MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience


Program Description

Understand cognitive neuroscience by developing your brain imaging techniques and data analysis skills.

  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Duration: 1 year full-time
  • Mode of study: Full-time
  • Entry requirements:
    • 2:1 (or international equivalent).
    • 2:2 (or international equivalent) may be considered provided the applicant has at least one year of relevant work experience or another supporting factor; we welcome applications from students with a background in psychology, neuroscience, medicine or a bioscience disciplines as well as those with training in physics, engineering, mathematics or computing sciences
  • IELTS: 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each element
  • UK/EU fees: £9045
  • International fees: £23175
  • Start date: September
  • Course location: University Park
  • School/Department: Psychology


Our research-engaged teaching ensures you are taught by the brightest minds who are working towards understanding the complexities of the human brain. Be inspired and join our world.

You will gain knowledge in imaging methods, experimental design, analytical research and data analysis. Optional modules let you explore areas in the field that you find most interesting.

Individual research project

This course is closely linked to several research groups in the School of Psychology:

  • Cognition and Language
  • Human Development and Learning
  • Perception and Action
  • Visual Neuroscience

Our broad research means we can offer a variety of research projects. Past project titles have included:

  • Investigating brain networks in the healthy brain and in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders
  • How do interests affect distraction?
  • Decision-making processes for others
  • Brain morphology in non-human primate
  • Functional brain imaging of face perception: an ultra-high-field MRI study of cortical maps representing facial features

Before you start your own research, you will undertake a placement with your project supervisor. This preparation usually includes:

  • Training in software and tools that you may use
  • Experience in experimental design
  • Collecting pilot data

Module spotlight - Data Analysis for Neuroimaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a key tool for neuroscientists and at Nottingham, we have a rich heritage of using this versatile technique. Sir Peter Mansfield was a physics professor at the University of Nottingham when he won the Nobel Prize for his work in MRI. Today, we have the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) on campus which houses various imaging facilities.

In the Data Analysis for Neuroimaging module, you will get to see a brain imaging session in person at the SPMIC. You will analyse one of the data sets collected on the SPMIC scanner in the following lab classes. To get most out of this, the module introduces some of the standard tools used across many labs (including FSL, the FMRIB Software Library from Oxford). These hands-on data sessions are also an excellent opportunity to consolidate your MATLAB programming skills that you will have developed in the first term.

"Seeing a scan be done from start to finish then working with the data is a really beneficial part of the course."

Charlotte, MSc Cognitive Neuroscience

"I really enjoyed the visit to the scanner. I have had the chance to see things that I have learned during the first semester in practice. It has made what I’ve read clearer to understand."

Ahlam, MSc Cognitive Neuroscience

Course structure


  • Experimental Design for Functional Imaging
  • Introduction to MATLAB Programming
  • Functional Imaging Methods
  • Research Placement
  • Analytical Research Methods
  • Data Analysis for Neuroimaging
  • Professional Skills
  • Research Project - Cognitive Neuroscience MSc


  • Current issues in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neuropsychology

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Teaching methods and assessment

You will study a total of 180 credits. Teaching methods will be a mix of:

  • Lectures
  • Lab classes
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

Assessment can vary depending on the module being studied but most are assessed by continuous assessment.

This could include:

  • Lab reports
  • Coursework
  • Presentations
  • Research posters

Careers and professional development


Graduates of this course are well suited to studying for a PhD and continuing with a career in research. Other fields where your skills can be used include human-computer interaction, clinical sciences, marketing, education, and management and human resources.

Average starting salary and career progression

94.7% of postgraduates from the School of Psychology secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.

You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Fees and funding

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.

Scholarships and bursaries

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Science undertakes world-class research spanning wide-ranging topics including quantum physics, plant genomics, human imaging, sustainable chemistry, neuroscience, mathematical modellin ... Read More

The Faculty of Science undertakes world-class research spanning wide-ranging topics including quantum physics, plant genomics, human imaging, sustainable chemistry, neuroscience, mathematical modelling and beyond. We work closely with industry on the training of the next generation of scientists and collaborate worldwide to ensure our research has a major societal impact. The Faculty of Science comprises seven schools and has strong links with the School of Life Sciences and School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Schools from within the faculty also collaborate with those from the University's other faculties to form various research centres and research institutes. Read less
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