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Applied Neuroscience

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Applied Neuroscience


The closing date for applications to start this course in September 2024 is 31 July 2024. Further detail here.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £16,500

International/EU fees**: £28,500

The course

Applied Neuroscience (MSc)

This course gives a unique insight into neuroscience in real world settings. You’ll study alongside our leading neuroscientists with contributions from external academics and professionals, and have access to the department’s excellent neuroscience facilities. You’ll learn to conduct applied neuroscience research projects and acquire practical, hands on experience for your future career.

On this course you will:

  • Gain practical and hands on experience using neuroscience methodologies and data analysis, with teaching assuming no prior experience with the techniques.
  • Complete assessments that have been developed to map on to relevant activities in both academic and industrial settings, which will enhance your employability.
  • Engage with contemporary and cutting edge neuroscience research questions and learn to conduct applied neuroscience research projects.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • This module will provide you with the possibility to gain some hands-on experience of neuroscience techniques that can be used in applied contexts, such as EEG, fMRI and eye-tracking. You will learn how to collect data and analyse the data in a meaningful way to gain insight into human neural processes underlying perceptions, decisions and emotions, within an experimental design. Throughout the module, you will make use of different programming languages to deal with the different types of neuroscientific data.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the main statistical methods used in psychology research. You will look at basic descriptive statistics before covering more complex techniques, including analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, correlation analysis, and simple and multiple regression. You will examine advanced statistical methods, such as structural equation modelling and factor analysis. You will gain hands-on experience in applying these methods of analyses to actual datasets and problems using statistical software, considering their respective strengths and weaknesses, and what type of problems each approach is best suited to address.

  • This module will introduce you to the latest research concerning the neuroscience of emotion and decision making, train students to interpret and evaluate the research in this area, and train students to apply their knowledge to the analysis of real-life examples Lectures topics could include, for example: comparisons between human and animal models of emotion; emotion regulation; the links between emotion and decision making; neuroeconomics; the neural basis of understanding others; cooperative and competitive decision making.

  • This module will a) introduce you to the latest research concerning the possible real-world applications of neuroscience research and techniques, b) train you to interpret and evaluate both the research in this area and some broader claims relating to applied neuroscience, and c) train you to apply this knowledge to the analysis of real-world problems.

  • This module will provide students with the possibility to carry out a piece of empirical research on a topic of their interest within the broad area of applied neuroscience. Students will decide on a topic for their project in conjunction with their academic supervisors. Care will be taken to match students’ and supervisors’ interests as closely as possible. The project will be in the broad area of applied neuroscience using a neuroscientific technique such as eye tracking, VR, EEG, or fMRI for example.

  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.


Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1
  • Seminars will adopt an interactive, discussion-based style, focused around a topical research paper or a wider issue relating to psychological science. The topics for discussion will be drawn from a broad range of research areas, including neuroscience, cognition and social psychology. Many of the discussions will be student-led, and the topics for these sessions will reflect individual students’ particular areas of interest. The taught module will be complemented by a series of departmental research seminars, through which students will be able to hear about the latest research from a variety of external speakers.

  • The module aims to help students understand the challenges but also benefits of conducting research in applied settings, as compared to laboratory settings. After discussing general opportunities and challenges in conducting psychological research in applied settings, the module will cover a variety of topics in applied psychology delivered by experts on the topics and practitioners. These may vary each year, but can include selected topics in organisational psychology, forensic psychology, educational psychology, counselling psychology, and applied social psychology. Some example topics include eyewitness testimony in the court, parenting interventions, and understanding donations.

  • This module covers the social psychology of intergroup and interpersonal processes. As such, the course content is situated broadly in applied social psychology. It introduces theories and findings in this area and uses them to explain real-life phenomena. Lectures will cover issues like, for example, cross-cultural psychology, of intergroup relations, ethnic identity, conflict resolution, immigration, and interpersonal relationships. 

  • The module will cover a variety of topics in adjustment and well-being delivered by experts on the topics and practitioners. These will include measurement of well-being, antecedents and consequences of well-being, ill-being and health psychology. Some example topics include materialism and well-being, delusions, and adjustment of personal values to life transitions.

  • In this module you will explore instruments that mental health professionals use to assess patients, as well as assess evidence-based treatment approaches to disorders.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of cognitive, social and neuroscience approaches to forensic psychology. You will look at social approaches to different victim and offender groups, the neuroscience of psychopathy, interviewing victims, physiological approaches to deception, detection, and the role of eyewitness identifications in the legal system. You will also examine receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and confidence relationships as they apply to decision makers and estimator and system variables.

Teaching is delivered primarily through sessions lasting between one and five hours. These typically combine seminar discussions with practical workshops to develop statistical, methodological and analytical experience. Where possible, these will be student-led, with participants encouraged to devise exercises engaging with the relevant issues and to direct fellow students in these experiments.

We place emphasis on group discussion and the development of independent thought and analysis appropriate to carry out an independent piece of research of high quality, in an area of interest to you. In some contributing modules, you will give oral presentations which form part of the formative assessment. Summative assessment is usually by written assignment, with an emphasis on developing and demonstrating skills relevant in real-world settings (eg posters, grant proposals, podcasts). There are also some written exams, particularly for modules focussing on methodology and statistics.


Psychology or Natural Science subject (Biology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics)

Can consider degrees in a related Social Science with evidence of having taken and passed methodological or statistics training at degree level.

International & EU requirements

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 54.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
  • TOEFL iBT: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
  • Duolingo: 120 overall, 135 in Literacy, 135 in Production and no sub-score below 100.

Graduates in Applied Neuroscience at Royal Holloway are well equipped to progress to further PhD study and to careers in applied settings in commercial and governmental organisations. You will graduate with a desirable MSc degree from one of the UK’s top psychology departments and develop a range of transferable skills including analysis and interpretation of complex data, insight into human behaviour and neural processes, critical reading, conducting and managing research projects and scientific reporting.
You will have the skills to work in areas such as Data Science, User Experience, Interaction Design, as well as Neuroscience research, using neuroscience based insights and conducting research using cutting edge methods of studying the brain.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £16,500

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £28,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis in the academic year 2024/25. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase all postgraduate tuition fees annually, based on the UK’s Retail Price Index (RPI). Please therefore be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration), and that this also means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. For further information, please see our terms and conditions.

** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more 

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

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