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Guidelines on completion of personal statement

Applicants for the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience are expected to complete a personal statement that accompanies their application form. Your personal statement, together with your qualifications, experience and references, will help us to shortlist candidates. The personal statement need not be long. One side of typed A4 paper should be adequate (two sides maximum). However, it is important that you put care into it. Below are three specific points for you to bear in mind. It may be useful, although not essential, to structure your personal statement around these points. You may add additional information as you see fit.

1. Briefly describe your interest in the subject and in this MSc programme:

How did you first become interested in cognitive neuroscience (e.g. degree course, personal experience)? What was it about the subject that captured your interest? Looking at the modules on the MSc programme, which ones interest you most and why (note: all modules are mandatory)? Do you have a particular research project in mind? Are there other reasons why you are applying to this MSc?

2. Demonstrate, giving a specific example, your knowledge and interest in the subject:

We would like you to discuss one specific book or article that you have read that has aroused your interest in the topic of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology. It may have been published in a scientific journal (e.g. Nature Neuroscience), a more popular publication (e.g. New Scientist), or it could be a single authored book. Please tell us the article name, author, publication date, and journal (if appropriate). What were the main findings or ideas and why was it of interest to you?

We are aware that some people have limited experience of cognitive neuroscience before making an application, and we shall take this into account when assessing your statement. However, we do expect all applicants to have some understanding of the kinds of issues that are likely to be covered in the programme.

3. Briefly describe your future plans and commitment to the subject

Please describe how completion of this MSc programme will help you obtain your short- and long-term career goals. You may discuss more than one potential goal if you are undecided.


Patrick Haggard will be speaking at 'HowTheLightGetsIn 2014' the world's largest philosophy and music festival, this May. Bringing together world-leading scientists, musicians, philosophers and politicians including Roger Penrose, Bernard-Henri Levy, Laurie Penny, Lawrence Krauss, Saskia Sassen, David Nutt, Margaret Boden, Molotov Jukebox, Owen Jones, and Mr. Scruff for debates, talks, and wild parties, this year's programme uncovers the new heresies that might become the truths of the future


Patrick Haggard will be joining prize-winning physicist George Ellis and philosopher Jennifer Hornsby to debate whether free will is an illusion. For more info head to www.howthelightgetsin.org


Monday 28 Apr
Rachel Mitchell

Centre for Affective Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London
Mechanisms of normal and abnormal social cognition: vocal cues to emotion

Monday 12 May
Bahador Bahrami

Crowd Cognition Research Group, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL
Title: To be announced

Monday 19 May
Speaker: To be announced

Monday 02 Jun
Jonny Smallwood

Dept of Psychology, University of York
How the mind escapes the here and now: a component process account of self-generated thought

Monday 09 Jun
Tom Manly

MRC Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge
Do you have spatial neglect when you are falling asleep? (probably)

TMS Course

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