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Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc

One year full-time, two years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

£9,810 (UK students)
£23,940 (International Students)
More detail

Our Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc provides a critical understanding of cognitive neuroscience and specific skills in brain imaging techniques (eg, f/MRI, M/EEG, EEG, brain stimulation and fNIRS). The students will have access to state-of-the-art equipment in the Centre for Human Brain Imaging to conduct

Brain imaging facilities Elekta Neuromag TRIUXBrain imaging has become central to aspects of all areas of clinical and cognitive neuroscience.

The course will provide fundamental insights into important theories and hands on experience in techniques and analysis methods in cognitive neuroscience. This will be achieved by taught courses as well research projects using the state-of-the-art equipment at the Centre for Human Brain Health. This is a centre dedicated to human brain research housing multiple neuroimaging tools in one building. The programme contains specialised modules on the theory and methods of brain imaging and current advances in cognitive neuroscience linked to these methods taught by experts in the field. An essential part of the course is a practical research project offering the opportunity to apply the newest brain imaging tools. Research projects will be supervised by internationally recognised researchers from the Centre for Human Brain Health and the School of Psychology.

Key features of the course are

  • Experiencing teaching and one-on-one supervision by internationally recognized researchers
  • Learning through small group teaching and hands on experience
  • Specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience, gaining specific skills in neuroimaging and programming
  • Practicing openess and transparency in science
  • Finding out what’s really hot in contemporary Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Learning quantitative and analytic skills that enhance employability

The MSc in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience is an exciting course that offers students the flexibility to develop their analytical and practical skills in cognitive neuroscience, whilst at the same time providing an excellent opportunity to develop the technical, quantitative as well as analytic skills needed to succeed in a wide range of research-related jobs.


Brain imaging using skull cap and electrodesThis course offers advanced learning in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience. Students have the opportunity to interact with a broad range of researchers with different types of expertise who will help students to develop their specific interests and skills within Cognitive neuroscience so that they can choose their next career step. For those who have already identified a specific area of interest in cognitive neuroscience, the course allows them to delve more deeply into their subject through hands-on research projects, making use of the excellent facilities at the Centre for Human Brain Health and working with world-leading experts. The course will also develop analytical and quantitative skills that are fundamental to securing an interesting and exciting job in the workplace or a place on a high quality PhD course after graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 160KB)

I chose to study at the University of Birmingham because of its reputation and renowned research facilities. Moreover, it has a high ranking for my course and I knew that I would be at an advantage if I chose to come here to get my postgraduate degree. The course is intellectually stimulating, you will learn to think critically and develop analytical and problem-solving skills. The course content is varied and the modules are evenly spread throughout the academic year. Best of all, you get to see and use an MRI scanner and understand the processes involved in setting up an imaging study.

Ifeoma Egbuniwe, MSc Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience alumna


Research training modules are delivered through short hands-on research placements to develop skills and a longer independent research project that will be closely supervised by a relevant member of academic staff. Taught modules cover relevant aspects of cognitive and brain function, including brain imaging and cognition. The modules focus on providing in-depth training on methods and tools used in cognitive neuroscience research.

Modules include:

  • Proposing Research in Psychology
  • Current and Practical Research
  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Introduction to neuroscientific methods
  • Application of Brain imaging

Optional modules include:

  • Fundamental in Brain Imaging
  • Application of Electrophysiology
  • Introduction to Matlab
  • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  • Foundation to Data Science

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Students also undertake a supervised research project, leading to a 6,000-word research dissertation. See some of the recent projects (PDF 331KB) undertaken by students on the course.



Fees for 2022/23

  • UK students £9,810 FT
  • International students £23,940 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

Birmingham Masters Scholarships

We are offering over 200 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2022-23.

The deadline for applications is Friday 1 July 2022.

Apply now  

College of Life and Environmental Sciences Global Excellence Scholarships

We are offering awards of £4,000 to support the brightest and best international applicants wishing to undertake Masters study in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences during 2022-23.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 June 2022.

Apply now  

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

How To Apply

Please apply as soon as possible, as places are limited and the programme may close when full. Please ensure that your personal statement meets our requirements as failure to do so will result in delays to processing the decision on your application.

International students requiring visas

Friday 1 July 2022 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2022 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2023.

UK students

Wednesday 31 August 2022 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2022 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2023.

Applications for 2022 entry are now open.

Making your application

Personal statement template

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Applicants should have obtained a good Honours degree (at least 2:1 or equivalent) in Psychology or a related discipline and have gained at least a 2:1 (or equivalent) in the research dissertation (i.e., experience of planning and conducting research and analysing data).

Applicants who do not meet our requirement for a 2(i) in their final-year research project, but who have gained significant research experience in a cognitive neuroscience research lab(s) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Guidelines for Personal Statement

(approx. 500-words in total)

The personal statement should describe research experience and research interests, supporting the applicant’s reasons for applying and demonstrating the motivation for studying the MSc.  The personal statement should include the following key information:

Section 1: Research Experience

  1. Briefly describe the research project you completed in the final year of your undergraduate degree.
  2. Briefly describe any other projects you have worked on as a volunteer or paid research assistant.
  3. Do you have any experience of programming? If Yes, briefly describe your experience.

Section 2: Research Interests

  1. What are your research interests? Briefly describe how your research interests fit within the areas of research expertise in the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham.
  2. What research methods and analysis techniques would you like to use or develop as a student on the MSc?
  3. What are your future research/career plans? How will a place on the MSc help you to achieve your future research/career plans?
  4. Please state the names of three academics within the School that, given the opportunity, you would like to work with.  Please note: If you are offered a place on the MSc, we will contact you about identifying relevant, available supervisors before the course starts.  When allocating a supervisor, we will take your preferences into account, but there are a number of other factors we consider, so your supervisor may not be one of the academics you have listed.  

Section 3: Other Experiences (maximum 200-words)

Provide details of voluntary work experience, other aspects of your CV, and/or other points of achievement

A personal statement template is available to help you ensure your personal statement meets our requirements. Failure to include the requested information in the personal statement will result in delays to processing the decision on your application.

Examples of research interests in the School can be found on the following webpages:

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any band)

  • IELTS 6.5 with no less that 6.0 in any band
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

The course includes a variety of learning and teaching activities, including lectures, seminars, journal clubs, and workshops. For research-based modules, students will have regular supervision and directed research work. Activities include both individual and group work. 

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by a variety of methods including essays and reports, oral and poster presentations, and peer assessments. 

A surprising range of careers are open to students graduating with an MSc in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience. Our students are excellent candidates for research-related employment in both private and public sector organisations because this MSc develops key skills that are highly attractive to employers, namely analytical and statistical skills, as well as presentation and report writing skills.

This MSc is also excellent preparation for PhD or other advanced degree positions.

In the video above, alumna Kirsty Hall talks about how the course helped prepare her for her career

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