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Social Cognition: Research and Applications MSc

This MSc focuses on how individuals construe the social world and the processes that underlie social judgment and behaviour. The programme draws on the research of outstanding academic staff working in the areas of social psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science to provide unique, cutting-edge perspectives on humans as social beings.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,645 (PT)
£23,710 (FT) £11,800 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 14 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Students are expected to have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. However, very good candidates in related areas, such as management, sociology, or communication sciences, will also be considered. Students should be prepared for the mathematical component contained in the MSc-level Research Statistics module.

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

The programme provides an understanding of how the human emotional, cognitive and neural systems have evolved to sustain social coordination and adaptation to the environment. Key topics include: social perception, motivation, attitudes, embodiment, emotion, social judgment and decision making, and social neuroscience.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Understanding Individuals and Groups
  • Social Cognition, Affect, and Motivation
  • Current Issues in Attitude Research
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Research Statistics
  • Social Cognition: Research Methods

Optional modules

Options may include the following:

  • Knowledge, Learning, and Inference
  • Applied Decision-making
  • Principles of Cognition
  • Human Learning and Memory
  • Social Psychology
  • The Psychology of Health
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Consulting Psychology
  • Business Psychology Seminars
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Elaborative and Adaptive Processes
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience III: Translational Research
  • The Brain in Action
  • Programming for Cognitive Science
  • Judgment and Decision-making
  • Talent Management
  • Judgment and Decision-making


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, tutorials and seminars. The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences has advanced technology for the study of socio-cognitive processes, including fMRI, eye-, speech- and motion tracking equipment for dyadic and group settings, as well as a 360o video camera. Assessment is through coursework, online assessment and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social Cognition: Research and Applications MSc


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates have taken up positions in research, marketing, teaching, and management consultancy.

For more detailed careers information please visit the department website.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Business Director, Mindshare
  • University Lecturer, Northumbria University and studying PhD Self-perception, Northumbria University
  • Marketing Director, Evolution Ticno
  • Market Researcher, Carnegie Consulting
  • Research Consultant, Behaviour Change Partners


On completion of this programme students will have acquired an understanding of the processes involved in the construction of the social reality, in particular how cognitive and affective processes guide social judgement and behaviour, and how these processes are implemented in the brain. The students will have acquired methodological skills to design and carry out socio-cognitive research which will enable them to address real-world social problems and/or pursue an academic career. In addition, they will have acquired knowledge related to theoretical and philosophical issues underlying psychological research.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language.

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, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Student / staff numbers › 185 staff including 129 postdocs › 635 taught students › 477 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"The system of learning and/or researching at UCL is unique in that we are given the flexibility to choose our own speciality within the programme we pursue. With a vast number of notable academics, students are assured that their learning is supervised by experts in their chosen field of study. In addition to this, the university encourages us to expand our reach by applying our skills and knowledge to other domains. "

Abegail Tan

Social Cognition: Research and Applications

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?

Social cognition is a rapidly developing domain with implications for many areas of psychology - clinical, cross-cultural, health, consumer, educational, organisational, and political - and the programme will appeal to students with a background in these areas and an interest in social judgement and behaviour.

Application deadlines

All applicants
14 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Social Cognition at graduate level
  • why you want to study Social Cognition at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

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

Page last modified on 27 October 2016 at 11:10 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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