Our research-engaged teaching ensures you are taught by the brightest minds who are working towards understanding the complexities of the human brain. Be inspired and join our world.
You will gain knowledge in imaging methods, experimental design, analytical research and data analysis. Optional modules let you explore areas in the field that you find most interesting.
Individual research project
This course is closely linked to several research groups in the School of Psychology:
Our broad research means we can offer a variety of research projects. Past project titles have included:
- Investigating brain networks in the healthy brain and in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders
- How do interests affect distraction?
- Decision-making processes for others
- Brain morphology in non-human primate
- Functional brain imaging of face perception: an ultra-high-field MRI study of cortical maps representing facial features
Before you start your own research, you will undertake a placement with your project supervisor. This preparation usually includes:
- training in software and tools that you may use
- experience in experimental design
- collecting pilot data
Module spotlight - Data Analysis for Neuroimaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a key tool for neuroscientists and at Nottingham, we have a rich heritage of using this versatile technique. Sir Peter Mansfield was a physics professor at the University of Nottingham when he won the Nobel Prize for his work in MRI. Today, we have the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) on campus which houses various imaging facilities.
In the Data Analysis for Neuroimaging module, you will get to see a brain imaging session in person at the SPMIC. You will analyse one of the data sets collected on the SPMIC scanner in the following lab classes. To get most out of this, the module introduces some of the standard tools used across many labs (including FSL, the FMRIB Software Library from Oxford). These hands-on data sessions are also an excellent opportunity to consolidate your MATLAB programming skills that you will have developed in the first term.
"Seeing a scan be done from start to finish then working with the data is a really beneficial part of the course."
Charlotte, MSc Cognitive Neuroscience
"I really enjoyed the visit to the scanner. I have had the chance to see things that I have learned during the first semester in practice. It has made what I’ve read clearer to understand."
Ahlam, MSc Cognitive Neuroscience
Experimental Design for Functional Imaging
This module introduces important principles of experimental design and how they link to data analysis. Specific lectures will cover: how to design neuroimaging experiments to address basic and cognitive neruoscience questions; consideration for conducting experiments; steps involved in analysing neuroimaging data, with particular emphasis on functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Introduction to MATLAB Programming
This module involves problem-based learning to support lectures on neuroimaging topics. Topics covered include an introduction to computer programming with MATLAB, the design and analysis of behavioural experiments, and the analysis of functional MRI data.
Functional Imaging Methods
This module will discuss recently developed non-invasive methods for human cognitive neuroscience with respect to their strengths and limitations. The module covers functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI (voxel-based morphometry), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG).
A typical placement would involve either experimental design, preparation of stimuli, and a pilot study (for example, in two subjects) or participation in an ongoing research project (for example during data acquisition and/or evaluation).
Analytical Research Methods
A selection of workshops on advanced statistics for the neurosciences.
Data Analysis for Neuroimaging
Experience a brain imaging session at our on-campus MRI centre. You will then analyse one of the data sets in further lab classes.
You will be introduced to some of the standard tools used across many labs (including FSL, the FMRIB Software Library from Oxford).
This module covers general research skills and personal development skills. It contains a number of workshops examining areas such as presentation and writing skills, careers, understanding the wider context of research, consultancy, and practical and ethical issues, along with appropriate Graduate School courses.
Research Project - Cognitive Neuroscience MSc
In a typical research project, you will either:
- develop an experimental design, prepare stimuli, and to run a study in a small group of subjects, with technical support provided depending on the complexity of the measurement methods
- evaluate an existing set of (for example) fMRI, MEG, EEG or TMS data and interpret the results
Current issues in Cognitive Neuroscience
This module is an opportunity to work in-depth on a specific topic in cognitive neuroscience. You will tailor your chosen topic and its related methodological issues to your own research interests. The topic is based on a seminar provided in the School of Psychology, with approval from the convenor. The module concerns independent study in addition to supervision sessions.
This module provides an introduction to clinical research with patients with acquired brain injury. Emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of studies which apply cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging. Topics will include:
- mechanisms of recovery
- visuospatial disorders
- dysexecutive syndrome.
The incidence and nature of these impairments will be reviewed alongside consideration of contemporary theories and evidence on the effects of rehabilitation therapies.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
You will study a total of 180 credits. Teaching methods will be a mix of:
- lab classes
Assessment can vary depending on the module being studied but most are assessed by continuous assessment.
This could include:
- lab reports
- research posters
Graduates of this course are well suited to studying for a PhD and continuing with a career in research. Other fields where your skills can be used include human-computer interaction, clinical sciences, marketing, education, and management and human resources.
Average starting salary and career progression
94.7% of postgraduates from the School of Psychology secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £40,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.
Scholarships and bursaries
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.