MRes Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN63160
Credit rating 90
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


During Semester 1, students will be provided outlines of possible dissertation supervisors and research areas.  Students will also be encouraged to use staff web pages to identify areas of research in which they have an interest.


Students will be asked to rank order their supervisor / topic choices and this information will be used to match up students with supervisors.  Supervisors will be based predominantly within the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology (School of Biological Sciences).  The student and supervisor will meet at least 6 times over the year (three times per semester).


Thus, the supervision period will extend across the whole academic year. For ESRC 1+3 students, the dissertation will serve as a pilot study for their 3-yr PhD research. For other MRes students it will be a stand-alone research study.



-       Allow students to conduct an independent piece of research on a specific topic (relevant to his/her future PhD topic, in the case of 1+3 students)

-       Develop practical research expertise in the area of their MRes


-       Develop presentation skills for the written and poster presentation of new research

Learning outcomes

-       Be familiar with the theoretical and practical basis of research methods and techniques

-       Have acquired practical experience of developing research questions, and using research methods to answer these questions

-       Have a detailed and systematic understanding of the area relevant to their MRes dissertation topic

-       Have practical experience of presenting scientific research as a written thesis and as a poster

Teaching and learning methods

Students will have at least 12 meetings with the dissertation supervisor over the year to discuss the aims and objectives of the study, to enable the student to arrive at a final design and to facilitate the conducting and writing up of the research.

Supervisors will give general advice and help with analysis when necessary, and will provide feedback on one draft version of the final dissertation.

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge and Understanding

-       Gain knowledge, practical skills and research experience to pursue a research career focused on the field of the chosen MRes programme

-       Understand scientific method together with the philosophical contexts within which research is conducted

-       Be familiar with the theoretical and practical basis of the research methods and techniques used  in the area of their dissertation research.

-       Have acquired an understanding of the theory and practice of research methods and techniques

-       Be aware of the practical issues and problems associated with conducting high quality research, including ethical issues; informed consent; storage of patient information both summative and formative

-       Have a detailed and systematic understanding of a chosen area of psychology

Intellectual skills

-       Adopt a reflective and inquisitive attitude to the analysis and evaluation of research in their dissertation

-       Recognise, define, formulate and prioritise research questions that are pertinent to the field of their chosen dissertation area

-       Analyse, interpret, objectively evaluate and prioritise information, recognising its limitations

-       Understand and be able to critically appreciate methodology, including the appropriate selection of quantitative or qualitative methods

-       Recognise the importance of rigour in collecting, analysing and interpreting data

-       Exhibit creativity and resourcefulness in their professional learning, scientific endeavour and research formulations

Practical skills

-       Apply appropriate methodologies to specific research questions

-       Demonstrate competence in research skills to enable sound and reproducible collection/ analysis of data

-       Present information clearly in written, electronic and oral forms, and communicate ideas and arguments effectively

                -Retrieve, manage and manipulate information by all means, including electronically

Transferable skills and personal qualities

-       Effectively manage time resources and set priorities

-       Monitor and realistically evaluate their own performance and personal capability

-       Be aware of career opportunities and begin to plan a career path

-       Demonstrate scholarship in research

-       Demonstrate a capacity for self-directed, independent learning and adopt the principles of reflective practice and lifelong learning

-       Deal with uncertainty and work within a changing environment

Employability skills

Analytical skills
ability to interpret experimental data and devise follow up experiments
Group/team working
being able to work as part of a team
being able to work independently
Project management
good time management and ability to prioritise work objectives
Problem solving
ability to seek and act upon advice
: awareness of research health and safety

Assessment methods


Assessment Methods

Students will produce a dissertation (80%), present a poster (15%) and be assessed on their professionalism (5%).

Feedback methods

Feedback Methods

There are a series of recorded meetings (six meetings; the number of meetings over the year is likely to much more than this) between the Project Supervisor and the Student to discuss progress. The meetings are recorded on a form (signed by all present) and are held by the Programme Administrator.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 588

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Karen Lander Unit coordinator

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