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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Cognitive Neurosciences is no longer accepting new applications.

The Master's in Cognitive Neuroscience program is a research-intensive course consisting hosted by the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, one of the world's leading centres for cognitive neuroscience. The Master's consists of seminar-style teaching on advanced topics in cognitive neuroscience, cutting-edge methods and bioinformatics training, and independent, self-directed scientific research projects and essays. The programme combines rigorous theoretical instruction with hands-on practical experience, ensuring that you develop the essential skills to drive forward your own independent research, and make meaningful contributions to the study of cognitive neuroscience. 

The educational aims of the course are to:

  • to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision; and
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.

The course will also:

  • provide a strong foundation in the core principles of cognitive neuroscience - delving into topics such as neuroimaging techniques, neural networks, cognitive neuropsychology, computational modelling, and neurobiology of mental health conditions.
  • enable hands-on training in cognitive neuroscience methods and advanced analyses
  • allow flexibility for students to explore their specific research interests via independent projects and journal clubs
  • train students in academic scientific writing and presentation

As a student in our program, you will benefit from the vibrant academic and scientific community across the University of Cambridge. You will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities, including cutting-edge imaging technologies and advanced computational resources.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge and understanding: 

● advanced knowledge and understanding of methods in neuroimaging and analysis, including in scientific computing, with knowledge acquired in the taught elements of the course and applied during their research project;

● in-depth knowledge of the background to their selected research project including the research methods and methods of data analysis used; 

● a broad understanding of modern research techniques applicable to cognitive neuroscience research from the series of technical lectures; 

● knowledge of the theoretical approaches relevant to their specialisation and training in critical thinking in the area, assessed by the written and oral presentations; 

● expertise in research methods, data analysis and statistics, assessed by the short biostatistics assessment and application of the methods to interpret the data collected during the research project; 

● originality in the application of knowledge, together with the practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field, obtained through undertaking the prolonged research project.

Students will also acquire the following skills and attributes: 

● analyse critical research literature and contemporary topics in the areas of their specialisation, and present such analyses in written and oral formats; 

● explain the importance and impact of topics in their area of specialisation to specialist and non-specialist audiences; 

● demonstrate proficiency in experimental and data analysis techniques; 

● demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving approaches to experimental data; 

● participate in scientific discourse through written material, oral and poster presentations


Those who wish to progress to a PhD after completing an MPhil will be required to satisfy their potential supervisor, Head of Department, and the Faculty Degree Committee that they have the skills and ability to achieve the higher degree.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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