Getting into cognitive neuroscience or neuropsychology masters??

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robot-unicorn
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Hi

I am currently studying psychology and criminology as a joint honors psychology degree at undergraduate level. After my first year, I have realised that I want to specialise in brain/neuropsychology instead of forensics.

I would love to do brain related psychology masters at UCL, but would it be impossible for me to get in with my qualifications? I am getting really good grades and I am one of the best students on my course, according to exam score rankings. I also take part in lots of research as an research assistant. Research would be my ideal dream career!
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RoyBattey
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Hi, I'm a rising MSc student in cognitive neuropsychology at the university of Edinburgh. I did a BSc in Psych w/ Neuropsych, which is a little more related to your interests, but I wish to pursue the same career as you and feel that my advice would be beneficial.

If you are only entering your second year, I would advise that you switch to a neuropsychology or related course, as I did (I started out studying pure psych). If its too late for you to do so don't worry, you can still generally get into neuroscience programmes with a psychology background. To get into a top tier masters programme, just focus on getting a first (which sounds like you are able to do), get as much lab experience as possible, and make sure you have at least TWO excellent references - so start networking in your department. Participate as much as possible during your dissertation and try to contribute to it in some meaningful way (I.e, contribute to the design, manage the other students, do independent analyses, etc.). I would also suggest writing a few proposals to showcase your research chops/ambitions (but don't worry too much if you don't). You want to look focused and try to begin to specialise in something early (e.g language processing), as it makes finding a masters supervisor easier. I'd also recommend getting a paid research position of your school offers something like that for undergrads, it looks really good on the CV.

With this background you can go anywhere you want to really, provided you apply early! Just remember to hit those grades and NETWORK (I cannot stress enough the importance of this). Most top programmes list a minimum of a high 2:1, but they are competitive so earning a first makes things much easier!

I'm happy to answer any additional questions, hope this helps.
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robot-unicorn
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Oh thank you for your help! :-) Where did you do your undergrad? If you don't mind me asking. I feel like I am already doing everything I can at this point. I help with research related tasks. Nothing special at the moment but I am hoping it will get my foot on the doorway since I got some mandatory internships coming next year. I intend to do those on research settings. I am also reading everything related to psychology and neuroscience. Would you think doing Erasmus exchange would increase my chances? I would be able to study more psych and neuro modules, but then again I would be the single crazy person who did exchange just to study more. (Well I am always up for learning a new languange as well!)

I am also afraid that undergrad degree from ex-poly will be disadvantage. My uni (Coventry) is OK regarded. In addition I am highly motivated and hard working. Still, do you think some people wouldn't take me seriously because of my background?
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RoyBattey
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(Original post by robot-unicorn)
Oh thank you for your help! :-) Where did you do your undergrad? If you don't mind me asking. I feel like I am already doing everything I can at this point. I help with research related tasks. Nothing special at the moment but I am hoping it will get my foot on the doorway since I got some mandatory internships coming next year. I intend to do those on research settings. I am also reading everything related to psychology and neuroscience. Would you think doing Erasmus exchange would increase my chances? I would be able to study more psych and neuro modules, but then again I would be the single crazy person who did exchange just to study more. (Well I am always up for learning a new languange as well!)

I am also afraid that undergrad degree from ex-poly will be disadvantage. My uni (Coventry) is OK regarded. In addition I am highly motivated and hard working. Still, do you think some people wouldn't take me seriously because of my background?
I did my BSc at Bangor University. I don't think Erasmus would help for postgraduate study, but employers tend to like that stuff. Not at all, Bangor is OK too, certainly no Oxbridge, but I was accepted into every MSc programme I applied to (Edinburgh, KCL, UCL, etc. - all top schools in NSci, NPsych). As I said, what really matters is grades, good references, and lab experience.
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kxx_
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(Original post by RoyBattey)
I did my BSc at Bangor University. I don't think Erasmus would help for postgraduate study, but employers tend to like that stuff. Not at all, Bangor is OK too, certainly no Oxbridge, but I was accepted into every MSc programme I applied to (Edinburgh, KCL, UCL, etc. - all top schools in NSci, NPsych). As I said, what really matters is grades, good references, and lab experience.
Hey, i just want to know how you found psy and cognitive neuroscience as i have applied for that course and will be going to study that course as i even have an unconditional but im unsure whether i should take a gap year because i chose this course in such a hurry i am so confused if it is even right for me, but im just confused like is it difficult? enjoyable? are there loads of job options? Please reply i am a lost soul atm
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RoyBattey
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(Original post by kxx_)
Hey, i just want to know how you found psy and cognitive neuroscience as i have applied for that course and will be going to study that course as i even have an unconditional but im unsure whether i should take a gap year because i chose this course in such a hurry i am so confused if it is even right for me, but im just confused like is it difficult? enjoyable? are there loads of job options? Please reply i am a lost soul atm
I did a BSc with psychology in Neuropsychology. TBH, my experience was pretty mixed, but the vast majority of people on my course loved Bangor. Like you, it was a last minute decision for me, having gotten in through clearing. I didn't find the degree difficult except for my dissertation, but it's definitely the most rigorous of the psychology degrees. The lecturers are great, as advertised, but there was a lot I didn't like. If you don't know what you want to do then take a gap year, boost those grades and try to aim higher. Job options depend on what you want to do, but in general there aren't very many - Bangor is a small town.
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kxx_
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(Original post by RoyBattey)
I did a BSc with psychology in Neuropsychology. TBH, my experience was pretty mixed, but the vast majority of people on my course loved Bangor. Like you, it was a last minute decision for me, having gotten in through clearing. I didn't find the degree difficult except for my dissertation, but it's definitely the most rigorous of the psychology degrees. The lecturers are great, as advertised, but there was a lot I didn't like. If you don't know what you want to do then take a gap year, boost those grades and try to aim higher. Job options depend on what you want to do, but in general there aren't very many - Bangor is a small town.
Oh right, yeah im just super confused! Tbh i may take a gap year if my grades are well and apply for something i am a bit more certain on. Thank you so much
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Mariebolo
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Hi,
I am now trying to start Msc Cognitive Neurosciences and Neuropsychology at Birkbeck University and I would like to know if there are lot of job options once you finished that course? Could you please help me because I am not sure neither about what I could do after that master?
Thank you.
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