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Cognitive Neuroimaging and Data Science MSc

Start date
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
£10,530 FT (UK students)
£26,280 FT (International students)

The Cognitive Neuroimaging and Data Science MSc helps to provide fundamental insight into important theories in cognitive and computational neuroscience, and hands on experience in methods of neuroimaging and data science techniques.

To understand the brain and performance, there is need to merge the traditional, hypothesis-based experiments with unbiased, large-scale machine learning approaches to study the dynamic interactions between brain regions and its relations to behaviour. 

This MSc offers advanced learning in two different pathways 1) Cognitive Neuroscience and 2) Computational Neuroscience.  

For your studies and research, you will have access to various neuroimaging tools (for example, MRI, MEG, EEG, brain stimulation and fNIRS) housed in the Centre for Human Brain Health. You will develop important skills associated with proactive problem solving and analysing big (neuroscientific) data. You will have the opportunity to interact with a broad range of researchers (from the Centre for Human Brain Health, School of Psychology and Computer Science) who will help you develop specific interests and skills within cognitive neuroimaging and data science.

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

Why study this course?

Create your own pathway

Take either a more cognitive or computational focus on neuroscience and combining optional modules from psychology, mental health, and developmental science.

  • Learning through a mix of large and small group teaching

    Develop hands on experience to develop skills in neuroimaging and data science
  • Transferability of data science skills

    Utilise your skills in other disciplines, such as information technology, public health, medicine and medical imaging, marketing and human resources, and government agencies.

The course offers advanced learning in cognitive neuroimaging and data science. You will have the opportunity to interact with a range of researchers with different types of expertise who will help you develop your specific interests and skills. This degree will help you further your career, whether the next step is an academic PhD position or a professional job in the workplace. 


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, data science and analysis, and scientific writing.

Several core modules are shared across the two pathways, but some are specific to either the cognitive or computational neuroscience pathway:

  • Research Methods & Skills in Psychology
  • Proposing Research
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Methods & Applications (cognitive neuroscience pathway)
  • Data Science for Behaviour and Brain I (cognitive neuroscience pathway)
  • Mind, Brain, Models (computational neuroscience pathway)

Optional modules are shared across MSc programmes in the School of Psychology. Examples of optional modules available at this moment are:

  • Translational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Application of Electrophysiological Approaches in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Modelling Development and Diversity
  • Introduction to Computational Methods (computational neuroscience pathway)
  • Data science for behaviour and brain I and II

Students on the computational neuroscience pathway can also take specific modules from Computer Science. For example:

  • Intelligent Robotics
  • Neural Computation
  • Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis
  • Advanced Robotics
  • Robot Vision

Finally, students undertake a supervised research project, leading to a 6,000-word research thesis.

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 2024. 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.


Fees for 2024/25

Cognitive Neuroscience Pathway:

  • Code 874H: UK students £10,530 FT
  • Code 875H: UK students £5,265 PT
  • Code 874H: International students £26,280 FT

Computational Neuroscience Pathway:

  • Code 885H: UK students £10,530 FT
  • Code 880H: UK students £5,265 PT
  • Code 885H: International students £26,280 FT

Please note fees for this programme are not final and may be subject to change.

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 Scholarship

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 2024-2025.

Find out more and apply now  

Postgraduate Progression Award

Our Postgraduate Progression Awards offer final year undergraduates at the University of Birmingham a fee discount of £1,500 for postgraduate taught study.

Find out more and 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

1 July 2024 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 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

UK students

31 August 2024 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

Applications for 2024 entry are now open.

Making your application

Personal statement template

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Applicants should have obtained at least a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (eg, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Physics, Engineering or Mathematics). 

Regarding the Cognitive Neuroscience pathway, applicants should 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 2:1 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.

With respect to the Computational Neuroscience pathway, you must have a strong interest in learning in an interdisciplinary environment and must have substantial quantitative skills. Programming skills in Python, Matlab, Java, and/or C are desirable.

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 than 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.

Student Wellbeing

The University has student wellbeing services available to students who may need extra support and guidance during their studies.

If you find that you are struggling and in need of welfare support and guidance, please reach out to either the University of Birmingham Student Welfare and Wellbeing Support Service directly or talk to your personal tutor or the Postgraduate Taught Leads who will signpost you to the appropriate services.

Assessment Methods

The way that the different assessments have been designed for the MSc programme is to ensure that your studies help you to develop essential skills that are transferrable to future employment. As such, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. Each assessment is tailored to each module and the material offered within the courses but may include essays and reports, oral and poster presentations, programming projects, scripting assessments, and peer reviews.


A wide range of careers are open to students graduating with an MSc Cognitive Neuroimaging and Data Science. Our students are excellent candidates for research-related employment in both private and public sector organisations. This MSc develops key skills that are highly appreciated by employers, including the ability to proactively solve problems, and the ability to use advanced analytics techniques and scientific principles to extract valuable information from data for research purposes, decision making, strategic planning and other uses.

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