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Masters Degrees (Brain Disorder)

We have 7 Masters Degrees (Brain Disorder)

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The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. Read more
The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following research areas:

Motor systems development, plasticity and function

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.

Visual system development, plasticity and repair]]
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.

[[Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Auditory neuroscience

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.

Pain

Our research focuses on:
-Understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
-The development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans

Psychobiology

We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.

Neurotoxicology

Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.

Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology

Our research covers:
-The assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
-Development and assessment of cognitive models
-Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
-Developmental disorders of perception and cognition

Systems and computational neuroscience

We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.

Behaviour and evolution

Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.

Visual perception and human cognition

We research:
-Colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention - memory
-Word learning in children
-Body image dysfunction
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

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Research profile. Our Division of Psychiatry is internationally recognised as a world-class clinical research and teaching centre. Read more

Research profile

Our Division of Psychiatry is internationally recognised as a world-class clinical research and teaching centre.

We focus on the mechanisms underlying the development of major psychiatric disorders, including autism, bipolar disorder, depression, dementia and schizophrenia.

Expertise and studies

We have a particular expertise in longitudinal, clinical and biological studies of large cohorts of people at high risk of psychotic disorders drawn from across Scotland. Our studies include:

  • the Edinburgh High Risk Study, which examines 200 young people at high genetic risk of schizophrenia over a period of ten years
  • the Edinburgh Study of Co-Morbidity, which examines teenagers at high cognitive risk for schizophrenia
  • the Bipolar Family Study, which examines over 200 young people at familial risk of bipolar disorder and controls

In psychiatric genetics, we take part in international genome wide association studies and focus on analyses of candidate genes including DISC-1, NDE-1 and DLG-2.

We also have a major focus on the functional genetics of psychiatric illness and have investigated the effects of variation in genes, such as DISC-1, on brain structure and function, as well as their programming during development in stem cell models.

We have demonstrated, for the first time, that structural and functional MRI changes precede the onset of psychosis and could be used as a diagnostic aid.

We have also demonstrated that imaging can be used to separate autism from learning disability in people of matched IQ.

We have made substantial progress in the discovery of genes, including DISC-1, associated with psychosis and have played a leading role in understanding how genetic variation alters brain structure and function and risk for mental illness.

Research methods

The principal methods used are state-of-the-art structural and functional imaging techniques and genetic studies. We are also involved in a number of clinical trials of novel therapeutic interventions.

Major conditions of interest

Our major interests (that straddle the disciplines of Neurology and Psychiatry) include:

  • Autism and learning disability (Andrew Stanfield)
  • Dementia prevention (Craig Ritchie)
  • Bipolar disorder and depression (Andrew McIntosh)
  • Schizophrenia (Stephen Lawrie, Mandy Johnstone)
  • Cognition and Behaviour (collaborations with the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology
  • Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology

We are also closely involved in two philanthropically funded Specialist Centres of Excellence:

Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

The Division of Psychiatry is a part of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) in the Edinburgh Medical School. CCBS integrates laboratory and clinical research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders.

Training and support

Postgraduate students are mentored and supported by at least two supervisors and receive long-term guidance from their thesis committee.

We offer a transferable skills programme and project-specific courses, including opportunities to become involved in science communication and public engagement. In addition, the Division provides clinical case demonstrations and specialist seminars.

Facilities

We offer well-characterised cohorts of patients and expertise in a wide variety of techniques to study biological aspects of psychiatric disorders.



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Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty discipline within psychology which is focused on the associations between the brain and neuropsychological functions, including cognition, emotion and behaviour. Read more
Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty discipline within psychology which is focused on the associations between the brain and neuropsychological functions, including cognition, emotion and behaviour. Clinical neuropsychology is particularly interested in the effects of brain disorders and other clinical conditions affecting the brain on these functions.

Disorders and conditions comprise acquired or congenital neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions in children, adolescents and adults, such as ADHD, autism, stroke, brain tumor, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, drug abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, etc.

Clinical neuropsychologists can be involved in both the assessment and treatment of people with brain disorders in various applied and often clinical settings, but also in patient related research. Methods used in the field of clinical neuropsychology are neuropsychological tests, neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques.

With the aging population, the number of people with neuropsychological disorders increases and with this also the demand for well trained clinical neuropsychologists.

