Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc)

For more information about Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience at City, University of London, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 4750 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 8000 per year

All study options

About Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience at City, University of London

Learn how different brain functions contribute to cognition, mediate social interaction, and determine mental health, well-being and psychiatric illness.

Who is it for?

This Masters is ideal for those who have an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related discipline and would like to build more knowledge and skills highly valued both in academic research and the clinical professions. The MSc is an ideal platform from which to progress to PhD studies, particularly in Cognitive or Social Neuroscience. Students will also be well-equipped should they wish to undertake further professional training in Clinical Psychology, or a related discipline.


This Masters degree bridges three research and clinical disciplines:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of human brain functions such as memory, perception and language)
  • Clinical Neuroscience (the understanding of neurological, psychological or psychiatric illness via their neural and cognitive antecedents)
  • and Social Neuroscience (the investigation of brain processes that help us communicate, feel, learn and interact with others).

The major aim of this programme is to provide you with a thorough grounding in the neuroscience that underpins human cognitive brain function, clinical, social and affective interaction, and neuropathology.

Teaching will comprise of seminars, lectures, computing and statistics classes, and supervision of an individual research project. Your learning experience during the programme will be enhanced by an invited speaker's programme of external experts who work in Clinical, Social or Cognitive neuroscience.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

In order to be eligible for entry, you must hold a first or upper second class degree in Psychology, Biology or a related discipline. An equivalent qualification from an overseas university will also be considered.

English requirements

The following qualifications meet the English language requirement for entry into this programme:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by City as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language (e.g., from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA)
  • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum
  • An overall score of 7.0 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.5 for each subtest
  • Warwick English Language Test (WELT) with pass grades of BBC minimum
  • Pearson test with a score of at least 67 in each area
  • Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the board of studies concerned.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

When applying online

  • You must provide the email addresses to two referees, at least one must be from an academic referee if you are a recent graduate and we will contact them directly. Other suitable referees may include a current employer or an organisation where you have undertaken relevant work experience.
  • We also require that you upload evidence of your academic qualifications and a personal statement.

If you require assistance regarding your application or have any queries then please contact:

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom

T: +44(0)20 7040 0249

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be comprised of lectures, seminars, group work and discussions, workshops and tutorials, reports, computing and statistics classes and the individual research dissertation.

You will undertake independent study, supported by the teaching and learning team, and will receive detailed feedback on your coursework. You will be provided with assessment and grade-related criteria which will outline your intended learning outcomes, along with the skills, knowledge and attitudes you are expected to demonstrate in order for you to complete an assessment successfully. You will also be assigned a personal tutor as your primary contact, who will advise you on academic matters and monitor your progress through the programme.

You will find a supportive vibrant research environment in the Department. The course is taught by academics, who are internationally recognised experts in their field with different backgrounds in clinical, social and cognitive neuroscience.

Check out what is going on in our laboratories and at the Center for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience (CPWN).

Find our more about our work on our Facebook group.


Your learning will be assessed through essays, examinations, oral presentations, research methods projects and interpretation of statistical analyses, formal research proposals and a dissertation.


The programme consists of eight taught modules worth 15 credits each with around 30-34 hours of face-to-face contact, supported by online resources and an empirical research project (worth 60 credits).

You will learn about the latest advances in clinical, social and cognitive neuroscience and develop an appreciation of the reciprocal nature of research and practice in these domains. For example how insights from functional neuroimaging inform our understanding of neurological disorders and how clinical observations inform neurocognitive modelling.

Course structure

Principles of Neuroscience: Brain anatomy, techniques and paradigms

This module provides an introduction to key concepts in neuroscience. You will learn about the different techniques and methodologies commonly applied to address questions in neuroscience, as well as about specific paradigms used to decompose cognitive processes in the brain, and theories these approaches are based on. The module will also introduce you to basic concepts of neuroanatomy. Selected papers and seminars will provide the foundations to critically reappraise different methodologies and paradigms. This will equip you with the basic knowledge for distinguishing different theoretical frameworks and theories.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

This module is designed for both beginners and students who already have some in-depth knowledge of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.  The aims of the module are to: (1) develop a good understanding of current theories and approaches in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, (2) critically discuss classical and current research, and (3) analyse current theories and models in this area.  This module will cover the fundamental processes in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and you will engage with the following topics:  (1) the neural basis of memory development in childhood and later adulthood, (2) the neural basis of the effects of stress and trauma on memory development, and (3) autism and the neural basis of cognitive functions in aging.

Mental Health, Well-being and Neuroscience

This module is designed to provide you with the opportunity to learn about the neurobiological perspective on mental health and illness and its implications for clinical practice and research. You will learn about the relevance of biological models for diagnosis and treatment of different clinical disorders and the role of stress (in contributing to) and well-being (in protecting against) these disorders. You will also learn about basic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other evidence-based treatment techniques.

