Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience - Msc
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Entry months
- Duration of Study
- Full time - 1 year / Part time - 2 years / Modular - Up to five years
- Subject Area
- Natural Sciences, Psychology, Science
- FEES (2022/23 academic year)
- UK - FT £9,500, PT £5,200
- International - £17,900
The study of cognition and its neural mechanisms is a fascinating area of psychology and neuroscience with relevance to a range of problems in the modern world. What are the genetic contributions to brain disorders? Can we predict consumer preferences from brain activity? What are the effects of brain injury on cognitive abilities and behaviour? Drawing staff from Psychology and Life Sciences, this course will engage you with contemporary research on cognition, brain and behaviour from both behavioural and neuroscience perspectives. The course will develop your practical skills with cognitive neuroscience techniques such as EEG, eyetracking, and brain stimulation as well as develop your quantitative and broader research skills.
Saule Sauciunaite, Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods module
"The Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods module gave me an opportunity to learn about a wide range of neuroimaging methods." - read more about Saule Sauciunaite, Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods module
About the course
Studying our MSc in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience will expose you to advanced topics in the study of cognition and behaviour including attention, perception, memory, decision-making, and emotion. Furthermore, the course will explore how these cognitive processes link to brain mechanisms by exploring neuroscience approaches and methods. In addition to developing general advanced research design and statistics skills, students will receive advanced training in specialist cognitive neuroscience methods such as EEG, eye-tracking, and brain stimulation with data collection and analysis practicals using our specialist facilities.
The programme involves staff from both Psychology and Life Science (neuroscience), to cover a wide range of topics and approaches. Working closely with our expert staff during your dissertation and research apprenticeship projects, you will be directly involved with cutting-edge research that is geared towards your interests and personal skills development.
Key Features Of Your MSc Programme In Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience Will Include:
- Two-semester Advanced Study module focused on exploring a range of different topics in cognition and cognitive neuroscience
- Developing practical skills and theoretical understanding related to Cognitive Neuroscience research methods such as EEG, eyetracking, MRI, and brain stimulation.
- Opportunities to work directly with expert academics on two contemporary research projects focused on cognition and/or cognitive neuroscience
- Strong focus on your personal skills development throughout the course to help you pursue your career goals
- A broad range of research methods training to maximise your employability skills
- Small group specialist teaching in your chosen field from research-active tutors
- A large cohort of MSc Psychology students sharing the core modules and the Keele Postgraduate Association (KPA) provides a friendly, lively, and supportive peer community
The overall aims of all our MSc Psychology programmes are as follows:
- To equip you to formulate and conduct research projects within psychology and cognitive neuroscience;
- To develop your knowledge of different theoretical perspectives, philosophical traditions and methodological approaches to psychology and cognitive neuroscience;
- To enable you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different research methods and different forms of data, and to evaluate their appropriateness for different research problems;
- To enable you to define and formulate research questions and testable hypotheses, and to design appropriate research to answer these questions using relevant methods of data collection, consistent with British Psychological Society principles of ethics and research governance;
- To provide you with knowledge of quantitative approaches to research and data analysis techniques for the study of brain and behaviour;
- To provide you with a range of opportunities to engage with advanced research in substantive areas relevant to their own research topic and to the discipline of psychology;
- To provide you with opportunities to enhance and develop your written and communication skills, independent learning skills, and critical reflection and evaluation skills.
You will develop these skills in the context of your chosen specialism.
Other related courses you may be interested in:
How the course is taught
Our MSc Psychology programmes are designed to foster a vibrant and collaborative peer culture amongst our MSc students. Several of our modules are shared by all four of our MSc Psychology programmes whereas specialist cognitive modules will be focused on students from the Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience programme.
Teaching and Assessment
Each module has different prescribed learning activities, including formal lectures and seminars, discussions and consultation with staff. You should expect some lively debates and interesting discussions. Please be aware that you will be expected to contribute to the programme, in the form of advance reading (of which there is a substantial amount), preparing presentations and contributing to discussions in seminars, and bringing your own ideas to bear on the teaching material.
The programme is assessed through a range of formats including:
- Research Critiques
- Practical skills assessment in programming
- Lab reports
- Person skills audits
- Verbal presentations
- Written dissertation reporting independent research
- Blog portfolios
Over the course of the MSc, students will complete 120 credits across 7 modules (see below for more info). Of these 180 credits, 120 credits are focused on specialist Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience content. The remaining 60 credits develop students’ general Psychological skills and knowledge.
|Advanced Study in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience||45 credits||
This module spans both semesters of the programme and develops students' knowledge and critical understanding of classic and developing areas of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Indicative topics include attention, executive functioning, memory (short- and long-term), false memory, consciousness, cognitive neuropsychology, Parkinson's disease, cognitive ageing, psychiatric genetics, face and object perception, neural plasticity, neuroimaging, psychobiology, and metacognition.
Research is a key emphasis in our programmes and you will be supported by a specialist tutor in your chosen field to undertake original research as part of the Dissertation (60 credits) module. Projects within Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience span a wide range of topics within the School of Psychology or the School of Life Sciences. These include, but are not limited to, attention, visual perception of faces, effects of alcohol on cognitive performance, changes in memory due to ageing, psychiatric genetics, analysis of EEG and eyetracking data, biological mechanisms of learning (e.g., LTP), and studies of neuropsychological deficits in brain injured patients. Our expert staff and specialist facilities can support a range of projects across the field.
|Research Apprenticeship in Psychology||15 credits||
Every year we run apprenticeships in which students join staff working on real research projects across a broad range of areas of psychology. Students are allocated to an apprenticeship based on the self-development goals you each identify in your personal skills audit. This ensures the apprenticeship provides you with experiences and opportunities that will support your future career ambitions and encourage you to learn new skills.
