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MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology

Course Description

The MSc in Principles of Applied Neuropsychology examines the uses of neuropsychology in the clinical world. Studying the way the brain works is crucial to psychology and the understanding of human behaviour.

Neuropsychology is central to the debate about the spark of individuality each human shows. This course looks at social cognition and affective neuroscience, as well as studying the emerging field of the neuropsychology of psychopathology. The course is an employability-centred extension to an undergraduate psychology degree. It is focused on Neuropsychology, but is suitable for any student interested in preparing for an eventual career as a professional psychologist.


The course has four 30-credit core modules and a 60-credit dissertation module. These modules are Neuropsychology, Social Neuropsychology of Mental Health, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation and Issues in Professional Practice. To gain the MSc you must complete all four taught modules and the dissertation module. There is also a Postgraduate Certificate, gained by successfully completing two taught modules, and a Postgraduate Diploma for the successful completion of four taught modules. The course runs on one afternoon a week to allow you time to obtain relevant practical experience, should you wish to do so. You can study on a full-time or part-time basis, subject to a maximum of three years full-time or five-years part-time for the MSc.


Issues in Professional Practice
This module introduces students to the principles of applied psychology and the processes of recovery and rehabilitation. It focuses on the core skills expected of a practitioner of applied psychology: assessment; formulation; intervention; evaluation; communication skills; and self-management skills. The embedded research skills in this module relate to the evaluation of clinical practice.

Social Neuropsychology of Mental Health
This module includes a neuropsychological perspective on mental health problems. It features a series of lectures on psychosis, affective disorders, fear disorders, principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, and basic pharmacology. We also be looking at the relationship between psychopathology and criminality. The embedded research methods deal with applications to ethics committees, and performing a systematic literature review.

Advanced Neuropsychology
This module provides a clinical approach to degenerative disorders, ageing, communication disorders visual disorders, and childhood developmental disorders. The module focuses on the functions and dysfunctions of the frontal lobes, including the concepts of self and other. The embedded research methods include researching a patient population, and using test batteries.

Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
Neuropsychological rehabilitation exists to enable people to regain their footing in social and occupational spheres after brain injury. It does this in many ways, such as emotionally, functionally and cognitively. This module offers a broad theoretical perspective of the different methods of rehabilitation available for a range of disorders. We aim to provide not just theory but also guidance as to how you communicate that theory to patients, clients and other professionals.

This is the opportunity to investigate an area of neuropsychology of individual interest. As part of this module you are required to submit a 5,000-7,000 word paper ready for publication in a specified journal, based on your research. You also have to demonstrate the ability to keep a detailed research log. The research undertaken by students must have a neuropsychological focus.


Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, small and large group work, lab work and neuropsychological testing experience. There will be guest speakers from relevant employers as well as research talks from existing practitioners.


The course is centred on eventual employment as a professional psychologist. We aim to enhance your skills as a scientist- practitioner, and provide a step forward to meeting the criteria for assistant psychologist posts. The course also offers practical writing skills necessary for communicating complex scientific ideas to both a lay and specialist audience. The course is also suitable for people considering a research PhD.


We have selected assessments with the aim to maximise experiences that will help with further study. For example, the dissertation element must be written in the form of a paper that is ready for submission in an established journal. In fact, we will encourage the submission of a research paper as the culmination of the Master’s experience. We also offer assessments in less formal writing for magazines or newspapers. We aim to consolidate your literature searching skills, something that is crucial to get right for a PhD thesis and for writing grant proposals.

Visit the MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mark Brady

2267.jpg MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology at Bath Spa University is unique in its course content. It teaches cutting- edge developments in theory and important practitioner skills using best practice approaches. It employs sophisticated assessments which prepare students for doctoral studies, and was ideal for me as I wish to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist. The course content was the principle reason for choosing Bath Spa University, but also the university is beautiful and easily accessible with relaxing learning environments. I particularly like the flexibility of the course; the fact we would frequently consider the implications of recent publications; the passion with which it is taught; and the availability of course tutors to discuss any queries about its content. The knowledge and experience gained on this course, alongside a greater sense of confidence in my understanding of psychological practice, will help with my application for a doctorate in clinical psychology.

(Student Profile)

Amy Jenkins

2270.jpg I chose this course because I have a passion and interest in the area of neuropsychology and to improve my chances of gaining a place on a doctorate course in Clinical Psychology. I particularly liked how it focuses not only on academics but also on professional practice and employability. Links were made with what we were learning to clinical settings throughout the course. The course structure was excellent with small class sizes, and the university has a beautiful location. On completing the course I successfully gained a full-time research position within the Cardiff University School of Medicine in an Alzheimer’s disease project. The course will also help improve my chances of gaining a place on a clinical psychology doctorate course, or to gain entry to a graduate medical training programme. It is an excellent course, and if any graduates are interested in neuropsychology then I would strongly advise them to apply for a place. The lecturers are fantastic and incredibly supportive.

(Student Profile)

Georgina Hughes

2271.jpg I chose this course because I liked the range of modules available. As well as Clinical and Cognitive Neuropsychology, the module Issues in Professional Practice was particularly appealing as this focuses on teaching you the key skills and knowledge required to pursue a career as a Clinical Neuropsychologist. I chose to study at Bath Spa after enjoying my time there as an undergraduate. Not only is Bath a great place to live and study in, but the lecturers are helpful and approachable and the campus is a small and friendly environment with great surroundings. I particularly like the variety of skills the course teaches you. Specifically, you learn how to write in a range of different styles, for different audiences and publications. Also, only having one afternoon of teaching a week gives you the flexibility to gain work experience alongside your studies. As the course is coming to an end, I am now going on to work as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist within an Older Adults Mental Health team in the NHS. Studying for an MSc has helped me stand out from other graduates, which is highly beneficial due to psychology being such a competitive field. The additional skills and knowledge learnt has enabled me to gain a position working directly under the supervision of psychologist, something which will ultimately make me a better candidate for a position on a Clinical Doctorate. An MSc is much more demanding than a BSc and so time management skills and the ability to prioritise are essential. Having a keen interest in Neuropsychology will help keep you motivated!


Entry Requirements

This course is suitable for anyone with a good major Psychology degree. It is essential that applicants have a Psychology dissertation. It is not necessary to have undergraduate neuropsychology but it would be beneficial to show relevant experience or plans to obtain relevant experience of work in an appropriate area.

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