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This MSc is an accredited professional programme leading to qualification as a speech and language therapist (SLT). The programme integrates theory with work-based clinical placements with adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. Read more

This MSc is an accredited professional programme leading to qualification as a speech and language therapist (SLT). The programme integrates theory with work-based clinical placements with adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. The programme has an excellent reputation, and over 90% of graduates are working in SLT-related posts within six months of qualifying.

About this degree

You will learn to apply knowledge from a range of academic subjects to speech and language therapy (SLT) practice. Innovative and authentic learning methods help you develop skills such as team-working, assessment and therapy, self-evaluation. The curriculum promotes strong research skills, enabling you to evaluate and add to the evidence-base for the SLT profession. The programme prepares you well for future leadership roles.

Students undertake modules to the value of 360 credits.

The programme comprises 12 core modules. Students register for six modules in year one (totalling 165 credits) and six modules in year two (195 credits, including a 60-credit research project).

Year one core modules

  • Professional Studies 1
  • Management of Communication Disorders 1: Language and Cognition (developmental)
  • Management of Communication Disorders 2: Speech and Hearing
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Linguistic and Psychological Perspectives
  • Research and Evidence Based Practice

Year two core modules

  • Professional Studies 2
  • Management of Communication Disorders 3: Language and Cognition (acquired)
  • Management of Communication Disorders 4: Speech, Swallowing and Voice
  • Brain, Mind and Health
  • Research Methods
  • Research Project

There are no optional modules on this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 8,000 words. Students also present their project orally to a group of peers.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, workshops, supervised clinical placements, practical classes and self-directed learning. Collaborative peer-working features strongly throughout. A variety of assessment methods are used, including coursework, presentations, clinical vivas, written examinations and practice-based assessment on placement.

Placement

Students attend both weekly and block placements, from the start of the programme working alongside qualified SLTs in a wide range of settings including hospitals, community, schools and charities. Placements are organised such that each student gains a breadth of experience. Students undertake over 700 hours of supervised clinical practice over the two-year course, well above RCSLT recommendations.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Speech and Language Sciences MSc

Funding

The UK/EU fee for this programme is currently under review pending an announcement from the UK Government.

More information on studying allied health professions in England is on the official Council of Deans of Health website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Most graduates from this programme work as speech and language therapists, providing specialist assessment, intervention and support to adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties, for example people with autism spectrum disorder, developmental language or learning difficulties, neurological conditions, dementia. They work in the NHS, in hospitals, specialist centres, in the community and in education settings, in mainstream or special schools and children's centres. Our graduates are well placed to take up further research and to fast-track into highly specialist speech and language therapist roles.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Speech and Language Therapist, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Speech and Language Therapist, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Speech and Language Therapist, King's College Hospital (NHS)
  • Speech and Language Therapist, Ministry of Education New Zealand
  • Speech and Language Therapist, The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

Employability

The programme is highly regarded by employers, with over 90% of graduates employed in speech and language therapy roles within six months of qualifying. Workplace learning in numerous clinical placements enables you to apply your knowledge from a range of disciplines to assessing and managing communication difficulties in real-life speech and language therapy contexts. This MSc also develops a range of transferable skills relevant to employability, such as: interpersonal and communication skills, oral and written presentation skills, collaboration and teamworking, critical evaluation, integration and synthesis of information, report writing, research skills.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

You will benefit directly from UCL's world-leading research and teaching, supported by facilities such as the on-site national SLT library and our in-house clinic.

You will be taught by experts in the field including specialist speech and language therapists, psychologists, linguists, neurologists. Our strong partnership with SLT services across London ensures that you will attend a range of high-quality clinical placements.

This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). UCL will pay for your student membership of RCSLT. This qualification allows you to practise as an SLT in the UK.



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Research profile. The MSc by Research in Clinical Psychology offer the chance to work with, and be supervised by, a range of clinical academics across many areas of psychology. Read more

Research profile

The MSc by Research in Clinical Psychology offer the chance to work with, and be supervised by, a range of clinical academics across many areas of psychology.

Candidates should note that these programmes do not lead to Chartered Clinical Psychologist status.

Our research involves national and international collaborations, with many projects involving NHS partnerships.

