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Masters Degrees (Animal Cognition)

We have 29 Masters Degrees (Animal Cognition)

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Drawing expertise from across a wide range of animal categories the course will extend your understanding and analysis of the scientific background underpinning the study of animals. Read more
Drawing expertise from across a wide range of animal categories the course will extend your understanding and analysis of the scientific background underpinning the study of animals. The course lecturers have all published widely and their research interests include farm animal behaviour, physiology and welfare, the welfare of exotic animals, ruminant nutrition and behavioural neurobiology.

The programme is divided into three stages, to complete the Master's level qualification, you must complete six modules as well as an independent research thesis. Interim qualifications are available for those who do not wish to complete a Master's programme. Those who complete 60 credits are able to gain a PgCert award and those who gain 120 credits gain a PgDip qualification.
Our Masters programme in Animal Welfare runs over one year full-time and is aimed at students who have completed a first degree in a biological sciences-related subject and who wish to further their career in animal welfare. Individual modules may also be taken as part of a continuing professional development programme.

The modules covered in this programme are:
• Principles of Animal Welfare (20 credits)
Provides a bridge for those students who have not previously studied animal welfare. The concepts of animal welfare and the cause of changes in animal welfare status will be covered as well as the role of economics in the field.

• Attitudes to Animals (20 credits)
Develops an appreciation of current and historical attitudes towards animals and how these impact on animal welfare and on society.

• Physiology of Animal Welfare (20 credits)
Investigates the structure and function of animal brains and the link between brain physiology and behaviour patterns. Explores in depth the role of physiological control systems in the stress response.

• Animal Behaviour & Cognition (20 credits)
Promotes understanding of the cognitive abilities of animals and assesses the consequences of these on animal welfare status in captivity.

• Animal Welfare in Industry & Law (40 credits)
Equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate the welfare of animals and develop solutions to welfare problems, as well as exploring the role of legislation in animal industries both in the UK and abroad.

• Research Project (60 credits)
Under the guidance of their project supervisor, each student will design and undertake a major research project on an aspect of animal welfare.

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Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The study of animal behaviour is an exciting and theoretically rigorous area of the biological sciences with possible applications in conservation, animal welfare, biomedical science and agriculture. The Centre for Behaviour and Evolution at Newcastle University brings together world experts in Behavioural Ecology, Comparative Cognition, Neuroethology and Animal Welfare.

Experts at Newcastle have discovered, among other things, that bees learn better when exposed to caffeine; that starlings who were hungry as babies become heavier as adults; and that mice have pain faces. You too can be part of this exciting research community.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD.

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of animal behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. The modules Comparative Cognition (MMB8043), Applied Ethology (ACE8074) and Sensory Systems (MMB8019) in particular are recommended for this course. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to animal behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on comparative cognition, on sensory systems (including neuroethology) and on applied ethology for animal welfare. Research-led seminars, delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover a wide range of taxa (insects to humans), topics (olfaction to cooperation), and methodologies. 

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of animal behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos.

Animal Behaviour MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in. See Programme information in our online Prospectus for full details.

Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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The University of Lincoln’s MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour programme is headed by a team of experts and is accredited by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Read more
The University of Lincoln’s MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour programme is headed by a team of experts and is accredited by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

This Master’s degree follows an evidence-based approach, which aims to develop your theoretical and practical skills for the management of problem behaviour in companion animals. It is headed by an team of experts, including Europe’s first veterinary behaviour professor, European and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon's specialist Daniel Mills, and European veterinary behaviour specialist Helen Zulch.

Teaching is informed by research and practice and you have the opportunity to gain experience of actual cases through access to the School of Life Sciences’ veterinary behaviour clinic. The curriculum is closely aligned to the research conducted in the School’s Animal Behaviour Cognition and Welfare Group. You will be encouraged to develop research skills and may have the opportunity to work alongside academics on high-profile projects, many of which are funded by research councils, charities and commercial bodies.

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Programme description. This programme has popular international appeal and is endorsed by many international organisations for its up-to-date understanding and application of the latest animal welfare methods and practices. Read more

Programme description

This programme has popular international appeal and is endorsed by many international organisations for its up-to-date understanding and application of the latest animal welfare methods and practices.

We provide students with an understanding of animal welfare that can be applied in animal research, management, care, production, inspection, assessment and preparation of legislation.

In addition to the core teaching team, we have many guest lecturers travel to Edinburgh each year to teach on the programme, allowing you to benefit from the experience and knowledge of professionals working throughout the animal behaviour and welfare community.