Core Psychology Modules
|Contemporary Research in Psychology||15 credits||
This is a breadth module that enables you to engage with psychological research across a range of topics and sub-disciplines at the cutting edge of contemporary research in psychology. You will attend research seminars given by experts within and outside Keele and reflect on and critically evaluate the theoretical, methodological and ethical issues associated with a wide range of contemporary topics and issues in psychological research.
|Advanced Research Skills and Design||15 credits||
This innovative module gives you a broad range of advanced research skills and familiarity with a range of cutting edge research designs in psychology, the help you progress through the rest of the programme being able to set your work in wider context. It introduces new techniques not typically covered at undergraduate level as well as equipping students with the advanced research skills or critical literature reviewing, generating a suitable research question, identifying a suitable method, ethical issues in research, and managing time and research relationships. You will complete a detailed skills audit and engage in some complex reflections of your own abilities and how you can progress through the course - an innovative assessment praised by our external examiners for encouraging engagement and thinking about personal development.
|Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis||15 credits||
The topics covered in this module are: extensions of the regression model, analysis of variance, logistic regression, and multivariate data reduction techniques such as factor analysis, together with a few more specialist methods, which you can select between based on your interests. The material is taught using SPSS, and although the module encourages a sound understanding of statistical principles, the primary emphasis is on practical data analysis.
Research Methods Training
All students can tailor their research methods training to suit their needs and interests by choosing one of the following optional modules and complete a project in an area of Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience:
|Qualitative Research Methods||15 credits||This module will give you an appreciation of different approaches to qualitative data collection and analysis. We encourage you to try out data collection and analytic methods you haven't used before. During the module you will design, conduct, analyse and reflect on a qualitative research study based on a topic you are interested in. Students often choose to explore something that complements or extends their dissertation research.|
|Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods||15 credits||This module develops your knowledge and practical skills with contemporary methods in cognitive psychology and cognitive neurosceince such as electroencephalography (EEG), eyetracking, and other contemporary methods. It prepares you to design, conduct, and critically appraise research using these methods. Lectures cover the theoretical background of the methods and, for several months, you will gain hands-on experience with data collection, data analysis, and use of specialist software and equipment. This module will emphasise a framework which will allow you to understand existing methods and follow the development of new methods going forward.|
Projects within Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience span a wide range of topics within the School of Psychology or the School of Life sciences. These include, but are not limited to, attention, visual perception of faces, effects of alcohol on cognitive performance, changes in memory due to ageing, psychiatric genetics, analysis of EEG and eyetracking data, biological mechanisms of learning (e.g., LTP) and studies of neuropsychological deficits in brain injured patients. Our expert staff and specialist facilities can support a range of projects across the field.
Academic entry requirements
This course is open to graduates with a first or upper second-class degree in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics (or a cognate discipline with some psychology study) or equivalent.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each subtest.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks and inter-library loans.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our bursaries and scholarships webpage for more information.
MSc Psychology students may be eligible to bid for funding support to attend conferences or other extra-curricular activities to support their studies or present their research.
Apart from additional costs for textbooks, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme. Limited support is available for research-related expenses.
This course draws on the expertise of staff from both the School of Psychology and the School of Life Sciences (neuroscience) to cover a wide range of topics and approaches.
- Dr Chris Adams (Life sciences) - nervous system regeneration; cell transplantation
- Dr Donna Berry (Psychology) - autism, eyetracking
- Dr Joseph Brooks (Psychology) - visual perception, EEG, brain stimulation (TMS)
- Professor Nicola Edelstyn (Psychology) - memory, Parkinson's disease, neuropsych patient studies
- Professor David Furness (Life Sciences) - auditory neuroscience
- Dr Stas Galzewski (Life Sciences) - neural plasticity
- Dr Jim Grange (Psychology) - cognitive control, computational modelling, and open/replicable science
- Dr Sarah Laurence (Psychology) - face perception
- Dr Ella Maysami (Life Sciences) - neuroinflamation, regeneration, and repair
- Dr Andrew Rutherford (Psychology) - memory encoding and retrieval
- Dr Sue Sherman (Psychology) - false memory; HPV and cervical screening awareness, vaccination
- Dr Sara Spotorno (Psychology) - visual scene perception, eyetracking, interhemispheric interaction
- Dr Richard Stephens (Psychology) - swearing in response to pain, alcohol hangover
- Dr Simon Trent (Life Sciences) - genetics of memory and psychiatric illness
- Dr Helen Williams (Psychology) - metacognitive awareness, recognition memory, aging
Graduates of our programme will be well prepared for a range of careers in applied and research domains. These commonly include, but are not limited to:
- Preparation for PhD study in psychology and/or neuroscience
- Preparation for further training in clinical neuropsychology
- Careers in industry research (e.g., user interface design, product testing, human factors)
- Research assistant/research support careers in universities and industry
- Data analyst / data analysis consultancy
- Behavioural science (e.g., Government, Military)
- Assistant Psychologist (NHS) and brain injury support worker positions
Cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists can have careers in academic, military, and industry research/consultancy work with patients suffering from cognitive limitations arising from brain injury, pursue further training in clinical psychology and neuropsychology, and work in emerging fields of behavioural and data science.
The University has a Careers and Employability team who can provide you with advice and guidance about your future career. The team offer specialist workshops, for example 'Options with Postgraduate Study' and Moving on with your PhD', and can also meet you individually to give guidance and support to help you develop your career. We also hold regular careers fairs on campus and informal events where you can meet employers. You will also have access to our database of job opportunities and digital resources such as online psychometric testing.
MSc in Cognitive Psychology
Reasons to study MSc in Cognitive Psychology at Keele