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Cognitive Neuroscience MSc

The Cognitive Neuroscience MSc at UCL is a research-led, state-of-the-art degree programme on mental processes in the human brain. The programme brings together some of the world's leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£10,130 (FT) £5,195 (PT)
£24,400 (FT) £12,310 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

Students learn about the relationship between the mind and the brain in patients and healthy individuals, alongside the ideas, methodology, and current state of knowledge in cognitive neuroscience. They receive case demonstrations of brain-damaged patients, insights into transcranial magnetic and direct current stimulation, and experience with functional neuroimaging techniques.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Communication Skills in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience I: Fundamental Processes
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Elaborative and Adaptive Processes
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience III: Translational Research
  • Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience I: Lesion Approaches
  • Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Neuroimaging
  • Research Methods (Statistics)
  • Structure and Function of the Brain


  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


All students undertake an empirical research project in the area of cognitive neuroscience, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, problem classes, laboratory classes and student presentations. Depending on the chosen taught modules, it includes case demonstrations of neuropsychological patients, hands-on experience with the analysis of neuroimaging data, critical analyses of published scientific papers, and discussion seminars. Assessment is through examinations, essays, practical exercises, reports and the the research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Cognitive Neuroscience MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The MRes is a very selective programme that develops key research skills in the field of cognitive neuroscience and serves as a basis for PhD study in an academic setting or a research career in industry or business. The MRes also promotes key skills that prepare students for more general careers in clinical psychology, marketing, teaching, and consultancy. The first cohort of students on the Cognitive Neuroscience MRes graduated in 2013, therefore very limited information on specific graduate destinations is currently available.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • PhD student, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (2014)
  • Research Assistant, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (2014)
  • PhD Student, University of Utrecht (2014)
  • Assistant Clinical Psychologist, National Hospital for Neurology (2014)
  • Research Assistant, University of California (2011)


Students will have the opportunity to study and conduct cutting-edge research alongside some of the leading researchers in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Students will be immersed in this research environment and will learn directly from experts in the field rather than just text books.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is among the principal research centres in the world in this area and offers an ideal environment to study cognitive neuroscience.

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

Student / staff ratios › 304 staff including 129 postdocs › 741 taught students › 439 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Staff review

"One of the most beneficial aspects of being at UCL is having access to an incredible diversity of talent and expertise in virtually every field of enquiry. In my own area of neuroscience, there are over 700 neuroscientists concentrated within a small area."

Professor Faraneh Vargha-Khadem

Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychology MSc, Cognitive Neuroscience MSc, Speech and Language Sciences MSc
Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Staff review

"UCL is a fantastic place to work and study, and it is a world leader in cognitive neuroscience."

Professor Sophie Scott

Cognitive Neuroscience MSc
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow
Staff review

"The Master's in Cognitive Neuroscience at the ICN is a terrific opportunity to study how the brain works within a world-class research environment."

Professor Neil Burgess

Cognitive Neuroscience MSc
Professor of Cognitive & Computational Neuroscience

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of the applicant's degree and degree institution; the quality of the references; the relevant skills and experience; the quality of the personal statement; the suitability of the applicant's career plans.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016
Applications will close once all places on the programme have been filled.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would therefore like to learn via your personal statement:
  • why you want to study Cognitive Neuroscience at graduate level
  • why you want to study Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL
  • which module (s) on the Cognitive Neuroscience programme interest you most and why
  • if you have a particular research project in mind
  • your knowledge and interest in the subject demonstrated by briefly discussing a specific book or article that you have read that aroused your interest in the topic of cognitive neuroscience
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • how completion of the Cognitive Neuroscience MSc will help you obtain your short- and long-term career goals
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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