Our students benefit from the expertise of organisations such as:

Programme structure

The programme involves taught courses and your own dissertation.

Throughout the taught courses you will take part in many visits to farms and animal facilities and will study the following courses:

  • Introduction to Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare
  • Biology of Suffering
  • Animal Cognition and Consciousness
  • Scientific Methodology
  • Animal Welfare Applications
  • Read more about the taught courses

You can complete the programme over one, two or three years.

Dissertation

From March until August, you will work on a research project.

Career opportunities

Graduates move on to a variety of jobs such as research technicians, scientific advisors and lecturers. Many will also continue their study and enrol in a PhD.



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Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. Read more
Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. This benefits you by providing a strong background in a broad cross-section of research methods used by researchers studying human and animal behaviour, a strong training in statistical methods and multidisciplinary study environment. You will learn how to formulate and test relevant research questions, and critically evaluate the research carried out by others in the field.

The programme will give you an insight into the varied means of performing animal behaviour research in a wide array of locations with wild and (semi-)captive animals – in the wild, laboratory, zoo or under human management. As part of the taught component you will be exposed to lectures and seminar discussions, research talks and discussions with speakers, boost and consolidate your knowledge and skills in statistical data analysis, participate in a one-week residential field course (during the Easter break) and in research skill training sessions. During the course you will continuously develop your abilities in critical analysis of the literature and of scientific evidence, project development, communication and scientific writing.

You will be part of the lively, internationally-recognised Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour (http://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/research/centres/crab/) and will have the opportunity to work alongside our experienced researchers on a research apprenticeship which is a central component of the course. The apprenticeship enables you to develop your research skills further and write up the research in the form of a journal article for potential publication. Apprenticeships can also be undertaken under the supervision of researchers at various institutions with whom we have developed long-term relationships.

On successful completion of the MSc you will have the skills to pursue a PhD, work as a research assistant and project manager or follow a career working in zoos, research centres, nature reserves, wildlife and other animal-related offices, education, scientific media and the expanding field of eco-tourism.

Research Apprenticeship

A distinctive feature of all our taught Masters programmes is the Research Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship enables you to develop your research skills by working alongside experienced researchers or practitioners. You will also gain experience of writing up your research in the form of a dissertation.

Many students undertake their apprenticeship with researchers in the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour in our School, both in the labs and in the field around the campus, Devon and abroad. Students work on a wide range of topics and with different animals, for example:
• Social behaviour, animal welfare and enrichment, zoo research, animal cognition, navigation, sensory ecology, behavioural ecology, ecotoxicology
• Fish (guppies, sticklebacks, killifish), mammals (primates, squirrels, whales, donkeys, dogs, meerkats, coyotes), birds (pigeons, chickens, pheasants, magpies, flamingoes, wood and sea birds), invertebrates (crabs, honeybees, bumblebees, desert ants, wood ants)

Programme structure

The programme is made up of compulsory modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Advanced Statistics; Behavioural Science Research Skills; Advances and Methods in Animal Behaviour; Research Apprenticeship; Current Research Issues in Animal Behaviour;

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The MRes in Animal Behaviour and Welfare offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge of animal behaviour and animal welfare science. Read more
The MRes in Animal Behaviour and Welfare offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge of animal behaviour and animal welfare science. You will explore advances in animal behaviour within animal cognition, animal personality, animal communication and language, sexual selection and sexual conflict, and social behaviour. You will also look at contemporary issues in animal welfare science such as methods of animal welfare assessment, animal welfare legislation, welfare implications of keeping animals in captivity and issues related to improving and assessing animal welfare.

This postgraduate programme will allow you to advance the knowledge you gained from your animal related degree and provide you with the required knowledge and skills to develop practical solutions for existing and emerging problems in animal behaviour and animal welfare science. The knowledge and skills that you gain from the programme will enhance your career prospects and can be applied in future scientific research and in practical areas such as conservation, animal welfare organisations, research centres and zoos.

The Masters by Research in Animal Behaviour and Welfare includes 60 credits of taught modules, including core modules of advances in animal behaviour, contemporary issues in animal welfare, and research methods and optional modules such as wildlife conflict, postgraduate independent study and reflection on practice. These modules tend to be taught in two day blocks. This means that the teaching is condensed to allow the Masters study to occur round other commitments in our students' lives.

