UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


MRes Cognitive Neuroscience

There is increasing international demand for high-quality research training on mental processes in the healthy and diseased human brain. This MRes brings together some of the world's leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology, offering students an ideal environment to prepare for independent research careers in this fast-developing field.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022

Modes and duration
Full time: 1 year

The programme is only available in full-time mode of study.

Tuition Fees (2022/23)
£12,550 (FT) 
£30,270 (FT) 
Application deadlines
All applicants
Open: 18 October 2021
Close: 31 March 2022

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

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.


Key Information

Programme starts

September 2021

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Why study this degree at UCL?


The UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICN) is among the principal research centres in the world in this area and offers an ideal environment to study the subject.


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.

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Student / staff ratios › 181 staff including 173 postdocs › 780 taught students › 440 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.



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. In addition to specialised, research-oriented training, the programme develops key transferable skills. These include project management, logical thinking, oral and written communication, and independent learning. The MRes has a greater emphasis on the research project than the Cognitive Neuroscience MSc. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.


The programme consists of two key skills modules (30 credits), two optional modules (one from Group One and one from Group Two to a total value of 30 credits) and a substantial research project (120 credits).

Core modules
  • Key Skills Module: Statistics in Psychology
  • Key Skills Module: Communication Skills in Cognitive Neuroscience
Optional modules

Students choose one optional module from group one* and one module from group two**

  • Structure and Function of the Brain*
  • Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: Neuropsychology*
  • Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: Neuroimaging*
  • Designing and Analysing fMRI Experiments*
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience: Fundamental Processes**
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience: Elaborative and Adaptive Processes**
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience: Translational Research**


All students undertake an empirical research project in the area of cognitive neuroscience, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–17,000 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 optional 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 research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Cognitive Neuroscience MRes


Programme Directors: Dr Leun Otten 

Programme Administrator: Safia Chaudhary

The programme is taught by experts in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology from centres such as the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Birkbeck-UCL Centre for Neuroimaging, Wellcome Trust Centre for Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, Institute of Child Health, and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.



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?


The programme is suitable for students with a background in a relevant scientific discipline, such as psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, biomedical science, philosophy, natural sciences, anatomy, medicine, speech sciences, physiology, cognitive science, or computer science, or for those with at least three years' relevant experience in a medical, neuroimaging, or neuropsychological profession. Candidates for the MRes programme ideally have some previous research experience and should be able to demonstrate that they have the required skills to conduct a large research project. The programme is not designed to teach students how to conduct research.

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
31 March 2022

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 MRes 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.






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.

Recent career destinations for this degree
  • MPhil/PhD at the Institute of Neurology, UCL
  • Proofreader, Akademie věd České republiky (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • DPhil in Psychiatry, University of Oxford
  • PhD in Psychology, Cardiff University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)


Students 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.


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 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.



Application and next steps

Contact Information

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

Register your interest

For MRes FAQ's please visit the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience MRes website.

For full details visit the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience website: