure you are career ready when you leave university. You will decide on your career aspirations and goals, plan how you will achieve them and identify the resources available to help you.

View Advanced employability skills and career progression on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

PS501-6-SP or Option from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list or outside option(s)
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Fundamental Statistics for Research
(15 CREDITS)

This module provides you with a detailed overview of the most common statistical tests used by postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in psychology.

View Fundamental Statistics for Research on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Numerical Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience
(15 CREDITS)

Research in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology employs a diverse range of analytical tools and procedures. This module provides specialist Masters students with the training necessary to critically evaluate the analyses presented in published research. Additionally, you will be trained to apply numerical techniques to neuropsychological and psychophysiological data and to interpret the output of popular analysis software.

View Numerical Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Theory and Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
(30 CREDITS)

This module covers the main research areas and methods used in investigating the workings of the brain. The module will provide you with a solid background in brain structure and function both at the cellular level and the systems level. It will consider neuroscience as it relates to behaviour by asking how mental processes such as perception, attention, movement, emotion, higher cognitive functions and sexual orientation are implemented within the brain and body. This module also seeks to familiarise you with most of the present-day methods used in cognitive neuroscience and to provide practical experience of some of these methodologies: EEG, ERPs, TMS, tDCS, eye-tracking, pupilometry, NIRS and other psychophysiological measures (skin conductance, heart rate, respiration rate, plethysmography etc) and their combination.

View Theory and Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Neurocognition of Human Interaction
(15 CREDITS)

Gain an in-depth introduction to the major topics in neurocognition of language. By critically analysing a range of research and methodologies used to study brain processes, you will acquire an advanced understanding of the brain bases of language, and of the neurocognitive processes that underlie human communication.

View Neurocognition of Human Interaction on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Option(s) from list
(45 CREDITS)

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the four-year Integrated Masters.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the four-year Integrated Masters.

Teaching

  • We combine small and large-group teaching with regular laboratory-based research exercises.
  • 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

  • Your assessment is based on written essays, practical lab reports, and examinations incorporating a range of core and specialist topics and a dissertation.
  • You will also complete a supervised research project and research placement with practical classes and tutorials.

Dissertation

  • An original psychological study carried out under the supervision of a staff member.
  • Maximum of 10,000 words, written up as a research report.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250

International fee

£19,080

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have 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

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, August 14, 2021
  • Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision. There’s no need to call us to apply; just do it all online.

Find out more about Clearing

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
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