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  • Study Type

    Full time available

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  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    19 June 2019

This course is for you if you wish to gain specialist training in cognitive neuroscience using state-of-the-art facilities at the Aston Brain Centre and at the psychology laboratories, coupled with transferable research skills.

Course outline

This course is unique through its dual emphasis on specialist training in the area of Cognitive Neuroscience, as well as on generic, transferable research skills for career and professional development. 

Hear from Dr Nathan Ridout as he explains some of the main features of the course.

You will study specialist modules in Cognitive Neuroscience that combine theory and practice in paired sessions consisting of a lecture and an associated research practical.

The course is based on a core curriculum of six taught modules and a research dissertation. The taught modules provide a detailed and critical understanding of contemporary research and analysis methods used in Cognitive Neuroscience, as well as generic professional development and research-related communication skills.

You will acquire comprehensive research experience from working with researchers of international standing. The course is especially recommended for graduates who want to:

  • Specialise in the area of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Continue to do a PhD, or get a feel for research before embarking on a PhD
  • Enhance their CV with a research-related Masters qualification.

What you will study

Modules and content:

  • Introduction into Cognitive Neuroscience: Neuroanatomy; inferring mental states from physiological signals; classical paradigms of cognitive psychology; organisational cognitive neuroscience; visual perception; attention; the neuropsychology of memory and visual cognition; the neuroscience of literacy and literacy acquisition; Autism Spectrum Disorder and the brain; auditory grouping; the embodied brain.
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis: Use of SPSS; choosing the correct statistical test; data screening; non-parametric statistics; correlations; multiple regression; power and effect size measures; ANOVA; ANCOVA; MANOVA.
  • Advanced Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: Principles of Neuropsychological assessment; principles and analysis of TMS; fMRI: basic physics and physiology, acquisition & safety, data analysis; principles of psychophysics; eye tracking.
  • Advanced EEG and MEG Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: Physics and Physiology of EEG/MEG; EEG/ERP data collection and analysis; EEG/MEG time-frequency analysis.
  • Communication skills in Research / Professional Development: Navigation and management of the scientific literature; research ethics and risk assessment; communication of research findings, with particular emphasis on conference submissions and report writing.
  • Research Dissertation: The dissertation project forms the major practical component of the course and provides further experience and training in academic research. This is an opportunity to work with internationally renowned academics and it is possible to choose your own project from a wide range of exciting topics in this area. You will work under the supervision of an experienced member of staff. As much as possible we will attempt to match students to supervisors with whom they share research interests.

Learning, teaching & assessment

The course is delivered mainly through lectures, which are often followed up by laboratory-based practical sessions.

The course is assessed by a combination of coursework, examinations, practical work, oral and written presentations, and the dissertation research project.

Your future career prospects

This course is designed to provide postgraduate-level education and training for graduates who want to specialise in the area of Cognitive Neuroscience, continue to do a PhD, or enhance their CV by a research-related Masters qualification.

Previous students on this programme have moved on to

  • PhD studies: destinations of recently successful PhD applicants include Aston, Cardiff, Derby, Liverpool, Sussex and Warwick
  • Research-related roles: e.g. Research Assistant, Data Analyst (for example for the NHS)
  • Education: e.g. Science Teacher, Educational Consultant.

Visit the Cognitive Neuroscience - MSc page on the Aston University website for more details!





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