Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience BSc


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:C850
Qualification:BSc Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
UCAS code
UCAS code
Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience | BSc Hons
3 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
GCSE English and maths, B or above. Applicants with at least one A level in a science subject (including psychology) or in geography or maths will be asked to attain AAB or equivalent. Critical thinking and general studies not accepted
IB score
36-34 (with at least 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level) 
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places

This course may still be open to international applicants for 2016 entry. Please visit our international pages for details of courses and application procedures from now until the end of August.


This course provides you with a well-rounded education in the principles of psychology, but with a particular emphasis on cognitive neuroscience.
Read full overview

This course shares the same aims of the BSc Psychology course, providing you with a well-rounded education in the principles of psychology, but with a particular emphasis on cognitive neuroscience. You will develop particular skills in laboratory methods in brain imaging, in the real-time control of behavioural measurement, and in physiological psychology.

Year one

Students registered for the Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience degree will follow the Psychology programme for the first year.

Year two

In the second year, there is a module in specialised research methods, which introduces you to a range of cognitive neuroscience methods such as event-related electroencephalography and functional magnetic imaging.

Year three

During the third year, you are offered advanced modules in cognitive neuroscience, covering areas such as motor control and perception. In addition, the practical project and report can be undertaken in a specialised area.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAA-AAB. Candidates with at least one A level in a science (which includes A level psychology) will be asked to attain AAB or equivalent. Candidates without a science A level may be asked to achieve AAA. General studies and critical thinking not accepted. Also grade B in GCSE English and maths.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS. Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications 

For details see alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available to international applicants for all our courses

Flexible admissions policy

We consider applicants’ circumstances and broader achievements as part of the assessment process. We may make a lower offer in some circumstances (for example where science subjects or maths are studied) but do not normally vary the offer from the grades advertised.

Notes for applicants 

Scholarships - for details of scholarships available to international students please visit the School website.



Typical Year One Modules

Social Physcology

This module introduces you to the core topics in social psychology which is concerned with trying to understand the social behaviour of individuals in terms of both internal characteristics of the person (e.g. cognitive mental processes) and external influences (the social environment). Lectures will cover topics on how we define the self, attitudes, attribution, obedience, aggression, pro-social behaviour and formation of friendships. You’ll have an hour of both lecture and seminar time per week for this module.

Practical Methods & Seminars in Psychology

In this year-long module you’ll be introduced to a range of practical methods used within this field of study. You’ll gain practical experience in a number of small projects related to psychology and cognitive neuroscience. You’ll also learn how to design experiments and use cognitive neuroscience techniques such as functional imaging, human psychophyics and animal modes of cognition. There will be a two hour practical class for this module per week.

Developmental Psychology

In this module you’ll receive an introduction to the fascinating world of the developing child. Lectures consider different theoretical, applied and experimental approaches to cognitive, linguistic and social developmental from early to late childhood. Topics include the development of thinking, perception, drawing, understanding the mind, intelligence, attachment, language, and moral development. You’ll have an hour-long lecture weekly plus five tutorials throughout the semester.

Statistical Methods 1

This full-year module introduces you to basic issues in research design, and to the statistical representation and analysis of data, with the aid of software called the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). You’ll be provided with an understanding of the issues underlying experimental and correlational research designs. You’ll learn to use SPSS to accurately describe research data and for the use of designing research hypotheses. You’ll have a one-hour lecture weekly.

Cognitive Psychology 1

Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes and this module will provide an introduction to the methods used by cognitive psychologists in their investigations of mental processes in humans. A wide range of mental processes will be discussed, with some introductory discussion of how they limit human performance in applied contexts. The mental processes to be discussed include those that support attention, perception, language, memory and thinking processes. You’ll have two 1-hour lectures for this module plus three tutorials throughout the semester.


Typical Year Two Modules

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology

In this module you’ll discuss the scientific, historical and philosophical underpinnings of psychology as a discipline which will demonstrate the inherent variability and diversity in the theoretical approaches to psychology. You’ll have a good knowledge and critical understanding of the influences of history on psychological theories by the end of the module. For this module there’ll be two hours of lectures per week.

Social and Developmental Psychology

In this module you’ll examine theories and experimental studies of social processes and human development. Many topics relating to social processes will be covered including: social cognition and social thinking, conformity and obedience, intergroup behaviour, theories of attraction and relationships, prosocial behaviour and intrinsic motivation, and self-determination among others. Human development topics are also explored in depth such as the development of phonology, the importance of social referencing in early language acquisition and at typical socio-cognitive development in people with autism.  You’ll have two hours of lectures weekly for this module.

Neuroscience and Behaviour

This module will cover several issues in neuroscience and behaviour that are particularly relevant to understanding the biological bases of psychological functions. Among the topics to be covered are: psychopharmacology, psychobiological explanations of mental disorders, dementia, sexual development and behaviour and methods of studying neuropsychological processes. You’ll also examine the effects of brain damage on mental functioning including amnesias, agnosias and aphasias among other topics. You’ll have four hours per week of lectures for this module.

Cognitive Psychology 2

This module will examine perception with particular emphasis on vision, but also hearing, taste, touch and smell. The Psychology of Language will be discussed including linguistic theory, speech, parsing, word meaning, and language production. Other topics covered are: the psychology of reading, human memory, and thinking and problem solving. For each topic you’ll explore existing theories and contemporary issues to enable you to take an interdisciplinary perspective of them all. You’ll have a two-hour lecture per week for this module. 

