Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology

Available with a foundation yearAvailable with a industrial/professional experience

a model brain

One of the most challenging problems in modern biology is to understand the behaviour of both animals and humans in terms of brain mechanisms and evolutionary principles. Approaches to this problem are diverse, varying from the study of biological systems at the molecular level, to analysis of human performance. By combining studies of major topics in experimental psychology and neuroscience, this course provides a broad background in this exciting field of behavioural science.

The psychology component covers topics such as: how humans and animals think (cognitive processes); how the world is sensed (perception); comparative and developmental studies; and abnormal psychology. The neuroscience component of the course covers topics such as animal behaviour, learning and memory, the action of drugs on the nervous system, and how humans and animals sense and respond to their environment.

Our degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which means as well as providing a solid foundation for a career in the life sciences, it also constitutes your first step towards professional chartered psychologist status.

Course units

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.)

Second year [click to expand/contract]
Final year [click to expand/contract]

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 contact us.

Course units

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.)

Second year [click to expand/contract]
Final year [click to expand/contract]

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 contact us.

Students say...

Zahra Khatib

“My course allows me the rare opportunity to appreciate abstract scientific concepts on real-life and visible levels. I am looking forward to undertaking research projects in my second and final years, not only for the chance to focus on the areas of Neuroscience and Psychology which have most interested me so far, but also to help in deciding where next to steer my post-graduate education.”

Zahra Khatib

Max Drakeley

“This is the only Life Science course that includes psychology units as half the credit load. This means that you get experience in the nitty gritty Neuroscience aspect, as well as the behavioural side of Psychology. While being part of the Life Sciences, you have teaching and support from both faculties which is always useful. The South Africa animal behaviour Easter field course has been my favourite experience "in" Manchester so far. The students and staff were always fun to work with and my project was so interesting to research and write up. Not to mention the stunning scenery and exquisite food.”

Max Drakeley (with Industrial Experience)

Careers

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:

  • Accounts Executive at a leading healthcare communications group
  • 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.

Course director

Maria Canal

Maria Canal

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.