MSc Cognitive Neuroscience


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Experience what an exciting place Norwich is to live and study in – a lively and attractive city with a beautiful coastline and countryside close by.

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“The School helped me to secure a work placement at a centre that undertakes world-leading research in cognitive neuroscience. This experience really fed into the skills that I’ve been able to develop over this year.”

In their words

Lisa Stephenson, Psychology Graduate


We spend a considerable time thinking about our future. However, research consistently shows that we tend to mispredict our future preferences and values, and typically underestimate how much we will change, a phenomenon referred to as a “presentism bias”.

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This programme is aimed at high calibre graduates in Psychology, or related disciplines, who are seeking to develop the specific skills in research methodology necessary to study Cognitive Neuroscience. The course builds the ability to understand normal and abnormal brain function, prepare research proposals, and undertake original research, analysis and synthesis in one of psychology's fast-moving and fundamental areas.

Experience modern psychological research methods first hand, including EEG, TMS, virtual reality, plus motion and eye-tracking. Specific research skills can also be acquired through bespoke work placements. The programme is comprised of compulsory modules in the subject area, combining research methods training with in depth study, building to a substantial piece of research supervised by researchers in the field.


The MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience combines research methods training with in-depth study at the cutting edge of the subject area.

This programme is aimed at high calibre graduates in psychology or related disciplines who are seeking to develop the specific skills in research methodology necessary to study Cognitive Neuroscience.  This course delivers the ability to understand normal and abnormal brain function, prepare research proposals, and undertake original research, analysis and synthesis in one of current psychology’s fast-moving and fundamental areas.  In the process you will acquire transferable skills in oral and written communication and the management and analysis of complex data sets.

The programme is ideal for those preparing for a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, and will benefit anyone planning a career with a significant research component.

A strength of the programme is the opportunity to experience modern psychological research methods at first hand, including EEG, TMS, virtual reality, and motion and eye-tracking. Specific research skills can also be acquired through bespoke placements. The programme builds to a substantial piece of research supervised by active researchers in the field.

The School of Psychology has enjoyed success in the Research Excellence Framework (2014); all of the research submitted was judged to be of international quality, with over 80% rated as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. For the subject area of Psychology, UEA is ranked in the Top 15 in the UK (Guardian league table 2018).

Course Structure

The programme is comprised of the following compulsory modules.

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Theory and Methods
  • Research Placement and Professional Skills
  • Psychology Laboratory Skills
  • Quantitative Research Methods and Statistics
  • Research Project

Teaching and Assessment

We use a wide range of teaching methods and assessment. These include lectures, seminars, workshops, research placements, and hands-on use of state of the art research equipment. Modules are primarily assessed by coursework. Coursework includes a literature review, research proposals, and a research project.

All psychology students complete a major independent research project under expert supervision.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 160 credits:

Name Code Credits

Cognitive Neuroscience

Understanding how the brain functions normally and how it is affected by disease presents one of the major challenges for research in the 21st century. There is increasing international demand for research training on cognitive processes in the healthy and diseased human brain. This module brings together UEA expert scientists in Cognitive Neuroscience offering you advanced knowledge of the field. In particular, the module provides you with the opportunity to examine the scientific study of brain function across a variety of cognitive domains (e.g. perception, memory, action) in healthy and clinical populations. Moreover, throughout the module several state-of-the-art cognitive neuroscience research methods will be introduced and examined, including fMRI, EEG, TMS and lesion-symptom mapping, and you will have the chance to work through data analysis in practical sessions. Finally, you will have the opportunity to develop your own research proposal relating to one of the topics covered in the course in consultation with experts in the field.




The dissertation element of the Master's programme offers you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to carry out an independent piece of research on a subject of your choice in greater detail than any taught element of the programme can offer. It allows you to develop and display your skills in independent research, and demonstrate your depth of knowledge of a particular area of research. The dissertation should draw from material from other modules within the Master's programme.




This module gives you an introduction to some important techniques and software programs used in psychology data collection and analysis. You will receive guided hands-on experience. These skills are useful for your dissertation research, and will enhance your CV for job applications. You will learn how to conduct both systematic reviews and meta-analysis, gaining an understanding of how each technique can help you in your research. You will use E-Prime software to construct experiments, and have the option to learn MATLAB. MATLAB is a widely used programming language for data analysis, modelling and writing experiments. You will also learn about the Qualtrics Survey platform, presenting data clearly and using references. Your assessment will be essay based.



Research placement and professional skills

This module brings together UEA expert researchers, host research organisations and the careers service, offering you advanced knowledge of practical field and employability skills. In particular, the module provides the opportunity to gain hands on skills in real life settings. You will gain valuable employment skills and networks for their future career. You will seek placement organisations with Module leader help and guidance. The type of organisation can be flexible as long as you can demonstrate that you are using research skills. Placement admin and coordination takes place within the school.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

Further Qualitative Research

The course builds on coverage of qualitative methods in the Introduction to Social Sciences Research Methods module, where the focus is on developing critical analysis skills that cover a range of ways of gathering and analysing qualitative data.



Further Quantitative Research and Statistics

This module will provide teaching on quantitative research methods, data analysis and the use of statistical software (SPSS). It will provide a grounding in applied statistics which will both develop critical appraisal skills for reading research and enable you to undertake SPSS data analysis.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Psychology or a relevant discipline in the Sciences or Social Sciences
  • Degree Classification UK BSc (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good honours undergraduate degree (2:1) in Psychology, or a related discipline (e.g. neuroscience, medicine, biological sciences) with a strong psychology content, from a recognised higher education institution.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on their attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in each component)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 62 in each component)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact

Special Entry Requirements

Applicants must specify a dissertation topic that would form part of their study. They must also name a possible supervisor here at UEA. Please see the list of staff and their research interests.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £6,300
  • International Students: £15,800

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.


The University offers a variety of Scholarships each year to support students in their studies. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Student Loan.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515