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C8K209 Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience MSc Postgraduate Taught  2017


Degree MSc
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year
Start Date 02-10-2017
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 3273

Course Content


This programme is aimed at students who are seeking to build on their undergraduate qualifications to develop a career in research or related disciplines while building their project management skills and knowledge of developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In addition, the programme is aimed at those from closely related science backgrounds to build up a knowledge and practical experience of developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience before embarking on a psychology related career. Students on this course typically go on to pursue careers in research or in clinical psychology.

The programme is aimed at providing advanced research training for students interested in pursuing careers in the fields of research, child development and child health, brain function and cognitive neuroscience methodologies. The Department of Psychology at Durham University has particular strengths in these areas, with teaching reflecting the breadth of knowledge within the department.

Course Structure

Teaching is generally organised into a number of 10 week course units involving 2 to 3 hours of lectures, seminars and practicals per week. Each 10 week unit is assessed by means of one formative assignment and one summative assessment. The summative assessment counts towards the final degree. For the programme as a whole, this assessment is divided (with small variations across programmes) in equal proportions between examinations (33.3%), written assignments (33.3%) and dissertation (33.3%).

Core Modules

  • Research Practice (15 credits)
  • Critical Analysis (15 credits)
  • Applied Statistics (30 credits)
  • Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)
Choose one module from:
  • Current Issues in Developmental Psychology & Psychopathology (30 credits)
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience(30 credits).


Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes. Lectures provide key information on a particular topic, such as developmental cognitive neuroscience. Seminars are held in order that small group teaching can take place, with focused discussion on specific topics. Finally, practical classes allow students to gain direct experience, particularly in Applied Statistics and in how to use statistical tools.

The balance of these types of activities varies as a function of the module. This is a year long course, with students also having a summer term during which time work is typically carried out on dissertation related activities. Students typically attend 12 hours a week comprising lectures, tutorials and seminars. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and broaden their subject knowledge. Independent study is a key element to the course, with complex factors raised in lectures that do assume some prior knowledge of the topic area.

The programme is divided into three parts. One third, comprising four modules, is of subject specific topics related to developmental psychology, psychopathology and cognitive neuroscience. Students may select one of the two modules (Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience or Current issues in Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology) to suit their areas of interest. Each module is delivered via a two to three hours lecture during one term or via seminars. A further three modules focus on research skills such as critical abilities, and statistical knowledge that are necessary to understand developmental psychology and psychopathology and cognitive neuroscience. The final third of the programme is the dissertation module, which reflects the culmination of learning and practical endeavours from throughout the course via the production of an independent and original body of research material. This is performed under one to one supervision with a member of staff, with meetings varying in duration and frequency throughout the year as a function of the needs of the research project.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

2:1 in Psychology or Psychology related subject (or equivalent).

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £6,900.00
Home Student £6,900.00
Island Student £6,900.00
International non-EU Student £20,900.00

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Career Opportunities

Department of Psychology

For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Department Information

Department of Psychology


The Department of Psychology provides a world-class teaching and research environment for postgraduate students in biological, cognitive, social, developmental psychology and neuroscience. Our research facilities support activity in these domains of psychology. We offer both taught postgraduate as well as postgraduate research degree (MRes and PhD) programmes.

Our MSc programmes provide students with core skills, ideal for continuing on to complete a PhD, taking on a research position, or entering the workplace. Postgraduate taught and research students are supervised by academics with expertise in their fields and have the opportunity to engage with the vibrant research environment evident in the Department.

Students have access to dedicated laboratory space with equipment linked to teaching on the programmes and we are particularly well-equipped with opportunities for training in eye-movement recording, motion analysis and psychophysics. Specialist facilities are available which include Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and animal laboratory.


Ranked joint 1st in the UK for research environment in REF 2014.


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