Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience

July 16, 2019
BSc Psychology with Cognitive

This degree deals with the broad themes of cognition, individual differences, biological and evolutionary issues, social functioning, and development across the lifespan.

The modules you take will develop your understanding of psychology’s everyday applications, such as studies of people at work and the rationale for and use of psychological tests.

You'll have the opportunity to develop your own particular interests by choosing from a wide range of specialist modules, and will carry out a research project on a subject on a cognitive neuroscience-related topic of your choice with guidance and support from a supervisor. This allows you to apply the many skills you have learned throughout the programme to define and address new questions.

This modular system allows considerable flexibility of choice in your final year when you can tailor your study according to your particular interests and ultimate aims. You will choose six option modules, with at least four modules on topics relating to neuroscience. Your final year research dissertation will be on a neuroscience topic supervised by an expert in the field. The precise list changes year by year (for example, a new member of staff may add a module). The current full list of modules offered by the department can be found below.

At level 4, you will take introductory modules covering the main topics within psychology. You will also receive practical training in the principles, methods and techniques of psychological research.

Level 5 will provide you with a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of concepts, theories and relating to a broad range of psychological topics from social psychology to developmental psychology. You will also explore statistics and laboratory based research.

You will take six modules during your final year. You will take the following compulsory modules:

You will then choose five options (three neuroscience-related options and a further two free-choice option modules).

We assess you through a varied range of methods.

Formal examinations (including multiple choice and written essay formats) are complemented by a wide range of coursework. Laboratory reports are an important part of assessment in Levels 4 and 5, along with short and longer essays on a range of topics (some of your own choosing).

In the final year, the research project report is a significant piece of work. In addition to this final year options include coursework components which are particularly suited to later careers (including popular science articles, letters to the press, and mock clinical assessments).

Please note that some of the modules listed are 'core', which means that you must pass them to progress to the next level of study.

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

15 credits

Biological and Comparative Approaches to Psychology

15 credits

This module will include explorations into:

  • theoretical, ethological and comparative perspectives
  • basic neuroanatomy and neurophysiology
  • relationships between brain and behaviour and modes of investigating them
  • chemical communication in the brain and in the body
  • genes, chromosomes and the inheritance of behaviour
  • the nature of evolutionary influences on behaviour

Information Processing and Cognition

This module is designed as a general conceptual overview of cognitive psychology and an introduction to topics that are central to the study of human cognition. Emphasis is placed on the methods and theoretical models used by cognitive psychologists to study human perception and thinking.

Topics include:

  • visual perception
  • models of attention and short-term memory
  • encoding and retrieval of information from long-term memory, classical and operant conditioning
  • connectionist models of learning
  • higher cognition in animals.

Design and Analysis of Psychological Studies

Covering: analysis of variance techniques non-parametric methods, correlation and regression; further experimental design and strategy.

Practical Issues in Psychological Research

This module acquaints you with the main areas of research in the Department of Psychology, fosters an understanding of practical issues involved in the planning and conduct of research, and develops your ability to critically evaluate research conducted by others.

Extended Essay in Psychology

An extended essay, relating to topics taught on PS51005A, PS51006A or PS51007A, on a subject agreed with a supervisor in the department. It will involve some tutorial contact with supervisors, but mainly requires you to use library and bibliographic resources to search for relevant material.

Skills and Employability in Psychology

This module has been designed to develop the practical skills associated with the study of psychology, with a particular emphasis on enhancing your ability to study, research and gain employment in the field of psychology. An important part of this module is to promote personal development and enhance employability by linking in with Goldsmiths’ 3D graduate scheme.

Module title Credits

Biological Substrates of Behaviour

The module covers six major areas of biological psychology:

  1. hormones, sexual motivation and sex differences
  2. sleep and arousal
  3. eating and body weight regulation
  4. sexual selection and mate choice
  5. brain evolution and development
  6. and emotions and stress

These topics are considered in terms of neurological, neurophysiological, physiological, biochemical and genetic substrates.

Personality and Individual Differences

This module covers:

  • identification and measurement of individual differences in temperament
  • biological and environmental contributions to individual differences
  • causal theories of personality
  • the relationship between psychopathology and personality
  • background to methods of description and classification in psychopathology
  • genetic, constitutional and environmental aspects of disorders of personality and behaviour
  • rationale of therapeutic techniques

Social Psychology

This module covers concepts, theories and empirical research related to:

  • human aggression
  • attitudes and attitude change
  • attribution and social judgement
  • environment and social behaviour
  • non-verbal communication
  • interpersonal attraction
  • intergroup processes

Developmental Psychology

  • concepts, models and theories of development
  • the module of development from infancy to old age
  • cognitive and social aspects of behaviour in childhood
  • language development
  • adolescence as a developmental period
  • mid-life, and the effects of ageing

Cognitive Psychology

This module covers major topics in the area of cognitive psychology including:

  • attention
  • visual object recognition
  • written language processing
  • working memory: long-term memory and acquired memory problems
  • everyday memory
  • representation of knowledge.

Research Methods in Psychology

30 credits

Covering research methodology including laboratory and field observation, questionnaire, survey methods and interviewing; experimenter effects and demands characteristics; conceptual, historical and ethical issues in psychological research and science more generally; evaluation of research strategies.

30 credits


This module examines major forms of psychopathology including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorder and eating disorders. These conditions will be considered in depth, addressing diagnostic issues and the development of current theoretical explanations. The principles and evaluation of psychological interventions will also be considered.

Applications of Attention Research

This module will provide detailed study of the scientific investigation of attention, a highly topical aspect of human cognition that plays a fundamental role in our experience of the world. Students will be introduced to current theories of attention and their application to other fields of psychological enquiry including cross-cultural psychology, social psychology, individual differences, and emotion.

Anomalistic Psychology

This module includes consideration of the relationship between psychology and parapsychology. This involves discussion of the distinction between science and pseudoscience. The module also involves critical evaluation of various claims, many of which would, if valid, have profound implications for mainstream psychology (including claims derived from astrology, psychoanalysis, alternative therapies, etc). Various psychological processes, which underlie belief in such claims, will be discussed and non-paranormal accounts of ostensibly paranormal experiences, (eg precognitive dreams, sightings of UFO’s, out-of-body experiences) will be evaluated.

Topics in...

See also:
Ben Hunte - Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Ben Hunte - Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
REM Sleep. Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience.
REM Sleep. Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience.
Discovering Psychology - Episode 25: Cognitive Neuroscience
Discovering Psychology - Episode 25: Cognitive Neuroscience
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