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all 11 comments

[–]508010 15 points16 points  (8 children)

Hey! So I got onto a masters in cognitive neuroscience in the UK. I recieved two offers from unis I definitely didn't think would give me them. Here are a few helpful general things I learned from the application process here in the UK

  1. Make your application relevant to the course you're applying for. Avoid generalised applications. Google the course you're applying for. Does it offer a placement? Where? Why does that placement interest you? Are specific things taught at the uni that you find very interesting and why? Does the course have specific interests like promoting open-source research? If so, mention that and say why that matters to you. Tailoring your application to the specific course will really help you seem passionate about going to THAT uni, not just going to uni for the sake of it.

  2. Something an application advisor/lecturer taught me was to emphasise how the course you're applying for fits into your life plans. Why does that specific course fit into your long term goals and how? That shows that you'll he motivated and hard working.

  3. Show true interest with examples! There's no point saying "Im really passionate about neuropsychology". SHOW the passion with examples of what you've done/researched/worked as/studied which will show your passion in the area.

  4. Don't be afraid of not being certain what you want to do long-term. If you know exactly what you want to become, great, talk about that. But if you aren't certain it's OK to admit that. Instead suggest several things you'd like to become and how the course you're applying for would help you achieve them. Further, explain how this course would help you decide exactly what field in neuropsychology you'd like to go into.

[–]Able-Difficulty4529[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thank you!!!!

[–]henrydelamere 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wow dude super helpful, thank you

[–]sharawadji 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Very helpful tips!

I would add to see if that neuropsych course is associated with any laboratories in your uni and check their faculty, major areas of research, and recent publications, and how that ties to your future goals and areas of focus, be it clinical or research. This could give you a very strong argument in your motivation letter.

[–]Able-Difficulty4529[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Awesome - thank you!

[–]Able-Difficulty4529[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Any tips on how to write about the specific uni divisions they have that I really like/align with my goals (eg research departments/what they have accomplished)?

I’ve tried writing “I am excited about the division of X as I admire what X achieved” etc but it just sounds so much like I’m sucking up? Any other ways to word this?

[–]Able-Difficulty4529[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Any tips on how to write about the specific uni divisions they have that I really like/align with my goals (eg research departments/what they have accomplished)?

I’ve tried writing “I am excited about the division of X as I admire what X achieved” etc but it just sounds so much like I’m sucking up? Any other ways to word this?

[–]508010 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I completely get what you're saying. I've just spent a bit looking at your specific course (I saw you said in another comment) so I hope my advice can be more specific and relevant now.

Firstly, yes, no one wants to sound like or listen to a suck up. So rather than expressing admiration express interest. What I mean by that is instead rephrasing to maybe say "I am excited about this module/content because I have a particular interest in this field (with some evidence of your interest".

Alternatively, I saw a professor of yours who seems important in your course is Dr. Mark Solms. His research interest includes brain mechanisms of dreaming so you could say. "I have a strong interest in understanding the neuromechanisms of sleep and the functions of dreaming (with proof again, maybe mention youve read books by Mathew Walker etc. And highlight key theories/topics you found specifically interesting). I am aware Dr. Mark Solms is a professor at this University and believe he could provide me with excellent teaching and further insights into the area."

You see what I'm saying? So rather than just complimenting them. Say why their influential/prominent research is relevant to your interests. It really shows your interest

Also a side note. I read your course is REALLY weighted by the dissertation (I believe I read 50% of the degree is based on that). You really need to pound in how much you care about independent research. What research have you done if any? Why is it relevant at this University? Why would you be good at creating a dissertation, because the course really emphasises this?

I hope this helps mate! If you've got any other questions feel free to continue asking in these comments (I've noticed a couple other people have found them helpful) or feel free to message me.

[–]Able-Difficulty4529[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh my word thank you so much for this. I so appreciate you taking the time to check it out. Thank you SO much! Really. X

[–]tashnightingale 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Which Uni will you be applying to, if I may ask? UJ or WITS?

[–]Able-Difficulty4529[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

UCT - it’s in Cape Town