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.
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. 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).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc 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.
- Introduction to Statistics in Psychology
- Communication Skills in Cognitive Neuroscience
- Structure and Function of the Brain
- Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience I: Lesion Approaches
- Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Neuroimaging
- 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
- 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, laboratory classes and seminars. The programme 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 30% of their time on the research project and 70% 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 MSc programme develops 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 transferable 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 learn directly from experts in the field.
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
What our students and staff say
"UCL is a fantastic place to work and study, and it is a world leader in cognitive neuroscience."
Professor Sophie ScottCognitive Neuroscience MSc
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow
"The Master's in Cognitive Neuroscience at the ICN is a terrific opportunity to study how the brain works within a world-class research environment."
Professor Neil BurgessCognitive Neuroscience MSc
Professor of Cognitive & Computational Neuroscience
"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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students with a relevant scientific background (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, or biomedical science).
- 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 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.
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.