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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

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£23,020 (FT) £11,460 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 14 June 2016

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


  • Options may include the following:
  • Knowledge, Learning, and Inference
  • Applied Decision-making
  • Principles of Cognition
  • Human Learning and Memory
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology and Education
  • The Psychology of Health
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Multimodal Communication and Cognition
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Consulting Psychology
  • Business Psychology Seminars
  • Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Neuroimaging
  • 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


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 available on the department web site Social Cognition: Research and Applications 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.


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

  • Global Director of Food Choice Architecture, Google with Bon Apetit Food Management Company (2013)
  • Major Incident Room, Metropolitan Police (2012)
  • Project Associate, Development and Behavioural Economics research projects in India (2013)


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.

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.

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

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Student review

"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 most areas of psychology (e.g. clinical psychology, cross-cultural psychology, health psychology, consumer psychology, educational psychology, organisational psychology, political psychology) 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 June 2016

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.


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

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