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Cognitive Neuroscience MRes

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

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

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,830 (FT)
Overseas:
£28,530 (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 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.

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

Select your country:

About this degree

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 four taught modules (15 credits each) and a substantial research project (120 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MRes in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

These modules are designed to teach you key transferable skills that are important for careers in cognitive neuroscience and beyond.

  • Introduction to Statistics in Psychology
  • 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 I: Lesion Approaches*
  • Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Neuroimaging*
  • Designing and Analysing fMRI Experiments*
  • 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**
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Communication Skills in Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYC0066) will now run in Term 1. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Dissertation/report

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, laboratory classes and seminars. 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, reports, a popular science article, video, narrated scientific poster and the research dissertation.

On average students spend 70% of their time on the research project and 30% in class. Each taught module has around 20 contact hours, with the remaining time spent on independent study. The number of contact hours in the project depends on the nature of the research that is undertaken.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

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

Careers

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.

Employability

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 in a lab setting rather than just in the classroom.

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

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL is one of the best neuroscience centres in the world and, more generally, a fantastic university. The university has a global outlook and a focus on equality, with a rich research environment that is integrated with education, and the many opportunities that are created to develop students and staff. "

Dr Leun J. Otten

Cognitive Neuroscience MSc, Cognitive Neuroscience MRes
Language & Cognition, UCL Psychology & Language Sciences

Application and next steps

Applications

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 relevant scientific background (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, or biomedical science). Candidates should have previous research experience and demonstrate that they can conduct a large research project. The programme is not designed to teach students how to conduct research.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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 application process is competitive. 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020