These modules will give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of animal behaviour and welfare science, advance your skills in critically evaluating current research, and develop your abilities in research design and statistical analysis. These skills, along with one to one support, will allow you to understand and apply current scientific thinking, develop new ideas and evaluate current processes and practices. This will allow you to effectively design and carry out your dissertation research project. This will be original research that will make a valuable contribution to the field of animal behaviour or animal welfare. The dissertation is highly flexible and provides you with the freedom to develop a research project of your own choosing in order to fit in with your specific interests and career aspirations.

The programme can be completed full time in one year; part time routes are available and should be planned with your Programme Manager.

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About this course. This course covers the diversity of human-animal interactions. It critically evaluates and assesses the biological and social basis of these interactions, with the aim of improving our understanding, and enhancing the overall quality of specific human-animal interactions. Read more

About this course

This course covers the diversity of human-animal interactions. It critically evaluates and assesses the biological and social basis of these interactions, with the aim of improving our understanding, and enhancing the overall quality of specific human-animal interactions. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills.

You’ll study how humans and animals interact, covering both theoretical and practical aspects of these interactions. There’s an emphasis on examining the animal aspect of the interaction, while adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the wider subject area. You’ll discover how this knowledge can be applied to practical situations where an in-depth understanding of human-animal interactions might be of benefit. For example, in animal rescue and rehoming centres; the utilisation of animals for educational and therapeutic purposes; human-animal conflict situations; and the role and value of animals in society more generally.

You’ll study the current issues and insights at the forefront of anthrozoology, and the philosophical, welfare and ethical issues related to these. You’ll explore general patterns in human and animal cognition, behaviour, and psychological functioning, and appreciate how these relate to the application of anthrozoology.

On this course, you’ll also evaluate the rigour and validity of published research, and assess its relevance to new situations within the discipline. You’ll gain an insight into recent advances in animal science, specifically relating to the applications of anthrozoology – therefore, attending a relevant scientific conference is strongly advised as an integral part of this course.

How do you study?

and practical sessions. You’ll also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff. Independent learning is required, and you’ll undertake high-quality research. You will research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project, and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our modern Animal Unit which houses over 150 animals from 40 different species. The collection consists of domesticated and exotic species, in settings that are as naturalistic as possible. There are specialist teaching rooms within the Animal Unit that contain research equipment and essential resources to enhance your learning experience. You’ll also benefit from our veterinary and equestrian facilities, as well as our working farm that includes sheep and a herd of Lincoln red beef cattle, and our new poultry unit.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website.

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our courses, please visit our website.



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About this course. This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills. Read more

About this course

This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills.

There is an emphasis on examining the biology of health and welfare science, while adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the wider subject area. You'll discover how to apply your knowledge to real world situations, such as enhancing agricultural production utilising animals for educational and therapeutic purposes, or effectively maximising welfare within a rescue environment.

You'll study the current issues and insights at the forefront of animal health and welfare, and the philosophical, welfare and ethical issues related to these. You'll explore general patterns in human and animal cognition, behaviour, and psychological functioning, and appreciate how these relate to the application of health and welfare science. The course also critically examines and assesses the biological and social basis of human-animal interactions, with the aim of improving our understanding and the overall quality of these interactions.

On this course you will also evaluate the rigour and validity of published research, and assess its relevance to new situations within the discipline. You'll gain an insight into recent advances n animal science - therefore, attending a relevant scientific conference is strongly advised as an integral part of the course.

How do you study?

You'll be taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. you will also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff.

Independent learning is required and you will undertake high-quality research. You will research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our modern Animal Unit which houses over 150 animals of 40 different species. The collection consists of domesticated and exotic species, in settings that are as natural as possible. There are specialist teaching rooms within the Animal Unit which contain various research equipment and essential resources to enhance your learning experience. You'll also benefit from our veterinary and equestrian facilities, as well as the working farm which includes sheep and a herd of Lincoln red beef cattle, and the newly built poultry unit.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website.

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our MRes Animal Health and Welfare course, please visit our website.



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About this course. This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills. Read more

About this course

This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills.

There is an emphasis on examining the biology of health and welfare science, while adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the wider subject area. You'll discover how to apply your knowledge to real world situations, such as enhancing agricultural production utilising animals for educational and therapeutic purposes, or effectively maximising welfare within a rescue environment.

You'll study the current issues and insights at the forefront of animal health and welfare, and the philosophical, welfare and ethical issues related to these. You'll explore general patterns in human and animal cognition, behaviour, and psychological functioning, and appreciate how these relate to the application of health and welfare science. The course also critically examines and assesses the biological and social basis of human-animal interactions, with the aim of improving our understanding and the overall quality of these interactions.

