Principles of Applied Neuropsychology

  • Award: MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert
  • School: School of Society, Enterprise and Environment
  • UK/EU Fees: MA tuition fees for full-time study are £6,210 (UK/EU students) or £10,905 (International students)
  • Fees and Finance Information
  • Course length: MSc full-time three trimesters (one calendar year); MSc part-time up to five years; PGDip full-time two trimesters (one academic year); PGDip part-time four trimesters; PGCert full-time one trimester; PGCert part-time two trimesters
  • Campus: Corsham Court
  • Course Handbook (PDF)

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How to Apply

The MSc in Principles of Applied Neuropsychology examines the uses of neuropsychology in the clinical world. Studying the way the brain works is crucial to psychology and the understanding of human behaviour. Neuropsychology is central to the debate about the spark of individuality each human shows. This course looks at social cognition and affective neuroscience, as well as studying the emerging field of the neuropsychology of psychopathology. 

The course is an employability-centred extension to an undergraduate psychology degree.  It is focused on Neuropsychology, but is suitable for any student interested in preparing for an eventual career as a professional psychologist..

Why study Principles of Applied Neuropsychology?

The MSc in Principles of Applied Neuropsychology examines the uses of neuropsychology in the clinical world. Studying the way the brain works is crucial to psychology and the understanding of human behaviour. Neuropsychology is central to the debate about the spark of individuality each human shows.

Course structure

The course has four 30-credit core modules and a 60-credit dissertation module. The taught modules are Neuropsychology, Social Neuropsychology of Mental Health, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation and Issues in Professional Practice. To gain the MSc you must complete all four taught modules and thedissertation module. There is also a Postgraduate Certificate, gained by successfully completing two taught modules, and a Postgraduate Diploma for the successful completion of four taught modules.

The course runs on one afternoon a week to allow you time to obtain relevant practical experience, should you wish to do so. You can study on a full-time or part-time basis, subject to a maximum of three years full-time or five-years part-time for the MSc.

Modules

Cognitive Neuropsychology
This is a theoretical neuropsychology module, centred on the study of healthy participants. It provides lectures in hearing, speech and language, memory, sensory processing and perception, motor processing and perception. It features embedded research methods including issues of research practice, preparing a research proposal and the misuse of science.

Advanced Psychopathology
This module includes a neuropsychological perspective on mental health problems. It features a series of lectures on psychosis, affective disorders, fear disorders, principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, and basic pharmacology. The embedded research methods deal with applications to ethics committees, experimental behaviour analysis and outcome evaluation.

Advanced Neuropsychology
This module provides a clinical approach to degenerative disorders, ageing, communication disorders visual disorders, and childhood developmental disorders. The module focuses on the functions and dysfunctions of the frontal lobes. The embedded research methods include performing a systematic literature review, researching a patient population, and using a test battery.

Issues in Professional Practice
This module introduces students to the principles of applied psychology and the processes of recovery and rehabilitation. It focuses on the core skills expected of a practitioner of applied psychology: assessment; formulation; intervention; evaluation; communication skills; and self-management skills. The embedded research skills in this module relate to the evaluation of clinical practice.

Dissertation
This is the opportunity to investigate an area of neuropsychology of individual interest. As part of this module you are required to submit a 5,000-7,000 word paper ready for publication in a specified journal, based on your research. You also have to demonstrate the ability to keep a detailed research log. The research undertaken by students must have a neuropsychological focus.

Course assessment

We have selected assessments with the aim to maximise experiences that will help with further study. For example, the dissertation element must be written in the form of a paper that is ready for submission in an established journal. In fact, we will encourage the submission of a research paper as the culmination of the Master’s experience. We also offer assessments in less formal writing for magazines or newspapers. We aim to consolidate your literature searching skills, something that is crucial to get right for a PhD thesis and for writing grant proposals.

This course looks at social cognition and affective neuroscience, as well as studying the emerging field of the neuropsychology of psychopathology.  

Teaching methods

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, small and large group work, neuropsychological testing experience.  We also give you the opportunity to develop different writing skills.  There will be guest speakers from relevant employers as well as research talks from existing practitioners. 

Tutors

Course Director:
Dr Alison Lee
BSc (London), PhD (Bristol)

Lecturers:
Dr Rob Irwin
BA (Kent) PhD (UWE)

 

Application method

Application forms are available online and should be completed and returned to us either electronically or through the post. If you have any queries please contact the admissions department:

Telephone: (01225) 875624.

Course enquiries

Dr Alison Lee, Course Director

Telephone: +44(0)1225 875726

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for anyone with a good major Psychology degree. It is essential that applicants have a Psychology dissertation. It is not necessary to have undergraduate neuropsychology but it would be beneficial to show relevant experience or plans to obtain relevant experience of work in an appropriate area.

Career opportunities

The course is centred on eventual employment as a professional psychologist. We aim to enhance your skills as a scientist-practitioner, and providing a step forward to meeting the criteria for assistant psychologist posts. The course also offers practical writing skills necessary for communicating complex scientific ideas to both a lay and specialist audience.

Previous students have successfully applied for professional doctorates, become psychology assistants as well as working in neuropsychological rehabilitative settings.

What students say...

Georgina Hughes, MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology, 2012

'I chose this course because I liked the range of modules available e.g. ‘Issues in Professional Practice’ was a particularly appealing module as this focused on teaching you the key skills and knowledge required to pursue a career as a Clinical Neuropsychologist. The lecturers are helpful and approachable and the campus is a small and friendly environment with great surroundings. I particularly like the variety of skills the course teaches you, for example you learn how to write in a range of different styles, for different audiences and publications. Since finishing I am working as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist within an Older Adults Mental Health team in the NHS. Studying for an MSc has helped me stand out from other graduates, which is highly beneficial due to psychology being such a competitive field.'

Amy Jenkins, MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology 

'I chose this course because I have a passion for, and interest in, the area of neuropsychology and to improve my chances of gaining a place on a doctorate course in Clinical Psychology. During the course links were made between clinical settings and what we were learning. The course structure was excellent with small class sizes, and the university has a  beautiful location. On completing the course I successfully gained a full-time research position within the Cardiff University School of Medicine in an Alzheimer’s disease project. The course will also help improve my chances of gaining a place on a clinical psychology doctorate course, or to gain entry to a graduate medical training programme. It is an excellent course, and if any graduates are interested in neuropsychology then I would strongly advise them to apply for a place. The lecturers are fantastic and incredibly supportive.'