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Cognitive Neuroscience MSc by Research

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£6,300 (UK) *
£15,700 (INT) *
Course leader
Jonathan Silas
Alexander Jones

The recent advancement in technology that allows us to measure and probe brain function and mechanism means there is a mass of new data to inform our understanding of the brain. Explaining this data and understanding it requires a theoretical framework to work with. Cognitive neuroscience provides this framework and a powerful explanatory basis to understand the mind and its causal relation to the brain. This MSc by Research course will give you the practical skills required to conduct cognitive neuroscience research and the expertise in neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques.

Why study Cognitive Neuroscience MSc by Research at Middlesex University?

This programme will be tailored to your specific needs and requirements through workshops, tutorials and seminars resulting in a thesis in cognitive neuroscience. You will explore the basic neuroscientific principles, methodological approaches and the theoretical framework of cognitive neuroscience. You will further develop and learn new skills of how to practically conduct cognitive neuroscience research.

Our academics are internationally recognised researchers in the field and have expertise in a variety of behavioural, neuroimaging and transcranial neuro-stimulation techniques. You will be encouraged to develop advanced skills in the use of one or more of these techniques for the purposes of designing and conducting a cognitive neuroscience study.

In our partnership with Saracens Rugby Club, you’ll have access to the fantastic resources at StoneX Stadium, including the brand new £23 million redevelopment project of the West Stand which offers state-of-the-art facilities as a top educational and high performance centre for teaching and research excellence. With some of the most advanced equipment in the UK, you will be able to utilise the new specialist spaces, simulation suites, specialist labs, plus much more.

You will have the opportunity to become part of a national and international collaborative research network and pursue a specific research project of your own interest in collaboration with experts in the field.

Course highlights

  • You will explore recent advances and developments in cognitive neuroscience through research
  • You will gain experience in brain stimulation and/or neuroimaging techniques and learn how to use them to conduct your own research study
  • You will have access to specialised and state-of-the-art software and research equipment (TMS,TES, EEG, eye-tracking) to analyse and interpret brain data
  • You will learn through in-depth tutorials and workshops from researchers active in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

Find out more

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What will you study on Cognitive Neuroscience MSc by Research?

This programme is a unique, research-based course, which doesn’t follow the traditional model of lectures and exams. You have the opportunity to pursue specific study areas such as:

  • Action observation
  • Attention
  • Emotion
  • Memory
  • Methodological aspects of cognitive neuroscience
  • Movement
  • Multisensory processing
  • Perception

What will you gain?

In addition to the in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, you will also gain the practical skills to conduct industry level cognitive neuroscience research as well as the statistical and analytical skills to appraise the findings. You will also have expertise and experience in neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques.


You will join the research community through an ongoing series of workshops, building to your final thesis.

  • Workshops

    • Advances in Theory

      These workshops will be focused around the discussion of modern approaches to understanding brain processes as they relate to the mind. You will consider important new directions in the field in order to inform experimental research such as data driven vs. hypothesis testing, reverse inference, double dipping, and machine learning.

    • Underlying Biological Processes

      These workshops will focus on what can and cannot be inferred about brain processes, from non-invasive techniques to measure and manipulate brain function.

    • Methods: Neuroimaging

      These workshops will involve practical sessions in the lab where you will learn the use of EEG and related electrophysiological measures.

    • Methods: Brain Stimulation

      In these workshops, you will lean transcranial stimulation techniques including transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation.

    • Methods: Analysis

      In these workshops, you will focus on signal processing from EEG and the handling and complex analysis of behavioural data. You will be introduced to advanced statistical techniques and be encouraged to use a combination of frequentist and Bayesian analysis approaches.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the Cognitive Neuroscience MSc by Research taught?

This programme is a unique, research-based course, which doesn’t follow the traditional model of lectures and exams.  You will join the research community through an ongoing series of workshops, building to your final thesis. The MSc by Research will prepare you for novel application areas with individually tailored learning experiences, enabling you to excel in both the academic sector and the job market.


Assessment will be based on a final dissertation of approximately 30,000 words. The dissertation will include the write up of at least one experimental investigation in the area of cognitive neuroscience. Two independent examiners will be appointed to read and evaluate the dissertation and you will be invited to make an oral defence of your work.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the Cognitive Neuroscience MSc by Research support your career?

This programme is well suited to those who wish to pursue a career in academia. However, the skills acquired can be applied to a broad range of careers. In particular, those who work in medical, research-based or psychology orientated fields may wish to develop their understanding of how the brain works and how these processes can be measured.

Dr Jon Silas
Senior lecturer

Dr Silas' current research interests are related to social cognition and cognitive neuroscience. He has an interest in the role of mirroring systems in the human brain and the role of embodied processes in understanding others. Dr Silas has experience in using a variety of neuro-scientific methods including EEG, TMS, tDCS and fMRI.

Dr Alex Jones
Senior lecturer

Dr Jones' research interests include attention, action, and multisensory integration, and using cognitive neuroscience techniques to investigate how the brain and behaviour relate. He has been focusing on exploring how we select and attend to information which is constantly bombarding our senses. In particular how we process and attend to the sense of touch and how the neural oscillations entrain to rhythmic stimuli.

Dr Emma Ward
Senior lecturer

Dr Ward's research interests surround human memory, particularly the distinction between explicit (e.g., recognition) and implicit (e.g., repetition-priming) memory. Her doctoral thesis focused on changes in explicit and implicit memory as a function of normal ageing, but she is broadly and generally interested in the relationship between these memory phenomena, as well as specific memory processes and factors that influence them.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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