On this course you will also evaluate the rigour and validity of published research, and assess its relevance to new situations within the discipline. You'll gain an insight into recent advances n animal science - therefore, attending a relevant scientific conference is strongly advised as an integral part of the course.

How do you study?

You'll be taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. you will also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff.

Independent learning is required and you will undertake high-quality research. You will research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our modern Animal Unit which houses over 150 animals of 40 different species. The collection consists of domesticated and exotic species, in settings that are as natural as possible. There are specialist teaching rooms within the Animal Unit which contain various research equipment and essential resources to enhance your learning experience. You'll also benefit from our veterinary and equestrian facilities, as well as the working farm which includes sheep and a herd of Lincoln red beef cattle, and the newly built poultry unit.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website.

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our courses, please visit our website.



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Our MPhil/PhD in Life Sciences is a cross-disciplinary research programme designed to enable you to develop your research skills by focusing on a specialist set of research questions. Read more
Our MPhil/PhD in Life Sciences is a cross-disciplinary research programme designed to enable you to develop your research skills by focusing on a specialist set of research questions.

This MPhil/PhD programme is designed to teach you more than just how to conduct scientific research, it also aims to develop your ability to communicate your findings effectively. This MPhil/PhD programme will also provide an opportunity for you to significantly develop your oral and written communication skills.

You can benefit from training courses provided by the University to develop key skills in research. Under the guidance and advice from your PhD supervisors you will be encouraged to present talks and seminars on your work both at the University of Lincoln as well at national and international meetings and conferences. Under the guidance of your PhD supervisors you will also be expected to produce progress reports, develop your ability to write up your work for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and ultimately to effectively communicate your research and thesis.

Beyond learning how do conduct solid research science, and the specialist skills that you are expected to develop due to your subject discipline (e.g. how to work in a molecular laboratory or conduct animal cognition experiments) the process of studying for a research degree can provide transferable skills in problem solving, time management, independent and team work, and communication.

How You Study

This research programme relies on your independent study and research, supervised by an advisory panel of academic staff. The nature of this research will be specific to the subject. A PhD programme is expected to investigate a novel question and provide a novel contribution to science.

Most students are initially enrolled on an MPhil programme. After one year, if sufficient progress can be demonstrated, students have the option to transfer to a PhD programme.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisors, however the regularity of these may vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

How You Are Assessed

Each student will have at least one monthly formal meeting with their supervisors where progress will be discussed. After three months you are expected to provide an outline of your research proposal, which will be evaluated. After the first year you may apply for transfer to a PhD programme via a written report and you will be orally examined.

Both the MPhil and PhD are awarded based on the quality of your thesis and your ability in an oral examination (viva voce) to present and successfully defend your chosen research topic. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

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We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering. Read more
We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering: Behavioural development; Motivation and sensory systems; Evolution and behaviour; Pain, stress and welfare; Navigation; Cognition; Endocrines and pheromones; Communication and Welfare of farm, companion and zoo animals; Behaviour and conservation; Fear and sterotypies and Practical measures for enhancing welfare. We also have visits to Belfast Zoological Gardens, Castle Espie Wildfowl Centre and Farms. In semester two we cover practical topics that include defining and recording behaviour, experimental design and analyses, presentation of results in various formats and getting to grips with primary literature. That is a period in which students also focus on preparing for the project and they give a seminar onhow they intend to approach the research project. The latter is a 5-month, fully-supervised Research Project that can involve field work abroad, field work on UK farms, exerimental work in the labortaory or field. It can involve welfare or fundamental animal behaviour. We have a team of ten that currently offer diverse projects for this course and nine of these are involved in the delivery of lectures (check our web site). Project supervisors will also supervise a literature review in the broad area of the project. Knowledge gained form the course can be applied to fundamental scientific research and to practical areas such as conservation, animal husbandry and zoo environments. Formal teaching is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, one year full time two years part time.

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A flexible and interdisciplinary programme, which challenges you to use your specific knowledge to unravel the workings of the human brain. Read more
A flexible and interdisciplinary programme, which challenges you to use your specific knowledge to unravel the workings of the human brain.

Our brain contains many ingenious networks of millions of interconnected neurons. Together, they have a storage capacity and flexibility that far exceed modern supercomputers, or any artificial intelligent system. The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience aims at unravelling the neuro-biological and neuro-computational mechanisms of this fascinating, complex system. We study the full spectrum from molecule to man, and from experiment to advanced theory and models.