We have specific research strengths in the areas of children and adolescents; developmental psychopathology of mental health; ageing and older adulthood; adult psychological problems; brain injury; chronic health conditions; psychological therapies research, including cognitive behavioural interventions; emotions and emotion regulation; sex offenders; learning disability; neuropsychology; quality of life; severe and enduring mental health problems; and the development and validation of measures.

Specific areas of interest include cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychosis, health psychology, and qualitative approaches.

We have an active research group in the area of applied developmental psychology and psychological therapies research for severe mental health issues. We coordinate the Edinburgh Child and Adolescent Psychology Network. The group’s research areas include child and adolescent health and mental health; cognition, language and learning; social development and relationships; and atypical development.

For more detailed information about potential PhD supervisors in this area, their research interests and publications, please visit our website.

Our research interests include:

  • onset and recovery from severe and enduring psychological disorder
  • mindfulness and third wave approaches
  • medically unexplained symptoms
  • child and adolescent mental health
  • eating behaviours and disorders
  • attachment and emotion regulation and sex offenders.

Training and support

The MSc by Research programme allows you to conduct an independent research project that makes a significant contribution to your chosen field of study and to further develop your research skills. We provide expertise in a variety of research methods including qualitative and quantitative approaches.

You will be assigned two supervisors (usually one for MSc by Research) and you will meet with your supervisors regularly. Workshops, seminars and courses in research methods are available to postgraduate students undertaking a higher degree by research.

We work in close collaboration with the Graduate School of Social & Political Science, enabling School of Health in Social Science research students to benefit from the extensive suite of social science research courses offered by both Schools.

With close ties with other humanities disciplines and with colleagues in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, we offer PhD students excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary supervision and research project development.



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Occupational therapy practice is concerned with enhancing the daily lives of individuals with a very broad range of physical, mental health or social needs. Read more
Occupational therapy practice is concerned with enhancing the daily lives of individuals with a very broad range of physical, mental health or social needs. As an occupational therapist you will work with clients to improve function and enable them to fulfil the demands of their daily lives with greater satisfaction. You will work with people of all ages from all walks of life, in hospital, in the community, in their place of employment or in their home, and have the opportunity to work in a very wide variety of professional practice areas.

The fundamental aim of the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme is to enable you to graduate with a master’s degree in occupational therapy and be eligible to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK. The Degree does not provide eligibility to practice in any other country although the degree is WFOT recognised.

HCPC approved and COT/WFOT accredited

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/occupational-therapy-pre-registration/

Why choose this course?

- Graduates from this programme will be fit for purpose, practice, and award in the UK. We enable you to develop a profound understanding of the potential for occupational therapy to promote the health and wellbeing of the population. Skills acquired will be evidenced based, innovative and give you the capacity to make a significant contribution to the profession, specifically contribute to excellence in client care and the professional knowledge base. On successful completion of the degree and 1000 hours of clinical practice education you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a registered Occupational Therapist in the UK.

- Many of our graduates go on to further educational development at PhD/DPhil and professional doctorate level. We are mindful of the anticipated transformation of practice over the next 20 years as well as the changes to demographics and the political innovation resulting in the widening participation agenda. We therefore aim to attract graduate students, who are academically able, demonstrate appropriate values of self-determination, motivation and critical awareness of learning needs and show potential for leading leadership, innovation and research.

- Based in Oxford, the environment for learning is rich with diversity, culture, specialist health and social care resources, academic resources as well as close commuting links to London.

- Our programme is staffed by occupational therapists expert in diverse clinical specialities, and supported by occupational therapy practice educators from all areas of mainstream and specialist practice. Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas and have reputations for excellence with established links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international level.

- This course benefits from shared and inter-professional education opportunities, in addition to profession specific ones, to develop the professional qualities and attributes for current and future health and social care practice.

- Our ongoing investment in a new technology infrastructure is enabling the teaching team to exploit successful technology-enriched learning throughout the programme. We have a large and dedicated building in Oxford (Marston Road) equipped with state-of-the-art classroom and clinical skills and communication suites and resources. We run a weekly Hand Therapy clinic and a monthly Community Occupational Therapy Assessment Clinic for the public. Students are invited to observe other qualified OT's working in these clinics.

- We have a strong research profile, with experienced researchers working in established areas of cancer care, children and families, drug and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement, inter-professional education and collaborative practice.

- Established in 1938, we are the oldest School of Occupational Therapy in England, and have one of the best occupational therapy library collections in the country.

