Click on the year you are interested in to view the combination of modules
available for Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology. (Please note that sometimes we can refer to
modules as course units or units.)
Disclaimer: Our modules teach the current trends in life sciences.
Consequently, details of our modules may vary over time. The University
therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to modules as are found to
be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you
are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the
modules available to you. If in doubt, please
Some graduates from this degree choose to pursue careers in clinical psychology (our degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society
). This is a very competitive profession that requires further training and professional experience. Alternatively, Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology graduates are well qualified to work as researchers in universities, pharmaceutical and bioscience companies and institutes. Some of our graduates progress into laboratory-based careers in clinical or technical roles which do not involve research. The transferable skills you will develop will also leave you well equipped for a wide range of careers outside the lab. Recent graduates have secured roles as:
- Research Scientist at a multinational consumer products company
- Research Assistant at a university
- Trainee Science Teacher
- Psychology Assistant at a prison
Please see the Faculty of Life Sciences Careers page
for more information.
Neuroscience is one of the most exciting and fast developing research areas, and there is still a lot to be discovered on how the brain works and develops under healthy conditions, but also on the mechanisms behind and consequences of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and stroke, and behind mental health disorders such as depression and substance abuse. Here at Manchester we pride ourselves on having top researchers in the fields of Neuroscience and Psychology, working on anything from neuronal networks to computational models and disease mechanisms, from experiments that tackle fundamental questions about perception, cognition and emotion to more applied work on psychological health and well-being. These researchers teach on the Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology Degree, sharing their knowledge and experience with undergraduate students.
My particular research focuses in understanding how the biological clock in the brain develops during the postnatal period. The biological clock is responsible for the 24-hour changes in our physiology and behaviour, such as our sleep-wake rhythm, intellectual and sports performance, body temperature, etc. We know that the environment an organism is raised in during the critical postnatal developmental period will have long-term consequences on this individual’s behaviour and health later in life. This is important particularly for preterm babies, who may be exposed to abnormal environments in the neonatal intensive care units.
As a shared Degree, I work very closely with Deborah Talmi of the School of Psychology. A cognitive neuroscientist herself, Deborah’s research focuses on the interaction between cognition and emotion. In her research she asks how emotional experiences change the way people learn, remember, and make decisions. Deborah uses a variety of methodologies to answer these questions, including behavioural experiments, psychophysiology and neuroimaging.
Being taught by researchers at the forefront of the field is one of the most exciting things that can happen to you in this program. Also, the flexibility and options available in the Degree of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, especially in the final year, are wide: from lectures and seminars, to field courses, to lab practicals, to research/media/enterprise projects, both in neuroscience- and also psychology-related areas. By building on core scientific knowledge and transferable skills, the Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology Degree aims to prepare students for their future professional careers.
What was the highlight and biggest challenge of your course?
The highlight and biggest challenge of my course was my placement year at the University of Rhode Island, USA. It required me to be very proactive and independent in both organising the placement and conducting research while on it. I loved getting away from the UK making some lifelong friends, whilst also being treated like a postgraduate researcher at the University. The highlight was publishing a paper based on the experiment I conducted whilst living in a beach hut in Puerto Rico!
What job/course do you do now and what does it involve?
Currently I’m studying for a Masters in Organisational Psychology at the Manchester Business School. As my Cognitive Neuroscience course was accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), I was able to study an accredited masters course related to Occupational Psychology - the study of people in organisations, a topic covered in my final year of my undergraduate which I really enjoyed.
How did the skills you learnt in your degree (and/or extracurricular activities) help you get onto your course?
My Masters course is demanding but I haven’t felt too out of my depth (yet!) due to the experiences I gained during my undergraduate degree. In particular, being able to critically evaluate scientific papers, picking apart methodologies and understanding complex statistics is hugely beneficial.
A large component of my course is research based and I feel the research modules and in particular, my placement year, have fully prepared me for the critical thinking required as a postgraduate.
There were other factors that contributed to being accepted on my course. I also did plenty of part time work or internships during my degree, which gives you an understanding of the “world of work” which unsurprisingly is beneficial for someone studying people in organisations.
What do you plan to do next?
I would love to complete a PhD combining the Neuroscience of Sleep with shift work. My Masters dissertation looks at sleep deprivation and fatigue in junior doctors, a real hot topic in organisational psychology at the moment. However, I’m also tempted to follow the chartered Psychologist route, potentially taking a research oriented role with a wellbeing consultancy or in-house Psychologist role within the MoD.
Any advice for applicants?
My biggest piece of advice is to do what interests you and study something that you’re passionate about. I am very lucky to have found a course that offered the best of both worlds in two related topics I was very intellectually curious about, there’s no point in doing a degree in something you don’t enjoy.
Join societies, you’ll never have the opportunity to get involved with extracurricular activities like you do at University, and they’ll be as much part of your life as your course will (if not more). Be pro-active in seeking employment while at University, it’s great getting amazing results from your degree but if you’ve never worked a day in your life then your employability as a graduate is lowered greatly.