Personality and Individual Differences

In this module you’ll cover the psychological explanations of personality and individual differences. The relationship between the individual and society will be highlighted, in particular the major personality theories are considered in detail and the application of these theories to areas such as abnormal psychology, criminal behaviour and health are discussed. IQ is also covered along with the evolutionary bases of traits. You’ll have two hours of lectures per week for this module.

Practical and Statistical Methods 2

This full-year practical module is designed to give you hands-on experience with designing, running, analysing and reporting scientific experiments. These practical skills complement the theoretical concepts taught in the concurrent statistical courses. You’ll also gain the ability to conduct and evaluate scientific studies within a small group. You’ll learn how to interpret statistical output such as SPSS printouts, and understand the implications of main effects and interactions. You’ll have a two-hour practical session per week studying this module.

Statistical Methods 2

In this module you’ll cover the basic concepts and assumptions with respect to univariate and multivariate statistics, as well as issues relating to field studies, ethics, the reliability and validity issues as well as basic qualitative techniques. The module will cover ANOVA (specialist psychology computing software), post-hoc tests, power, multiple linear regression, factor analysis, the nature of causality and field designs (both experimental and quasi-experimental), ethics, the reliability and validity of measures and field designs, as well as exploring some basic issues in questionnaire design and qualitative methods. You’ll have an hour per week of lectures for this module.


Typical Year Three Modules
Research Project
This module will give you the chance to work individually to carry out an extended piece of research. You’ll agree an area of research with your supervisor and carry out self-directed analysis. The work will be either empirical or computational in nature to test a hypothesis which can be original, or you can extend or replicate an existing project.
Psychology of Digital Technology
In this module you’ll be introduced to current issues in the design, evaluation and use of the information in the work place. You’ll cover theoretical approaches to cognition Human Computer Interaction (HCI) design methods, how new technologies shape organisations, and ways that the usability of technology can be assessed. There will also be discussion on why technologies are not always beneficial. You’ll have two hours of lecture weekly for this module.
Cognitive Development and Learning
This module will cover modern versions of nativist and empiricist theories of cognitive development. It will provide an evaluation of these theories using behavioural, clinical and neuro-physiological evidence from a range of domains including understanding of numbers, conceptions of the physical world, drawing and musical skills, spoken and written language development and perceptual development. You’ll have two hours of lecture per week for this module.
Forensic and Mental Health
In this module you’ll receive an introduction in this growing area of psychology, with a focus on criminality. The module will concentrate on offending behaviours, typical categorisation of those who commit crimes or harm themselves, standard interventions for offenders and the neuroscience of offending. The course will also cover the current research on specific offending behaviours, and examine the role of the criminal justice system and health service in dealing with individuals who offend. You’ll have two hours of lectures per week for this module.
Clinical Psychology
The aim of this course is to introduce you to the concept of abnormal psychology and the application of psychology in clinical settings. The course will illustrate how psychological models are developed and how they are applied in developing interventions. The emphasis will be on examining theory and evaluation of interventions for a number of disorders/clinical issues. During this module you’ll have two hours of lectures weekly.

Altruism, Cooperation and Helping
The course will cover theories and models of altruism, cooperation and helping from the perspective of psychology, economics and evolutionary biology. The course will consider why people sometimes don’t help and actively try to benefit from others (e.g., Free-riding) and apply these models to anti-social behaviour, and how we cooperate to inflict injury on other groups. You’ll also examine models of helping others, but also why people ask for help. You’ll look at how charities implement some of these principles and if they are successful. There will be two hours per week of lectures for this module.
Neuropsychology of Action: The Body in the Brain
In this module you’ll examine the psychological and neural basis for the planning and control of human action, with a focus on hand-directed movements. You’ll have an introduction to scientific research and will learn the multi-disciplinary nature of research into human behaviour. This module will give you an insight into the areas of experimental psychology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, and functional brain-imaging. You’ll have two hours of lectures weekly.
Educational Psychology
This course provides an introduction to the contexts in which educational psychologists operate by examining the historical development of this profession within a set of major legislative and policy contexts, such as the recent drive to increase social inclusion. The module will concentrate on assessment and intervention work with specific populations such as young people who display challenging behaviour in schools, vulnerable adolescents, and bilingual learners. You’ll also examine psychological approaches to group work with teachers and pupils as well as the application of system theory in helping transform aspects of schools and other organisations. There will be two hour lectures per week for this module.
Neuropsychology and Applied Neuroimaging
In this module you’ll examine the deficits seen in individuals who have suffered brain damage. You will learn about the impairments of language, memory, perception, attention, motor control, executive control and emotion. This course evaluates both the clinical and theoretical aspects of these syndromes. In particular, you will evaluate the implications regarding how the healthy brain functions. There is two hours per week of lectures for this module.
Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology
Supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials, this module aims to provide you with an understanding of the mechanisms of learning and memory in human and non-human animals, and an analysis of pathological conditions involving these systems. You’ll study topics that include: perceptual learning, the contextual and attentional modulation of learning and behaviour as well as more neuroscientifically focused topics such as the role of the hippocampus in memory. Clinical topics include: the acquisition of phobias, memory discords, the psychological side effects of cancer treatment, and depression.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



As well as a sound knowledge of the principles and practices of psychology, you will have a thorough understanding of specialised research methods, and a range of cognitive neuroscience methods such as event-related electroencephalography and functional magnetic imaging. You will also graduate with transferable skills in communication, problem solving and data analysis. The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Professional accreditation 


This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 96% of first-degree graduates in the School of Psychology who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £16,776 with the highest being £30,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


How to use the data


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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


Charlotte Langham  







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