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.
Modes and duration
The programme is only available in full-time mode of study.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
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.
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.
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
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**
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.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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.
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
"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. OttenCognitive Neuroscience MSc, Cognitive Neuroscience MRes
Language & Cognition, UCL Psychology & Language Sciences
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 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.
- 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.