The brain, as part of the human body, may at a first glance seem the exclusive domain of Biology. However, as the communication between neurons involves neurotransmitters and electrical ionic currents, understanding these mechanisms calls for knowledge of Chemistry and Physics. Moreover, studying mechanisms of coding and encoding of neural signals, requires advanced concepts from Mathematics and Informatics. By working together, our students learn to view complex issues from all these different sides.

Choose your own angle

Neuroscience at the Science Faculty ranges from biology to physics and mathematics, and will thus appeal to students from different Master’s programmes. The programme can be readily adapted to your individual academic background – whether that is in the field of Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Computing Science. Apart from fundamental knowledge of the brain, the Neuroscience specialisation also provides you with a general background in the principles of complex systems, and of intelligent behaviour of living and artificial systems.

Why study Neuroscience at Radboud University?

- Radboud University is the only university in the Netherlands that covers the complete research field of Neuroscience, from cognition to behaviour, and from sub-cellular processes, to single cell analysis and big data.
- The specialisation is closely connected to the world-renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI). You will get the chance to work with DI researchers during your internship, and build up a high profile network for your future career.
- The courses have a strong focus on research: they will cover the latest developments in brain research and technology, and train you the essential academic skills.
- You will work with students and researchers from different backgrounds in the natural sciences and become acquainted with a wide variety of research methods and scientific approaches.

Change perspective

The brain, as part of the human body, may at a first glance seem the exclusive domain of Biology. However, as the communication between neurons involves neurotransmitters and electrical ionic currents, understanding these mechanisms calls for knowledge of Chemistry and Physics. Moreover, studying mechanisms of coding and encoding of neural signals, requires advanced concepts from Mathematics and Informatics. By working together, our students learn to view complex issues from all these different sides.

Career prospects

Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience
The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience gives you the chance to work at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and build up your own network of international renowned scientists who are working on the human brain: an excellent preparation for a future career in science. Neuroscience will also provide you with general skills that are required for any other job you aspire:
- the ability to structure complex problems
- excellent social skills for working in a multidisciplinary team
- extensive experience in presentations
- academic writing skills

Our approach to this field

At Radboud University, all branches of Neuroscience are accounted for, and strongly intertwined through the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI). This unique combination of expertises is a real advantage for Neuroscience students: it gives you absolute freedom to develop your knowledge in your field of interest and a high profile network for your future career.

- Science faculty
In this specialisation at the Science faculty, you will use your background in the natural sciences to unravel neurobiological processes. When completed, you will receive a Master’s degree in Medical Biology, Molecular Life Sciences, Physics & Astronomy or Science. For highly talented students it is possible to obtain a second Master’s degree at the selective Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience of the DI, which has a more cognitive approach. This extra Master’s degree takes one additional year (60 EC) to complete.

- Themes
The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience focuses on three of the four research themes of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour:

- Perception, Action and Control
Focus: Studying sensorimotor mechanisms, their cognitive and social components, their clinical implications, and their relevance for robotics.

Research: Researchers use theoretical analysis, psychophysical and behavioural studies, neurophysiological techniques, neuroimaging, clinical and pharmacological interventions, developmental and genetic approaches.

- Plasticity and Memory
Focus: The development and decay of the healthy and the maladaptive brain.

Research: Researchers in this field study the mechanistic underpinnings and behavioural consequences of long-term changes in neural structure and function. Genetic, molecular and cellular methods, animal models, as well as human neuroimaging and cognitive neuropsychology are used.

- Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
Focus: Complex neural networks, ranging from the very smallest – communication between individual neurons – to the largest: communication between different brain areas and the outside world.

Research: The research groups combine the development of new techniques for measurements of connectivity and activation, with the experimental application of these techniques in studies of cognition in humans, non-human primates and rodents. Computational modelling is an important component.

- Custom approach
The specialisation programme depends on the Master’s programme that you will follow. In this way, it will perfectly fit to your current knowledge and practical skills. However, as all neuroscience research topics are interdisciplinary, you will become acquainted with other disciplines as well. This will help you to develop a common ground that is necessary to communicate in a multi-faceted (research) team.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/neuro

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Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project. Read more
Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project.

This course provides an opportunity for students from biological subjects to begin research in life sciences. Research may be conducted in a broad range of topics in biology and life sciences and as a researcher in the School, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with academics working on studies and projects.