Fundamental Processes in Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuropsychology I

This is the first of two modules on the current state of knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience. This module focuses on our understanding of fundamental cognitive processes including perception and attention as well as decision making and executive functions. You will learn about current research and theories on the underlying brain mechanisms in healthy adults which will be further enriched by past and current neuropsychological and lesion studies. Findings from a wide range of neuroimaging techniques will be considered.

Fundamental Processes in Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuropsychology II

This is the second of two modules on the current state of knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience. This module will cover a variety of crucial topics related to learning, cortical plasticity, memory and language. These are important mental abilities, but also frequently affected in patients. You will discover exciting results about these abilities, learn methods to study them in the healthy brain, and examine cases where they break down.

Social Cognition and the Social Brain

Social Neuroscience is a branch of Cognitive Neuroscience concerned with the neural underpinnings of social behaviour. Understanding how we interact with others is regarded by many as a key challenge facing scientists in the 21st Century. Despite being a relatively young discipline, the study of the 'Social Brain' is therefore one of the fastest growing and most productive areas of contemporary Cognitive Science. In this module students will learn how we recognize people, how we understand and interpret their behaviour, how we empathize and attribute mental states to them, how we learn through observing and interacting with them, and how our interactions shape our decisions. Throughout the module students will learn how these processes can go wrong in certain clinical conditions and how clinical observations have informed models of the Social Brain.

Statistical models and Research Methods and Programming

Setting up, running and interpreting experiments is a core skill for researchers in clinical, social and cognitive neuroscience. Moreover, clinical psychologists often find that they have more research training than their medical colleagues, and are consequently called upon to design and implement research studies in a medical context. Hence, for both researchers and clinicians, the capacity to analyse data (and to understand the way in which others have analysed data) is essential for publishing and critiquing research and remaining current in evidence-based practice. In these two complimentary modules, you will be progressively taught to use Matlab, a flexible high-level programming language, to control experiments and analyse data. You will be introduced to the main methods of neuroscientific data collection, such as EEG and fMRI, and learn the statistical procedures necessary to analyse them. Finally, you will be introduced to the concepts and practical skills that allow us to characterise normal and disordered behaviours using cognitive and computational models.

Research Dissertation

The Research project provides students with the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to design and conduct independent empirical research in Social, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience. You will join a laboratory and will have practical 'hands-on' experience of addressing a particular research question working closely together with experts in the field.

Invited speakers programme

There is also an invited speaker's programme showcasing eminent people from the world of neuroscience. The knowledge, skills and the interests students develop during the course of their study will be used in the research dissertation, which provides an opportunity to join a laboratory and undertake a major piece of independent high-quality research supervised by a specialist from the Department of Psychology.

Download the relevant programme specification

Career prospects

This course will provide you with knowledge and skills highly valued both in academic research and the clinical professions. The MSc is an ideal platform from which to progress to PhD studies, particularly in Cognitive or Social Neuroscience. You will also be well-equipped should you wish to undertake further professional training in Clinical Psychology, or a related discipline.

The knowledge and skills you will acquire in this programme are highly valuable, whether you choose to pursue further research or an applied occupation. They will enhance your employability prospects in a wide range of sectors including the pharmaceutical industry, neuromarketing, the computing industry, science and the media, science and the arts, business or education.

Find out more about out students who were selected to present at the prestigious International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco in 2017.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 4750 per yearInternational course feesGBP 8000 per year
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 9500 per yearInternational course feesGBP 16000 per year

Notes about fees for this course


Full-time: £9,500

Part-time: £4,750 per year


Full-time: £16,000

Part-time: £8,000 per year

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

MSc Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience at City, University of London

Course Director of the MSc Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience at City, University of London talks about this new course


We facilitate clinical internships through our specialist research Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience (CPWN) and with the local Mind centre.

Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience student Wiki Tay completed a placement with CHM.

The opportunity to work with City and Hackney Mind as a clinical placement student was a great privilege to me. I wanted greater knowledge and experience of working with people with mental health needs and CHM was the perfect place for me to gain that exposure."

Academic facilities

You will have access to all the facilities and laboratories in the Psychology Department. Check our labs facilities in the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit (CRNU), the Baby lab, the Autism Research Group (ARG), the Human Memory Research Group, etc. For a full list of facilities visit the Psychology Department.

Our members have experience with a wide range of neuroscientific techniques, including neuropsychological testing, psychophysics, electrophysiology, and neuroimaging methods.  We have particular strengths in the use of Electroencephalography (EEG), Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Electric Stimulation (a weak current applied to the scalp), in addition to measures of human behaviour (e.g. response times, response errors, and eye movements) and physiological measures (e.g. galvanic skin response and heart rate).

We test neurologically normal individuals, special populations (e.g. people with synesthesia) and people with expertise or acquired skills (e.g. dancers, musicians, athletes), as well as people with brain damage (e.g. neglect or split-brain patients), psychiatric diagnoses (e.g. schizophrenia), sensory deficits (e.g. visual and hearing impairments) and developmental disorders (e.g. dyslexia or autism).

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

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Entry requirements

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