- We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high employability.

Teaching and learning

MSc in Occupational Therapy is taught alongside the well-established and highly-regarded BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy.

Pre-registration Masters students will be taught alongside the undergraduate students in all occupational therapy specific modules. These will be identified with different module numbers and names to those of the undergraduate programme. This dual level teaching in classroom will provide you with the opportunity to learn the core skills and specific attributes of occupational therapy alongside the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy students.

However, the pre-registration Masters students are provided with an enhanced level 7 learning experience with module specific tutorials to explore a more critical and evidence based approach to the subject matter and thus develop professional competence in academic, research and digital literacy, critical thinking and personal self-awareness.

Our approach will require you to actively engage in these Masters level tutorials and become self-directed, innovative, creative and critical learners. Teaching will assist you to construct knowledge through the analysis, synthesis and conceptualisation of your learning experiences, thus developing a lifelong approach to learning. This supports employability in a marketplace that demands adaptability, continuous development and leadership.

You will have the opportunity for face-to-face and virtual learning activities. Our inter-professional module is taken alongside other health and social care pre-registration master's level students, enabling you to prepare for the interdisciplinary work you will encounter in the health and social care environment.

Working at master’s level, you will focus on developing your knowledge in occupational therapy, which is evidence-based and strongly underpinned by research.

This master's degree will:
- Enable you to be a reflective, proactive, innovative and adaptable occupational therapy practitioner, with the ability to critique research and evaluate the effectiveness of evidence in a wide variety of practice settings.

- Develop a critical understanding of the theory of occupation and teach you to challenge existing models and approaches used in occupational therapy from an informed perspective.

- Provide opportunities to develop your ability to work both independently and as part of a team in the context of social, technological, administrative and policy changes.

How this course helps you develop

This course is mapped against the University's postgraduate attributes so that all occupational therapy graduates are equipped with the skills of academic literacy, digital and information literacy, global citizenship, research literacy, critical self awareness and personal literacy. These attributes are in addition to the NHS core values of respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, and aspiring to improve the lives of others where everyone counts and we work together for patients.

Careers

The majority of graduates from the occupational therapy degrees work as qualified and registered occupational therapists, but there are increasing opportunities to work in non-specified professional roles in mental health and community settings. There are also increasing numbers of employment roles that are not explicitly described or advertised as an ‘occupational therapist’ but match the skills specification of an occupational therapist. This is due to the changing nature of health and social care practice and the new and emerging roles and opportunities for occupational therapy.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

The Centre for Rehabilitation within the Department of Sport and Health Sciences has strong leadership in the director, Professor Helen Dawes. The Centre brings together research, education and care. It is underpinned by a strong, well-published research group, the Movement Science Group, along with clinical expertise, rehabilitation, knowledge and care of adults and children with neurological conditions. Within the Centre, staff, students and alumni across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences are engaged in a number of research projects.

Examples of ongoing research projects within the faculty:
- Driving rehabilitation - cognitive mechanisms of driving and performance implications for clinical populations

- Fatigue management – Central and peripheral fatigue and mechanisms in clinical populations

- Dual task control in Stroke - influence on community mobility

- Efficacy of Intensive motor learning programmes – Themed (Magic) camps for children with hemiplegia

- Arts in Health Research – collaboration with Breathe Arts Health Research with research opportunities across many arts related activities

- Virtual Reality (VR) technologies – development and implementation of VR technologies in rehabilitation

- Early identification of motor and sensory processing impairments in children

- Sensory processing disorders and impact on function and behaviour in children with autism

- Measurement and monitoring of rehabilitation participation- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Systematic Review of Vocational Rehabilitation for people with TBI

- Therapy for hand writing in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD)

- Monitoring movement in people with neurological conditions – mechanisms and impact e.g. head drop in Parkinson Disorder

- Physical activity impact on sleep, behaviour cognition, health and wellbeing in children with neurodisability

- Falls in people with learning disabilities – an understanding of the impact of anxiety

- A Functional Electrical Stimulation Plantar flexion System for Bone Health Maintenance in Spinal Cord Injury Patients

- Professional development Perspectives of Occupational Therapists working in the NHS and concepts of Occupational Balance, Cultural perspectives and attitude change in professional identity acquisition.

Research areas and clusters

Our staff are involved in research both independently and collaboratively.

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