MSc Cognitive Neuroscience

  1. Course Variations
    Nomenclature Duration Mode Of Attendance
    MSc 1Yr FT
    MSc 2Yr PT
  2. Typical offer:
    UK 2.2
  3. Taught at
    Singleton Park Campus

Course Overview

The Masters Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience is led by a team of cognitive neuroscientists who are active in neuroimaging, brain stimulation, and electroencephalography research. The aim of the course is to provide a bridge between undergraduate study and PhD research in cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, and imaging methods.

The course has been developed to train students in cognitive neuroscience research, introducing the principles of neuroimaging and gaining hands-on experience in structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI and fMRI), eletroencephalography (EEG), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Students will learn how to design, analyse, and evaluate neuroimaging experiments, and these are contributing to our understanding of the brain mechanisms underpinning cognition and behaviour.

Key Features


  • In The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 we were one of only four psychology departments in the UK to achieve a 100% 4* rating (maximum score possible) for the reach and significance of its work. In REF 2014, 44% of our submission was graded as 4* (the highest possible grading). Based on this measure we are ranked 14th (out of 82) in the UK.
  • Our Psychology department is ranked 5th in the UK for Graduate Prospects by The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2018.

Teaching and Employability:

  • Teaching is carried out by highly-respected, research active, professionals conducting research across a range of cognitive neuroscience research areas and publishing in top international journals
  • Students benefit from state-of-the-art technology with over twenty general purpose research rooms and numerous specialised testing facilities
  • Ability to offer international students mentoring throughout the course


  • Learning resources and facilities include: the brain stimulation lab, EEG suite, 3T MRI scanner, a computer room with updated preprocessing and analysis software. 


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

MSc 1 Year Full-time

Year 2 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters Dissertation
Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PS-M54Semester 3 (Summer Taught)60Research Project in Cognitive Neuroscience

MSc 2 Year Part-time

Year 1 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters / PGDip / PGCert

Students must choose between 60 and 80 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules

None found.

Optional Modules
Cog Neuro pt compulsory modules 

Choose Maximum Of 60 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Students can select up to 60 credits from the following compulsory modules.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PS-M16Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Statistical Methods
PS-M66Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Critical Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience
PS-M67Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Structure and Function of the Brain
PS-M68Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Experimental Design I: Brain Stimulation
PS-M69Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Experimental Design II: Brain Recording
PS-M70Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Experimental Design III: Neuroimaging
PS-M81Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Generic Research Skills – Cognitive Neuroscience

Year 2 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters Dissertation
Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PS-M54Semester 3 (Summer Taught)60Research Project in Cognitive Neuroscience

Year 2 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters / PGDip / PGCert

Students choose 80 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PS-M54Semester 3 (Summer Taught)60Research Project in Cognitive Neuroscience
Optional Modules


Cognitive neuroscience is a multidisciplinary academic field dedicated to the scientific study of the brain mechanisms that underlie cognitive processes, in both health and disease. We investigate a range of research questions, including memory, attention, affective processing, object recognition, ageing, neurodegeneration, and brain trauma. Techniques employed to tackle these questions comprise neuroimaging (structural and functional MRI), electrophysiology (EEG and ERPs), and brain stimulation (tDCS).

It is considered one of the most significant areas of contemporary science and it is beginning to transform the understanding of both normal and damaged brain function. 

The importance of cognitive neuroscience has been recognised by the Welsh Government which created the multi-centre Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, drawing together the psychology departments at Swansea, Cardiff and Bangor Universities.

A core aspect of the provision for MSc Cognitive Neuroscience will also be collaboration with Swansea University's Medical School.

Students will also receive training on generic statistical, writing, and research skills, and will complete an extended dissertation project, using one of the three neuroimaging techniques. 

Entry Requirements

  • a minimum of a UK 2.2 degree in Psychology, or a related discipline
  • a range of qualifications from international applicants are considered
  • non-first language English speakers are required to have a minimum of IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in all domains, or a University approved equivalent, prior to starting the programme.
  • Applications are welcomed from non-standard applicants. Applicants who wish to be considered for non-graduate entry must have a non-graduate qualification followed by significant work, or other, experience which has been assessed as appropriate for admission. 

How To Apply

Applicants are encouraged to click apply online as this will make it easier to track their progress.

International students should visit to apply or email

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU International
MSc Full-time £6,850 £15,200
MSc Part-time £3,450 £7,600

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3%.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

International students and part-time study: If you require a Tier 4 student visa you must be studying full-time. If you are in the UK under a different visa category, it may be possible for you to study part-time. Please see our part-time study and visas page for more information.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

Students are likely to encounter additional costs at university. These can include, amongst others:

  • buying stationery and equipment, such as USB sticks, etc.
  • personal copies of core texts (loan copies are available in the University library)
  • printing and photocopying
  • binding of research projects/ dissertations
  • some research projects require a Disclosure and Barring Service Check
  • gowns for graduation ceremonies

Please note there are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course. 

Course Structure

The full-time Master’s degree for Cognitive Neuroscience is studied over one year, whilst the part-time degree is studied over two years.

The course is taught through a variety of methods including: lectures, discussions/debates, critical assessment of peer-reviewed articles, hands-on data preprocessing and analysis, training in writing research reports, creating conference posters, and effective presentations.






Who should apply?

This course is suitable for:

  • anyone looking for a valuable academic foundation for future doctoral training
  • anyone looking to demonstrate their employability across a range of disciplines within cognitive neuroscience and related fields, including psychology, computing, neuroscience, medicine and computer science
  • UK and international psychology graduates seeking positions as researchers in psychology, cognitive neuroscience or related fields.
  • psychology graduates aiming to secure a PhD by research in a psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or a related discipline
  • graduates from other disciplines such as Biology, Neuroscience, and Medicine who wish to develop further skills related to psychology and cognitive neuroscience

Staff Expertise

The course Director, Associate Professor Hana Burianová has 15 years of neuroimaging experience, expertise in univariate and multivariate imaging methods, and background in memory, language, and brain plasticity.

Dr. Jodie Davies-Thompson, recipient of a highly competitive Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellowship, has experience in multimodal neuroimaging, expertise in white matter and functional imaging analyses, and background in vision and brain plasticity.

Dr. Claire Hanley, Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience & Ageing, has experience in brain stimulation and neuroimaging, expertise in repeated-measures analysis, and background in ageing and brain plasticity. Dr. Alex Jones has experience in the statistical language R and background in evolutionary psychology.

Dr. Lars Marstaller, recipient of a highly competitive Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award COFUND Individual  Fellowship, has experience in multimodal neuroimaging, expertise in white matter, grey matter, and functional imaging analyses, and background in language and learning.

Dr. John Towler has experience in EEG and background in perception, specifically face processing.

Associate Professor Jeremy Tree, the co-founder of the Psychology Dementia Research Group, has expertise in neuropsychology and brain damage.


Career Prospects

On completion of the course students will have the opportunity to apply to any competitive PhD programme in cognitive neuroscience nationally and internationally.

The course opens up a range of career options within cognitive neuroscience and related fields including psychology, computing, neurosciences, medicine and computer science, as research associates/officers, teachers, lecturers, the business sector and administration. 



Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience. 


In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences find out more here  or take a virtual tour  of the college.