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Past Questions

  1. Hello, Ifeoma! I have always been fascinated by how our brain and/or nervous system works, I was interested in neuroscience since the start. However, the best and compelling option I found for my Bachelors degree was Speech Language Therapy. I am currently doing a BSc. We have been taught how damage to parts of the brain affect our speech and swallowing and we, also, have studied Neuroanatomy which is why I was wondering if I could opt for this course after my BSc since I have SLT background? And will Cognitive Neuroscience further help me in pursuing my career in Autism, if I wanted to?

    Hi, The BICN course combines both theory and research methods in studying aspects of psychology, cognition and neuroscience. So it could be a good way to pick up theoretical and methodological skills. As far as I remember there are no specific modules for Autism (unless this has changed now). The beauty of most of the courses in psychology is that you gain transferrable skills, you could also do your dissertation with an autistic population. I would recommend that you also get paid or voluntary work with autistic children and/or adults to further strengthen your knowledge and skills with this specific group. You might also want to apply for an MSc that specifically focuses on autism or neurodevelopmental disorders. I hope this helps, I wish you all the best in your academic pursuits.

  2. Hi! I would like to know the application requirements for International students, as I want to apply for the same MSc course in Psychology for 2021?

    Hi,

    I believe the main requirements include the following; a bachelors degree in Psychology or related fields, IELTS (if you did not do your first degree or have not previously studied in the UK), proof of funding, previous educational qualifications (as far as I am aware they do not have to be from British institutions, they just have to be in English). Then you need to apply via the UoB website for the course you are interested in, do a personal statement, submit all the necessary documents. The application process for international applicants should be available on the UoB website. I hope this helps

  3. Hi, I am really interested in studying a MSc in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience, however I am quite concerned about the statistic side of things. Do you mind talking me through how you found the statistics and analysis? Also what did you do after finishing this Masters? Thank you.

    Hi, apologies for the late response. To answer your question the statistics aspect of the course involves using packages like SPSS, but also learning how to use Matlab and SPM to code and analyze data from psychological and neuroscience experiments. I only had knowledge using SPSS prior to my admission on the course and although learning how to use Matlab was challenging, it is definitely doable with sustained practice. I did find learning these statistical modules very interesting because not only does it give you a new analytical skill which you can go to apply in the real world, it also improves your problem solving skills (you'd be amazed what seating for hours with a Matlab or SPM script can do for your brain development, just trying to find out why you script does not work or how to improve your script to increase efficiency or speed up your analysis etc.) After my Masters I have gone on to do a PhD in Psychology (using neuroimaging, behavioural and physiological methods to investigate emotion regulation, well-being and emotional psychopathology). I intend to branch out into therapy and mental health because I decided I did not want to remain in academia or solely do research. I hope this helps and good luck with your studies and future plan.

  4. Hi Ifeoma, I am a Computer Science undergrad, interested in going into Neuroscience. I have always wanted to apply neural networks and deep learning modules to studying the brain. In the same context I am also interested in and am actively exploring BCI. How relevant are the two course in Birmingham ((MSc) in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience and (MSc) in Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics) in that respect? Also, would I be able to explore my interest in the same as I can not see any explicit modules focusing on them?

    I was on the BICN course and that focused more on psychology, neuroscience (mostly neural pathways involved in human behaviour)and use of neuroimaging statistical techniques. In your case I think you might be better suited to the Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc, however, I do not know enough about the course content or module set up. BICN is more suited to you if you have an interest in the neuroscience (brain regions and networks) and psychology.

  5. Hi, I just wanted to ask if you have heard anything about admission offers for the MSc courses in regards with Psychology? It states on the website that a minimum 2:1 is required. However, do you know if admissions have certain conditions such as a 65% on final year projects etc etc?

    Sorry I know this is a very specific question but any advice on this matter would be amazing.

    Hi unfortunately, I no longer have affiliations with the UoB admissions department, so I do not know anything regarding the BICN course for 2020. However, with regards to grade requirements, as at the time I got my place on the course in 2016, the offer condition was based off getting a 2.1 overall in my BSc with no specific mention of getting above a certain mark in my dissertation, and I suspect that is still the case, so an overall 2.1 will suffice.

  6. I am applying for a Psychology Masters and it asks for any previous programming experience. What programming experience would be helpful or needed? Which language will be used and how will it be used?

    Hi, before my Masters I didn’t have any previous programming experience. I only had research methods experience. During the course we were taught to work with Matlab, FSL and SPM, none of which I had used prior to getting a place on the course.

  7. Hi Ifeoma, I could not find a student on the system who I can ask about the Mental Health (Youth/Interdisciplinary) MSc in the psychology department. I was wondering if the course was similar to yours so I thought I might ask yourself this question. How many hours/ days did you have contact hours that you had to come onto campus? I will be deciding whether to travel from home or live in Birmingham so this will be useful for me to know.

    Hi the MSc in Mental Health is different from the brain imaging course, unfortunately I don’t have much information on that course, I suggest checking the UoB website for the course detail and contacting someone from there.

    I suggest living in Birmingham if it’s possible because a lot of the teaching was done in classrooms, I would say at least 4 times a week, obviously I don’t know what the structure will be like post covid, but in my time, I had to relocate to Birmingham because of the structure and I needed access to many university facilities.

    I hope this answers your question.

  8. Hi!

    I’ve just finished my final year at UoB, studying BSc Human Neuroscience. I’ve been considering and applied for two postgraduate courses at UoB; MSc Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience and MSc Clinical Neuropsychiatry. As you have completed the Brain Imaging course, I just had a few questions to help me understand which course is best for me. Did you enjoy the course? Did you have an idea of what career path you wanted to take before you completed the course, and if so, what was it? What were the modules like? Were they very challenging? Do you think it has helped you to pursue the career you want to go into?

