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MSc Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience

University of Sheffield Department of Psychology

Full time September MSc 1 year FT

About the course

Course description

One of the greatest challenges in modern science is to understand the relationship between brain and behaviour. In order to achieve this, computational neuroscience works from the top-down, using neuroscientific data to construct rigorous computational models of brain function, whereas cognitive neuroscience approaches the problem from the bottom-up, relating cognitive and behavioural function to its underlying neural substrate.

Bringing together two new and interdependent disciplines, the MSc Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience programme provides you with training in computer simulation, mathematical modelling, experimental cognitive psychology and brain imaging, allowing you to develop an understanding of the biological foundations of intelligence.

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Entry Requirements

For this course, we usually ask for a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in either a life science (including psychology) or mathematical/physical science (including engineering).

We can also accept qualifications from other countries. Find out which qualifications we accept from your country on our webpages for international students: View Website


Up-to-date fees can be found on the University of Sheffield's webpages for postgraduate students: Please see the university website for further information on fees for this course.

Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Natalia Favila Vazquez

Doing the MSc in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience was both challenging and fun. The modules taught during the course really capture the interdisciplinary spirit of the psychology department, with modules in mathematical skills, psychological theories and neuroscience. Learning how a topic can be studied from several approaches and how these can be integrated was something I really enjoyed.

Laura Edmondson

"Computational Neuroscience brings together researchers in neuroscience, engineering and computing to name a few, and it is this interdisciplinary approach that first attracted me to the subject. I chose the MSc in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at Sheffield due to the diversity of course modules and strong research groups there, such as the adaptive behaviour research group and Neurovascular and Neuroimaging Research Group.

"The course itself has a taught aspect with modules in the first and second semester, followed by an independent research project over the summer. The modules are taught in a mixture of lectures, discussion groups and computer lab classes. The smaller number of fellow students in lectures and labs means there is an opportunity to engage more closely with the lecturers to discuss the course materials. I was drawn to the course at Sheffield due to the variety in module topics. I had the opportunity to learn not only about computational modelling methods, but also imaging techniques such as fMRI and electrophysiology.

"After completing the taught modules, the summer period was dedicated to an extended research project where I could apply everything I had learned. I joined the Active Touch Lab, supervised by Dr Hannes Saal, to model cortical somatotopic representations using self-organisation algorithms. During the project I was able to apply the theoretical knowledge and programming techniques I learned in the modules to create a cortical model of touch processing. Dr Hannes Saal encouraged me to present my MSc work as a poster presentation at two scientific conferences. It was a great experience as I had the opportunity to network with other students and academics in my field.

"I received a departmental teaching fellowship following my MSc and have stayed on at Sheffield to complete my PhD with Dr Hannes Saal, enabling me to continue working on research questions that arose from my MSc thesis.

"I would strongly recommend the MSc to anyone who wants a comprehensive insight into both computational modelling and complimentary cognitive neuroscience techniques, such as neuroimaging."


Departmental Taught Postgraduate Bursaries

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