Taught course

Cognitive Neuroscience

University of Essex · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

High 2.2 degree, or equivalent, in psychology, linguistics or a related discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

Cognitive neuroscience is concerned with the scientific study of biological substrates underlying cognition, with a specific focus on the neural substrates of mental processes, and addresses questions of how psychological functions are produced by the brain. It is a branch of both psychology and neuroscience, overlapping with disciplines like physiological psychology, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. Cognitive neuroscience relies upon theories in cognitive science coupled with evidence from neuropsychology and computational modelling.

Our MSc Cognitive Neuroscience gives you a thorough grounding in the scientific investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying human behaviour, with a particular reference to cognitive processes. You are taught the theoretical and biological foundations of cognitive science, and undertake advanced statistical training. A central feature is our extensive instruction covering the physiological bases and practical applications of cognitive neuroscience techniques. This core knowledge is integrated with understanding in related areas: experimental psychology, cognitive neuropsychology and computational modelling.

Our Department of Psychology has a strong reputation for research and teaching, with over half of our research defined as either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008) and a ranking of thirteenth in the UK in the 2010 National Student Survey.

We provide excellent state-of-the-art facilities for study, with extensive laboratory space for experimental psychology and special facilities for visual and auditory perception, developmental psychology and social psychology, with our Hearing Research Laboratory and our Visual Perception Unit. We also have our Centre for Brain Sciences, a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to the study of brain activity in relation to psychological processes. This provides a dynamic resource for psychology and neuroscience, with specialised laboratories for investigating brain activity.

Information for international students

IELTS 7.0.

Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, visit our website at: www.essex.ac.uk.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations5
Written coursework / continuous assessment70
Dissertation25 (10000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719