Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc

Brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience have become central aspects of all areas of Psychology.

This course is aimed at students who are interested in these new and emerging techniques. The course will provide students with a critical understanding of cognitive neuroscience and specific skills in brain imaging techniques (eg, fMRI, EEG) and programming. Students will have access to state-of-the-art equipment for brain imaging, brain electrophysiology and stimulation, and eye movement recording.

This programme contains specialised modules on the theory and methods of brain imaging and current advances in cognitive neuroscience linked to these methods. It offers an excellent opportunity for training in the latest imaging research methods and practical applications, with one-to-one contact with research-active staff from the School of Psychology.

The MSc in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience is an exciting course that offers students the flexibility to develop specific interests, whilst at the same time an excellent opportunity to develop the technical and transferable skills needed to succeed in a wide range of research-related jobs.

Key features of the course are

  • One to one contact with research active staff
  • An opportunity to specialize in Cognitive Neuroscience, gaining specific skills in neuroimaging and programming
  • Find out what’s really hot or not in contemporary Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Learn transferable skills that enhance employability 

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Our MSc Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience students and alumni are available to answer your questions and offer help and advice from a student perspective.
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This course offers an excellent opportunity for advanced learning in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience. For many students this course helps them to develop a more focused set of interests and skills within Cognitive neuroscience so that they can choose the next career step that is best for them. For others, who have already identified the sub-specialty that fires their career aspirations, the course allows them to delve more deeply into their subject and to gain more specific skills and knowledge needed to build their chosen career. An aim of the course is to give students a boost in 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)

Modules

The course comprises of a series of taught core and optional modules. The core modules are designed to promote development of skills in experimental design and analysis, research skills, critical thinking and reading, oral presentation, and scientific writing.

Core taught modules currently include:

  • Applications in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Current Research in Psychology
  • Fundamentals in Brain Imaging
  • Introduction to Neuroscientific Methods
  • Matlab Programming
  • Practical Research Skills
  • Proposing Research in Psychology

Optional taught modules currently include:

  • Advanced Brain Imaging
  • Design and Analysis 1 or 2
  • Application of Electrophysiological Approaches in Cognitive Neuroscience

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 2018. 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.

See list of modules and descriptions (PDF 173KB).

Fees and funding

Fees for 2018

  • Home/EU students £9,000 FT (£4,500 PT)
  • International students £19,170 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

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

Entry requirements

Typical offer:
A good Honours degree in Psychology or related discipline.

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).

Personal statement

(approx. 800-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. [FJ1] 

Section 3: Other Experiences (maximum 200-words)

Provide here 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 students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

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.

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

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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