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.
Modes and duration
Part time: 2 years
Tuition Fees (2021/22)
- £12,500 (FT)
- £31,200 (FT)
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.
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.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
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.
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.
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. Students learn in the classroom and laboratory via a combination of lectures, discussions and practical work. Alongside discipline-specific knowledge and skills, the programme develops key transferable skills.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
- Communication Skills in Cognitive Neuroscience
- Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience: Fundamental Processes
- Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience: Elaborative and Adaptive Processes
- Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience: Translational Research
- Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: Neuropsychology
- Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: 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 research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Cognitive Neuroscience MSc
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?
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.
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.
Once all places have been filled we will stop accepting new applications. It is very likely that all places will be filled much earlier than the general UCL deadline. Therefore, it is recommended that you submit an application form as soon as possible.
For further details please see the MSc Cognitive Neurosciences pages on the ICN (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) website.
The MSc 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 MSc also promotes key skills that prepare students for more general careers in clinical psychology, marketing, teaching, and consultancy.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Research Assistant, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL
- Research Assistant, University of Oxford
- Centre Director, Explore Learning
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.
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.
Safia Chaudhary, Teaching Administrator: Cogneuro_admin@ucl.ac.uk
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Visit the ICN Education website for a list of Frequently Asked Questions