Health & Medicine

Postgraduate courses in Cognitive Psychology

The human brain is a fascinating thing and very complex. Cognitive psychology looks at the human brain and the area of our memory and ability to attain and process information. Do you have research skills, a clinical mind and the ability to work well with others especially as an active learner? This could be the right area for you if so.

Take a look at the information below. This might just be the postgraduate course you’re looking for. 

What is cognitive psychology?

Cognitive psychology is the study of the internal mental processes including language, memory, perception, attention, problem solving, reasoning and related areas. Cognitive therapy is a scientific subject. 

As a cognitive psychologist you will examine these processes and carry out in depth research. Your main role is to examine and figure out the process of human thought. You will focus on the area of figuring out how humans process, attain and recall different information and what is involved in those processes. In this role you will carry out a lot of research while also possibly lecturing or teaching in colleges and universities. 

You may work with patients who have cognitive disorders such as Alzheimers’ or Dementia or work with children in order to help them to understand the process of remembering and how their mind works. You may also be expected to look into areas such as the connection between human memory and the brain in relation to computers. 

In this role you will typically work a Monday-Friday, 9-5 style of pattern. When you are working on research projects or similar, you may have to work flexible or extra hours to meet deadlines. You may also be expected to work under pressure and with an array of different people with different disorders and personality types.  


There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. Courses available include:

Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience

Postgraduate courses in this area will provide you with an insight into important relevant theories, techniques and analysis methods used in cognitive neuroscience. You will gain all the relevant skills and knowledge to work and carry out research in the areas of brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience. Modules include an introduction to data science, neuroscience methods, application of brain imaging and research modules. 

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is a key treatment for those who suffer from common mental health disorders. Courses in this area will help you to develop the necessary skills as well as get an insight and foundation in the knowledge needed to work in the area of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy. You will focus on areas such as different cognitive therapies for anxiety disorders, complex disorders and many more. It is a slightly different path to cognitive psychology but it is greatly connected. 

Other courses available in a relevant field include Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology and Human Neuroscience to name a few.  

Entry requirements 

Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in psychology ot a related field. 


Your salary in this area may be dependent on multiple factors. These include your employment type, your experience and the location of your work. It is believed that the salary of a cognitive behavioural psychologist can range anywhere from £26,000 up to around £45,000. As a Cognitive Behavioural therapist you may earn in or around the same. If you’re working with the NHS, for example, psychologists earn between £44,000 to £61,000. In more senior roles, the salary can exceed £85,000. All figures are based on estimates and intended to be used as a guide only. 

Related Jobs 

  • Cognitive Psychologist
  • Behavioural therapist/psychologist
  • Child psychologist
  • Adult psychologist
  • Psychiatrist 
  • Mental Health nursing 

Skills and requirements 

Skills and requirements helpful in this area include: 

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Understanding
  • Active listener
  • Understanding
  • Patient
  • Excellent research skills
  • Ethics
  • Organisation skills
  • The ability to work well with others
  • Trustworthy 
  • A problem solver
  • Numeracy skills
  • Empathetic
  • Critical analysis

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