This MsC is provided jointly by the Department of Psychology and the York Neuroimaging Centre (YNiC), and recruits contributing faculty from other university departments such as The Hull-York Medical School. The overarching aim of the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at York is to provide a bridge between undergraduate study and PhD research in cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology and imaging methods.
The course has been developed around training and research using neuroimaging techniques, and the experimental and analytical methods on which they depend. Through our specialist modules students are introduced the principles of neuroimaging, gaining hands on experience in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), eletroencephalography (EEG) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), learning how to design, analyze and evaluate neuroimaging experiments, and how such experiments are contributing to our understanding of the brain mechanisms underppining cognition and behaviour. Along the way, students also receive training on generic statistical, writing and research skills, and are exposed to main research topics in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Finally, students complete an extended empirical project, typically using a neuroimaging technique of their choice. The empirical project is supported by the state-of-the-art facilities at YNiC, and more recently, by facilities associated with the Centre for Hyperpolarisation in MRI (CHyM).
What is cognitive neuroscience?
Cognitive neuroscience aims to explain cognitive processes and behaviour in terms of their underlying brain mechanisms. It is a truly interdisciplinary subject which developed through collaborations between cognitive psychology, neuroscience, neurology, computer science and philosophy.
Practitioners take the view that knowledge about the fundamental mechanisms of the nervous system can lead to a deeper understanding of complex mental functions such as memory, language, emotion, perception, attention and consciousness. While modern psychology focuses on understanding the structure of the mind through behavioural experiments, parallel advances in basic neuroscience have centred mainly on cellular and molecular mechanisms of the brain.
Over the last quarter of a century, progress in both areas has led to an increasing overlap between these fields, and the emergence of functional neuroimaging techniques has helped to fuel the growth of a new discipline in which data from neuroscience informs psychological theories and vice versa. Increasingly psychologists and neuroscientists are asking the same kinds of question.
Backgrounds of applicants
This challenging but rewarding course will best suit applicants who are:
*Interested in the brain and its workings (see What is cognitive neuroscience? in the overview)
*Interested in Psychology as a biological science
*Considering a career in research, especially in psychology, cognitive Neuroscience or imaging methods (many other career choices would be compatible with the general scientific, academic and professional training you will receive as part of the course)
*Comfortable with computers and statistics
Destinations of our graduates
Well over half of our graduates go on to PhDs in neuroimaging, psychology or neuropsychology. Most others opt for research and clinical assistantships to gain further experience before undertaking a PhD or training in Clinical Psychology. In both cases, the distinctive skills they gain through the MSc are highly sought after.
Other career options include business, industry, academia and administration.
virtual open day
Speak to a member of our specialist team online. Please visit https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/open-days/virtual-open-day/
for full details or contact our departmental postgraduate administrator, Andrea Woodward.
A degree or equivalent qualification, normally in Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, Computer Science, Engineering or a related numerate discipline, and normally at the level of an upper second class honours award. For overseas applicants who do not have English as a first language, the minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5, or a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English score of B.