Master s Programme in Cognitive Neuropsychology

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1 Master s Programme in Cognitive Neuropsychology

2 Explore the intricacies of the brain, combine insights from cognitive psychology and neuropsychology, deepen your understanding of normal and abnormal brain function. Are you aware? Ever wondered how you got home safely after a long evening s drive? Were you not paying any attention to the road or did you simply forget what you were doing? Is this experience in any way comparable to deficits in consciousness and memory in braindamaged patients? Is forgetting normal? Why does dementia seem like a regression to childhood? And when do you decide that someone is forgetting too much? Almost any type of brain damage leads to memory loss. Work on finding explanations for these phenomena by using and developing cognitive theories. A look into the brain Ever looked into a living, working brain? Ever held in your hands a brain that is no longer working? What happens to your brain when you are scared? Do male brains really differ from female brains? Cognitive Neuropsychology enables you to explore all these aspects of the brain and more. Predict the outcome Why does your little brother with ADHD respond to Ritalin, while his classmate does not? In Cognitive Neuropsychology, we try to predict the outcomes of pharmacological treatments, for example by developing a computer model. New insights into the functioning of the human brain Cognitive neuropsychology operates on the cutting edge between cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology. Clinical neuropsychology focuses on patients with brain damage, whose condition can often provide us with insights into how the human brain works. Cognitive psychology is geared towards general theories of brain function, resulting in a greater understanding of patients and their problems.

3 What makes Cognitive Neuropsychology so interesting is that it focuses on the cutting edge of cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. The ultimate aim of our programme is to make a significant contribution to the rapidly emerging field of research into disorders of the brain. I find it a very exciting area of research: recently introduced brain-imaging techniques are speeding up the rate at which we can understand the brain and how its activity relates to normal and abnormal functioning. Dr Jaap Oosterlaan, associate professor In the Research Master s in Cognitive Neuropsychology, you will learn to interpret cases using cognitive and neuropsychological theories, as well as finding ways to improve these theories. You will study individual patients with brain damage or neurological and neurodegenerative disorder in order to obtain an accurate impression of the relationship between the nature and the location of the injury and the symptoms of the patient. This will enable you to discover more about how the brain functions in general. Small-scale but international, expert guidance, where cognitive meets clinical Unique programme The Master s in Cognitive Neuropsychology at VU University Amsterdam operates on the interface between cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology. This approach is unique in the Netherlands Internationally oriented The programme is taught in English and its unique approach attracts students from many different countries. In addition to the standard programme, you will also have the opportunity to take subjects at other faculties, if you so wish. Many of the lecturers on the Master s programme have contact with foreign universities, mostly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. This improves your prospects of being able to do graduate research abroad. Small-scale, well-organized The teaching takes place on a small scale and is of the highest quality. The research Master s programme in Cognitive Neuropsychology puts special emphasis on monitoring and mentoring students. Each student is assigned an individual mentor who provides him or her with personal guidance and supervision. A challenging The Research Master s in Cognitive mix of clinical Neuropsychology will give you the cases and opportunity to obtain knowledge cognitive theory and skills in the area where cognitive psychology and neuropsychology meet. Cognitive neuropsychology is gaining in international prominence and offers you the best of two fields of study. On the one hand it focuses on fascinating clinical cases which unfold themselves to the researcher as an intriguing puzzle, while on the other hand it encompasses the theories and methods used in cognitive psychology. All these aspects together provide the ingredients for a challenging programme. You will interpret clinical cases within cognitive-neuropsychological theories and put these theories to the test in a real-life clinical environment. In doing so, you will make use of behavioural measurements, neuropsychological tests and neurophysiological techniques such as EEG and fmri. The programme also has a strong focus on general skills, such as critical analysis and presenting your own research. In your first year, you will take the following subjects: Scientific Writing and Presenting Neuroanatomy Elective Course 1: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology, Neuropsychological Disorders: Development and Course I, Neuropharmacology Neuropsychological Assessment Elective Course 2: Attention, Neuropsychological Disorders: Development and Course II, Human Information Processing Behavioural Methods Advanced Statistics for Experimentation Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience Perception Neuropsychology of Cognitive Dysfunctioning Seminar in Attention In your second year, you will take the following subjects: Neuropsychological Assessment Elective Course 3: Thinking and Deciding, Memory and Memory Disorders Brain Imaging Elective Course 4: Computer Programming, Neural Models of Cognitive Processes Review Paper Thesis 4 - VU University Amsterdam

4 Your programme in a nutshell research skills. Features of the curriculum include: 4 elective courses seminars writing a Master s thesis Elective subjects The Master s in Cognitive Neuropsychology is a two-year research Master s programme, combining in-depth courses about cognitive function in the general and clinical populations with broadbased general and neuroscientific Eleven of the 15 subjects are compulsory. You will be able to select four elective (optional) subjects which allow you to explore specific areas. It may also be possible for you to take subjects taught at other faculties in addition to the standard programme. You will also have the freedom to choose your own topics in the final phase, when you will be expected to complete a literature survey and conduct your own research project. Graduation You will conclude your studies by writing a Master s thesis under the supervision of one of our research staff. Your final thesis assessment will be carried out by two senior researchers. Master of Science Once you have completed the programme, you will be awarded the title of Master of Science in Cognitive Neuropsychology. A job as a researcher, a psychogeriatric research consultant, a human factors consultant Ultimately you will be trained to become a versatile and skilled researcher who is capable of pursuing a successful career in the Netherlands or internationally within universities, research institutes or a clinical setting. The pharmacological industry also offers good job opportunities for Cognitive Neuropsychological researchers. Who is the Master s for? We require our students to be motivated and to have a genuine interest in research in the field of Cognitive Neuropsychology. We are looking for students who are motivated, committed and who have potential for growth. You will be able to take the Research Master s in Cognitive Neuropsychology if you have a Bachelor s degree in Psychology, Cognitive Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Medicine or a related discipline. You also have to meet a number of additional requirements: Your command of English must be at pre-university level (Dutch VWO or equivalent). Non-Englishspeaking students from outside the Netherlands must be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language by means of an internationally recognized standard test such as TOEFL, IELTS, APIEL or CPE. An extended period of residence in an English-speaking country may also be accepted as proof of sufficient knowledge of the English language. You must be able to demonstrate an active interest in research, for example in your choice of subjects during your Bachelor s programme. The programme s admissions board will assess each application individually. Students from higher vocational education (Dutch HBO or equivalent) are not eligible for this research Master s programme. Contract education or part-time education It is not possible to take this Master s programme on a contract education basis. Furthermore, it can only be taken as a full-time programme. - VU University Amsterdam

5 If you would like to know more Please visit for: Information on application and registration Admission requirements Or contact the faculty for more information about the programme VU University Amsterdam Faculty of Psychology and Education Department of Cognitive Psychology Van der Boechorststraat BT Amsterdam The Netherlands T +31 (0) E I For general information about VU University Amsterdam Please phone us at +31 (0) (Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 17:00). You may also us at Read more about VU University Amsterdam at No rights may be derived from the contents of this brochure. Publication: Dienst Communicatie Vrije Universiteit. Photo cover: Hollandse Hoogte, Flip Franssen.

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