MSc Social Neuroscience

The University of Bolton's MSc in Social Neuroscience supports you to develop an advanced knowledge of how the brain responds to and makes sense of the social world. Our expert team will also help build your confidence in using neuroscientific research skills (for instance, electrophysiology and eye-tracker experiments).

Social Neuroscience

Key information



Mode of Study:



30 months


University of Bolton

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Humans' social nature is based on neural, hormonal, and molecular structures and networks that we have started to understand only relatively recently. This includes studying the processes behind the sensation and perception of social stimuli and the behaviours associated with social interactions. This highly progressive Master's programme is designed to give you excellent learning opportunities in Social Neuroscience – supported by our department's enthusiastic, supportive teaching staff and a technology-enriched learning environment.

Studying at the University of Bolton's town centre campus, you'll explore issues from a variety of perspectives, underpinned by a research-informed knowledge base, as you develop an in-depth knowledge of social neuroscience. Our expert team will also encourage and support you to refine and enhance your critical evaluation and reflection skills.

As you progress, you'll have the opportunity to build your research skills, helping you conceptualise, design and implement a substantial piece of independent research. This, in turn, offers you a unique opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development of new ideas and approaches in social neuroscience.

Successfully completing our MSc in Social Neuroscience will open up a wide range of opportunities for employment or further study at the doctoral level.

  • We'll support you as you develop an in-depth and advanced knowledge of social neuroscience, both in terms of theory and evidence.
  • You'll have ongoing opportunities to develop highly sought-after skills in critical evaluation and reflection relating to social neuroscience theories and research techniques.
  • Our focused research training will support and guide you in conceptualising, designing and implementing independent research in social neuroscience.
  • We work hard to create a learning environment that offers innovative teaching and assessment methods and access to high-specification facilities such as our observation and psychophysiology laboratories, Neuroscan software and hardware, and Stim3 software.
  • This postgraduate course is designed to enhance your employability in the sector or help you progress to further studies in psychology.
Key Features
  • Enthusiastic, dedicated and supportive teaching makes this an engaging and exciting postgraduate opportunity.
  • The course curriculum explores issues from a balanced range of perspectives, supported by a research-informed knowledge base.
  • With a strong emphasis on research and critical enquiry, we aim to build your ability to contribute to the ongoing development of new knowledge in social neuroscience.
  • Learning and teaching are student-centred and involve small group sessions and one-to-one tutorials. Your studies will be supported and enhanced by the University's virtual learning environment.
  • The programme includes a lab-based work experience module that gives you access to live research projects within the School of Education and Psychology.

  • You should have an upper second class (2.1) honours degree (or above) in Psychology, which is accredited by the British Psychology Society for Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
  • If you have a lower second class (2:2) honours degree in Psychology, you may be accepted to the programme following a successful interview. We may also ask you to provide a portfolio of your work as part of the application process.
  • We'll also be happy to consider your application if you're a graduate of an alternative but related degree (for instance, neuroscience or biology). We'll require you to attend an interview, and we may ask you to provide a portfolio of your work to help determine your suitability for the course.
  • Relevant work experience can also provide an advantage.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • This course does not confer Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) – if you're seeking to achieve GBR, please consider applying for our MSc Psychology (Conversion) programme.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Graduates of our MSc Social Neuroscience degree will have a thorough grounding in the neural mechanisms underpinning human social perception, cognition and behaviour. Upon successful completion, you'll possess a range of highly transferable skills, such as oral and written communication, and the management and analysis of complex data sets.

This MSc is designed to prepare you for a potential career in research. It's also relevant if you have an interest in clinical psychology or wish to work in the biomedical sector.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a graduate of this forward-thinking postgraduate degree, you'll possess knowledge and skills that are highly valued in academic research and the clinical professions. Undertaking the MSc in Social Neuroscience can help you to access roles in healthcare, science, the media, business and education. If you're already a professional in a caring/educational field, completing this course will contribute to your professional development.

This MSc is an ideal springboard for PhD studies, particularly research in cognitive or social neuroscience. It's also an excellent preparation for further professional training in clinical psychology or a related discipline.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use this qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers, bearing in mind that some of these roles may require relevant experience and/or postgraduate study. Some possibilities include:

  • Lecturing
  • Research and development
  • Medicine
  • Biotechnology and contract research
  • Human resources
  • Social work
  • Counselling
  • Family mediation and support
  • Nursing
  • Child psychology
  • Police
  • Media and advertising
  • Communications
  • Sport psychology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Clinical sciences
  • Publishing

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

You'll experience a diverse range of teaching methods designed to complement each other and help you achieve the course's intended learning outcomes. You'll attend lectures, seminars, workshops and lab sessions. We'll also expect you to undertake significant independent reading and investigation, complete seminar-related work and prepare for workshops, presentations and group discussions. Some modules will require you to follow up taught sessions by using online resources and completing complementary tasks.

Assessment methods are also varied, allowing you to demonstrate your learning in various ways. For example, module assessments may require you to complete reports, essays, presentations, literature reviews, or review journal articles, write up laboratory tasks, complete short question and answer sessions relating to statistical analysis, and present reflective journals.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Psychological and Social Research: Review, Evaluation and Design
  • Quantitative Inquiry 1
  • Quantitative Inquiry 2
  • Advanced Social and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social Neuroscience Techniques
  • Social Neuroscience Laboratory Practical
  • Psychology Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 85%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 15%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Pedro Vital
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903685

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant