Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience BSc


Fact file - 2018 entry

Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience | BSc Hons
UCAS code
3 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
Including one science subject, plus GCSE in English and maths at 5 or above. Candidates without an A Level in a science subject may be asked to attain AAA
IB score
36-34 (with at least 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level) 
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


Our course will provide you with a broad and deep knowledge of psychology and the links between brain function, brain structures and mental processes. 
Read full overview

All excellent cognitive neuroscientists are excellent psychologists as well. This course provides you with exposure to fundamental areas of psychology, along with specific topics that are relevant to how mental activities is supported by our brains. 

Year one

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

Year two

You will pursue the same taught modules as for the Psychology degree, other than for research practical classes. In these classes, you will be introduced to a range of cognitive neuroscience methods such as event related electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Year three

You will be able to select from advanced modules in cognitive neuroscience, covering areas such as motor control and perception. You will also complete a year-long research project. In this you will design and carry out the research yourself with supervision from one of our academic staff. 


Entry requirements

A levels: AAB; including one science subject, plus GCSE in English and maths at grade 5 or above. Candidates without an A level in a science subject may be asked to attain AAA or equivalent.

For those applicants who took the older style GCSEs (letter gradings), we require a B grade in Maths. Those who achieved a C grade in Maths ideally will sit the new Maths GCSE to achieve a level 5 or above. However, we may consider those with C grade in Maths if they also attained a B grade or higher in GCSE Chemistry or Physics. Any enquiries should be sent to

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.

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. Please see The University of Nottingham’s flexible admissions policy for more information.

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, concerned with trying to understand the social behaviour of individuals in terms of both internal characteristics of the person (eg cognitive mental processes) and external influences (the social environment). Lectures will cover topics including how we define the self, attitudes, attribution, obedience, aggression, pro-social behaviour and formation of friendships. You will have a one hour lecture per week.

Practical Methods and Seminars in Psychology

This year long module provides you with an integrative approach to psychology through the use of the scientific method. You will address several different psychological topics using a range of investigative procedures, primarily based on the experimental method. The module will enable you to critically assess previous research and to design, as well as conduct, analyse and report on your own studies. You will learn how to use computer software for research and will have the opportunity to be a participant in another person’s study. You will have a three hour practical class every other week, plus a two hour seminar per week.

Developmental Psychology

You will receive an introduction to the fascinating world of the developing child. Lectures consider different theoretical, applied, and experimental approaches to cognitive, linguistic, and social development from early to late childhood. Topics include the development of thinking, perception, drawing, understanding the mind, intelligence, attachment, language, and moral development. You will have a one hour lecture per week.

Statistical Methods One

This full year module introduces you to basic aspects of 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 will gain an understanding of the issues underlying experimental and correlational research designs. You will have a one hour lecture per week.

Cognitive Psychology One

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. You will have two, one hour lectures per week.

Biological Psychology

This module will provide an introduction to the neural and biological bases of cognitive and other behaviour. You will learn about the structure and evolution of the brain and the main functions of the different parts. You will examine how the brain receives, transmits, and processes information at the neural level as well as its visual pathways. The main scientific methods for investigating brain and behaviour will also be covered. You will have two hours of lectures per week.


You will be assigned a personal tutor, with whom you will have four small group sessions (with approximately six students) per semester. Two of these will be related to topics covered in core lecture modules, and two will be based on more general transferrable skills such as essay writing, making presentations, studying for exams, critiquing research papers, and careers. In addition to these scheduled tutorials, you will also have individual meetings with your tutor every semester.


Typical year two modules

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology

You will learn about 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. By the end of the module, you will have a good knowledge and critical understanding of the influences of history on psychological theories. There will be two hours of lectures per week.

Social and Developmental Psychology

You will examine theories and experimental studies of social processes and human development. Topics relating to social processes will include 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 atypical socio-cognitive development in people with autism. You will have four hours of lectures per week.

Neuroscience and Behaviour

You will cover 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 will also examine the effects of brain damage on mental functioning including amnesias, agnosias, and aphasias among other topics. You will have four hours of lectures per week.

Cognitive Psychology Two

This module will examine perception, language, human memory, thinking, and problem solving. For each topic you will explore existing theories and contemporary issues to enable you to take an interdisciplinary perspective. You will have four hours of lectures per week.

Personality and Individual Differences

You will 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 will have two hours of lectures per week.

Practical Methods in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

You will be introduced to a range of practical methods from the field of psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and which are used within the school. You will gain practical experience in a number of small projects related to psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In addition you will cover topics on the design of experiments and use of cognitive neuroscience techniques including functional imaging, human psychophysics, and animal models of cognition. 

Statistical Methods Two

You will cover the basic concepts and assumptions with respect to univariate and multivariate statistics. The module will cover ANOVA, 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, as well as exploring some basic issues in questionnaire design and qualitative methods. You will have one hour of lectures per week.


Typical year three modules

Research Project

This module will give you the chance to carry out an extended piece of research from a wide range of options based on your interests. A member of academic staff will supervise you in designing, carrying out, analysing, and writing up your research. 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 study.



Cognitive Development and Autism

You will cover modern versions of nativist and empiricist theories of cognitive development. It will also give you an overview of current theories which have been proposed to explain Autism Spectrum Disorder. The module will provide an evaluation of these theories using behavioural, clinical and neurophysiological evidence from a range of domains including drawing and musical skills (savant skills), scientific knowledge, maths, social learning (trust and imitation) and social motivation.

Forensic and Mental Health

You will receive an introduction to 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 module 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 will have two hours of lectures per week.

Clinical Psychology

You will be introduced to the concept of abnormal psychology and the application of psychology in clinical settings. The module 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. You will have two hours of lectures per week.

Altruism, Cooperation and Helping

This module will cover theories and models of altruism, cooperation, and helping from the perspective of psychology, economics, and evolutionary biology. You will consider why people sometimes don’t help and actively try to benefit from others (eg free-riding), and apply these models to anti-social behaviour, and how we cooperate to inflict injury on other groups. You will also examine models of helping others, and why people ask for help. You will look at how charities implement some of these principles and if they are successful. There will be two hours of lectures per week.

Neuropsychology of Action: The body in the brain

You will examine the psychological and neural bases for the planning and control of human action, with a focus on hand directed movements. This module will give you an insight into the areas of experimental psychology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, and functional brain-imaging. You will have two hours of lectures per week.

Educational Psychology

This module 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. You 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 will 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 hours of lectures per week.

Neuropsychology and Applied Neuroimaging

You will examine the deficits seen in individuals who have suffered brain damage and learn about the impairments to language, memory, perception, attention, motor control, executive control, and emotion. This module evaluates both the clinical and theoretical aspects of these syndromes. In particular, you will evaluate the implications regarding how the healthy brain functions. There are two hours of lectures per week 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 will 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.


In the third year, you will also have one tutorial per semester, as well as individual meetings with your personal tutor.


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. 

Professional accreditation 


This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is required for entry to many postgraduate professional psychology programmes.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 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 £21,016 with the highest being £35,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

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.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.



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

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 40 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


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

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.


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