    Thank you, I appreciate it so much as I’ve been in two minds about which course is best for me. I look forward to hearing back from you! Many thanks.

    Hi, Yes I did enjoy the course, it was very challenging (do not be put off by this) but I did learn a lot during the year and have a lot of skills that helped me get a place to do my PhD.

    Honestly, I was not 100% sure what career path I wanted to take after my MSc, I however, knew I wanted to do a PhD at some point (which I am currently doing)and work in a clinical or research setting. However I suggest getting work experience in a clinical setting (primary or mental health)in order to be in a better position when it comes to getting paid work after your degree.

    The modules were a mixture of knowledge and skill based learning. So I did programming modules which I found challenging because I did not have a computer science background, however, there was full teaching and support and by the end of the degree, I was able to do my dissertation using one of the brain imaging programming techniques. The other modules explored cognitive neuroscience and its links to psychology. Overall, the course provided me with both theoretical knowledge and skills development. If you have a good knowledge and understanding of psychology and neuroscience (great that your BSc is in neuroscience), you will quickly pick up whatever new knowledge and skills the course will provide.

    It definitely helped me get a place to study for my PhD, and the programming knowledge I gained really made the transition to doing a PhD quite easy for me because my PhD methodology is heavily based on cognitive neuroscience research methods. After my PhD I intend on going into a clinical/ healthcare setting rather than remaining in academia because my interests have shifted and I have work experience that will enable me make this transition.

    I would recommend exploring what career options are available for both MSc pathways, and if you want to pursue a clinical career, then the MSc in Clinical Neuropsychiatry seems more suited to that pathway, this is not to say that the MSc in BICN does not offer you that option, you just have to make sure you engage in in clinical work experience (paid or voluntary) to boost your chances of getting a place to study for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology or any of the other applied psychology doctorate (if you wish to further your education to that level) or even if you decided to get paid work after your MSc.

    I hope I have been able to answer your question, feel free to ask any other questions you might have. Good luck with whatever, pathway you choose to follow.

  9. Is it difficult to go into clinical practise/assistant psychology posts one completing this the BICN MSc? I love neuropsychology and I am very interested in it but I am cautious about not being able to find clinical work afterwards.

    Hi,

    Sorry for the delayed response, to answer your question I would definitely recommend taking part in paid or voluntary work in a clinical setting to boost your chances of finding work in a clinical setting, whilst the MSc in BICN is good for getting knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience and skills especially in research, it is always helpful to have mental health experience as employers like to see that you have real life experience. So I think it is definitely worth looking for work experience in a clinical setting. I hope this answers your question.

  10. What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

    I was motivated to undertake postgraduate study because I knew it would increase my chances of applying for higher paid jobs within my field. Furthermore, I was interested in learning new technical and soft skills and so I knew getting a postgraduate degree was a guaranteed way of getting these skills. Also, I saw it as the perfect avenue to challenge myself mentally and physically.

  11. Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

    I chose to study at the University of Birmingham because of its reputation and renowned research facilities. Moreover, it has a high ranking for my course and I knew that I would be at an advantage if I chose to come to UoB to get my postgraduate degree. Lastly, its graduate employment opportunities assured me that if I got my degree from UoB I would increase my chances of finding a graduate job.

  12. What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

    I have had so many enjoyable experiences in Birmingham but the highlight was during my MSc project when I got to work in the Birmingham University Imaging Center. An excellent facility with state of the art MRI imaging machines and research facilities. I got a first-hand feel of carrying out psychological research in an MRI scanner and saw brain images and analysed brain imaging data.

  13. Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

    The biggest transition for me was learning to be more independent and in charge of my own learning. Going from undergraduate study to postgraduate study, I realised that I had to be responsible and highly organised to always keep on track with my workload.

  14. What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?

    A Masters in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience sets you up for both mental and physical challenges. The best advice I can give to prospective students is to plan and be highly organised. The course content is well spread throughout the academic year but there is a lot of preparation involved in assignments and examinations. Be ready to learn new analytical and problem-solving skills. At the end of the masters you will have an appreciation and greater understanding of quantitative data and psychological research.

  15. Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

    I had the opportunity to be elected as course representative for my cohort. This experience enlightened me and enabled me to work directly with my colleagues as well as PGT staff members in the school of Psychology. Moreover, I assisted in the PGT Open Day and got to meet prospective students applying for my course. It was a stimulating and enjoyable experience in which I gained new transferable and interpersonal skills.

  16. What, for you, are the best things about the course?

    The course is intellectually stimulating, you will learn to think critically and develop analytical and problem-solving skills. This course also offers students with a range of transferable skills that will be very useful for further study and/or graduate employment. The course content is varied and the modules are evenly spread throughout the academic year. And best of all you get to see and use an MRI scanner and understand the processes involved in setting up an imaging study.

  17. How many students are admitted onto this MSc course?

    In my cohort (2016/2017) we were about 40 students.

  18. What professional roles do those completing this course typically go on to if they are not looking to pursue a PhD?

    Depending on your previous experience you could go into the mental health sector.  Alternatively you could go on to research related positions either in clinical, mental health, psychology or neuroimaging. With the knowledge and transferable skills acquired you’ll thrive in a research environment both public and private. With statistical and analytical skills you gain during the MSc, you could go into industry and work in programming or coding.

    Your employability is very much based on you previous experience and how well you can illustrate how your transferable skills are relevant to whatever field you’re choosing to venture into.