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Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc

Course Description

This MSc course aims to integrate two active and rapidly developing fields, computational neuroscience and cognitive robotics, to generate innovative strategies and solutions for scientific problems and technological limitations. From modelling human cognition to programming robots to act in their environment, this course crosses the boundary between several disciplines, including biology, neuroscience, psychology, and computer science.

The CNCR MSc course is highly interdisciplinary encompassing psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, computational modelling, neuroimaging, robotics, and patient rehabilitation. The Course is designed for those who are interested in applying knowledge of neural systems, brain function, and modeling to research in human cognition, perception, sensory and motor systems as well as the design of bio-inspired and biologically plausible robotic systems. It has a strong research focus with hands-on modules and practical applications. The course is aimed at both students from psychology/neuroscience with a strong quantitative background and at students from computer science and physics that want to apply their knowledge to neuroscience.

A significant part of the CNCR MSc Course involves being part of a research group and conducting an independent research project. For this, you will be assigned a primary supervisor who will help to develop a research proposal in Semester 1 and supervise the research project in Semester 3. Your research project is written up as the masters dissertation and counts for one third of your degree. You will also be assigned a secondary supervisor that supervises your research placement in Semester 2. Exposure to a different research group is intended to broaden research experience and widen research skills repertoire.

The course is organised jointly through the Schools of Psychology and Computer Science, where the primary supervisor will be selected, but you can participate in research also by choosing the secondary supervisor as an affiliate of the CNCR to experience research in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Medical science.

Your choice of course modules will be individualised and agreed between you and your primary supervisor. The goal is to develop your knowledge and skills to allow you to carry out your research project in Semester 3 while learning a wide range of neuroscience, computation, and experimental method topics. Several modules rely on Matlab programming skills for their practical exercises, which could be used also in the placement and project. Students that don't have a sufficient programming knowledge will be required to attend a programming course in Semester 1. Students with an engineering or computational background will be required to audit 'Introduction to Mind Brain and Models' in Semester 1.

You will be taught to devise a research plan, and will read and comment on scientific articles. You will choose the topic for your research project with the help of a research proposal module. A year-long CNCR Foundations module allows you to participate in CNCR seminars, journal clubs, and lab activities to have sufficient knowledge to carry out the research project. This will expose you to cutting edge research and labs. You will also learn to present your research in oral and poster format through a Transferable Skills module in Semester 2.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open day (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (eg, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Phsyics, Engineering or Mathematics)

Course Fees

£6,840 FT, £3,420 PT (UK/EU); £14,850 FT only (overseas)

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Recipient: University of Birmingham
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