The School undertakes research at molecular, cellular, organism and population levels in order to answer fundamental questions in molecular biology and biomedical science, forensic science and microbiology, animal and plant biology, and evolution and ecology.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research is conducted within six substantial research groups. Scientists in Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare explore the causes, functions and evolution of animal behaviour and the impact this has on animal welfare.

Those in Evolution and Ecology examine population dynamics and evolutionary processes at all levels of biological organisation. Researchers in Drug Design and Delivery focus on the application and efficacy of novel therapeutics, while academics working in Molecular Basis of Disease aim to understand disease at a molecular level in order to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Example Research Areas:
-Management of Native River Fish
-Forensic Analysis of Burnt Bones
-Public Perception of Dog Breed Types.

Example Research Projects:
-Peptide-guided drug delivery
-Cognitive phylogenetics in parrots
-Sexual selection dynamics in humans
-Protein Biochemistry with the development of cardiovascular disease
-Reconstruction of patterns of habitat colonisation using genetic methods.

How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisor, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

Facilities

Students have the chance to develop their professional and technical skills in specialist laboratories equipped for research in biomedical, forensic and pharmaceutical science, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and animal and plant biology.

Minster House, adjacent to the laboratories, provides specialist facilities for the study of animal behaviour. Our links with local, national and international partners may provide postgraduate students with opportunities for further collaboration with scientists in industry, government and academia.

Career and Personal Development

Postgraduate-level research provides you with the opportunity to advance your knowledge and develop your practical and intellectual skills. Graduates may pursue careers in research and science-related roles, while others may choose to move on to research at doctoral level.

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You will benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have particular interests in cultural evolution and language, social learning, and mate choice. Read more

Introduction

You will benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have particular interests in cultural evolution and language, social learning, and mate choice. Our staff are also at the forefront of new developments in applying evolutionary principles to address real world issue. Students interested in comparative approaches and animal behaviour will benefit from other members of our Behaviour and Evolution Research Group whose world-leading research on behaviour and cognition in primates, dogs and elephants are also being applied to real world problems, including conservation, human-animal interaction, and animal welfare. Under the group's expert guidance you will undertake specialists modules, a research placement and a research project. You will also be able to take advantage of our on-site and overseas labs, field sites and links with industrial partners. For example, the University works closely with the Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Professor Craig Roberts

Bursaries are available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/.

Course objectives

The course provides advanced training as a preparation for a research career in Psychology, primarily for those intending to proceed to a PhD in the area of evolutionary psychology, comparative cognition or animal behaviour. It may also be suitable for meeting continuing professional development needs for those working in related applied contexts.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based. Students are typically taught within small groups in specialist classes, with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc courses).
Both taught and research postgraduates are integral to our research group and expected to participate in our regular meetings. All students allocated a peer mentor are provided with appropriate office space and equipment. In addition, each student is associated with an academic from Psychology.
The individual modules contribute towards 60 percent of the MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Strengths
Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.

Career opportunities

This course provides advanced training to prepare you for a research career in evolutionary approaches to behaviour, especially for those intending to proceed to a PhD. You will become an integral member of our lively and active research group and we will support you in making the complex transition towards being an independent research scientist. The placement also allows considerable scope for those interested in more applied areas to develop relevant skills for these careers. The course also seeks to meet the continuing professional development needs of those already working in related applied contexts.

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Our specialised research interests in psychology include evolutionary psychology, perception and cognition, animal behaviour, neuroscience, social psychology and forensic psychology. Read more
Our specialised research interests in psychology include evolutionary psychology, perception and cognition, animal behaviour, neuroscience, social psychology and forensic psychology.

We offer MPhil supervision in the areas of psychology covering Newcastle's research strengths:

Clinical and health psychology

We research developmental disorders of perception and cognition, and the development and assessment of cognitive models of, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for:
-Bipolar disorder
-Psychosis
-Anxiety
-Developmental disorders

Behaviour and evolution

We carry out studies of animal and human behaviour including:
-The evolutionary psychology of mate choice
-Attractiveness and co-operation
-Evolutionary approaches to personality

Visual perception and human cognition

Our research includes:
-Perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Development psychology

We focus on how different cognitive skills develop in children, from memory systems to learning in school. We have particular strength in developmental disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Forensic psychology

Our research includes:
-Investigative interviewing of victims
-Witnesses and suspected offenders of crime, including eye-witness testimony
-Sexual offending, including historical allegations of sexual abuse
-Communication in legal contexts

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