MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience


The MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience is particularly suited to students interested in the relationship between the development of the mind and the brain. It combines theoretical and empirical grounding in the cognitive and biological mechanisms of developmental change with training of the analytical and practical skills required for undertaking research into cognitive development and its neural bases. The course provides perspectives from developmental cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology as well as hands-on training in imaging methods. Topical issues in developmental cognitive neuroscience will be covered, including the neural bases of perceiving and acting in the physical and social world and Neuroeducation.

This programme is particularly suitable for students from Psychology, Biology, Neuroscience or related disciplines who:

  • are keen to combine and integrate their interest in cognitive development and in brain development
  • wish to receive hands-on training in neuroimaging methods relevant for developmental research
  • want to conduct research into cognitive development and/or cognitive neuroscience
  • would like to get experience of working with children


Programme Structure

Term 1

  • Research Design & Statistics (20 credits)
  • Basic Principles in Neuroimaging (10 credits)
  • Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (10 credits)
  • Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience (10 credits)


Term 2

  • Research Design and Analysis in Neuroimaging (30 credits)
  • Current Questions in Developmental Research (10 credits)
  • Transferable Skills (10 credits)

Term 3 and Summer

  • MSc Pathway: Empirical Project (80 credits)
  • Diploma Pathway: Literature Review (20 credits)

Specialist Modules

The programme combines specifically focused modules relevant for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience with courses teaching general principles of psychological research design, statistics and key transferable skills.

Empirical Projects

As part of this programme, you will be given the opportunity to undertake a novel piece of empirical work, on a topic at the cutting-edge of research in developmental psychology and/or cognitive neuroscience. You will be supervised by faculty with relevant expertise in fields including language and literacy development, numerical cognition, perception, learning and memory.


Modules are assessed through a variety of different assignments and exams including essays, critical analysis of published papers, presentations, short notes on a range of topics, practical reports, and a dissertation and poster presentation based on the Empirical Project.


How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree (typically a 2:1 or 1st) or an equivalent qualification in Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology or related disciplines.

For international applications, one of the following English language qualifications is required:

  • IELTS 6.5, with each subtest at least 6.5
  • Cambridge Proficiency: A,B


If you have any questions about the course, please contact the course director Dr Silke Goebel.


This MSc course prepares students to go on to PhDs in developmental neuroscience, neuroimaging and developmental psychology. Most others opt for research and clinical assistantships to gain further experience before undertaking a PhD or training in Clinical or Educational Psychology. In both cases, the distinctive skills they gain through the MSc are highly sought after.

Other career options include business, industry, academia and administration.


An online application form is available from Student Recruitment and Admissions.

Who to contact for further information:

Cognitive Neurodevelopment


For fee information please refer to the University's standard fees for Laboratory-based Taught Masters courses. Please note that it is the Taught (not Research) fees that apply for this course, and that it is Laboratory-based (not Classroom-based). Information about these fees can be found via the following link.