MASTER Biology - Health SPECIALTY Cognition, Neurosciences and Psychology

The 2nd-year Master’s in Cognition, Neurosciences and Psychology is a research degree in the field of cognitive sciences, approached from a multidisciplinary angle that includes cognitive psychology, behavioural neurosciences, psychiatry and psycholinguistics. The programme is designed for students interested in basic and clinical research in the fields of psychology, integrative neurosciences, psychiatry and linguistics.
  • Objectives
The 2nd-year Master’s in Cognition, Neurosciences and Psychology speciality aims to produces graduate students capable of carrying out high-level research leading to thesis enrolment in one of the following cognition specialities: (1) psychology, (2) neurosciences and behavioural sciences, and (3) linguistics. The programme seeks to develop the ability to carry out research projects through acquisition of theoretical and methodological knowledge aiding experimental, correlational and clinical approaches. Consequently, it is mainly designed for students who intend to take up careers as research professors, researchers or teaching-hospital researchers.

The programme’s originality lies in an integrated multidisciplinary approach based on psychology, neurosciences and psychiatry, behavioural sciences and language sciences (psycholinguistics). It draws from the experience of five laboratories specialising in the study of normal and pathological aspects of cognitive and socio-cognitive behaviour in humans and animals, from a developmental viewpoint in particular.

Acquisition of the conceptual and methodological competences required in order to carry out quality scientific research will be accomplished by developing the ability to (1) to work out a research problematic requiring proficiency in a conceptual field, (2) plan and carry out data-gathering operations, (3) analyse data with the help of appropriate statistical tools, (4) interpret it, and (5) make written and oral presentations summarising research work.

Depending on the discipline in which the student’s research is carried out, the programme will also lead to acquisition of competences in conducting experimental tests on animals and humans or clinical trials.

Certain areas of application may be of professional use in such fields as child and adult psychopathology, education in early childhood, maladjustment in childhood, provision of care for the elderly, or the pharmaceutical industry.

Students whose initial academic training (Bachelor’s degree and 1st-year Master’s) was in Psychology have the option of becoming practising psychologists, subject to further training and modifications to the legal provisions currently in force.
  • Content or list of themes covered and subjects taught
The second-year Master’s speciality comprises three areas of training:
(1) a 90-hour “Concepts and Tools” module, the objective of which is to provide training in the methodological and conceptual tools common to the research speciality’s four options (psychology, Linguistics, Neurosciences and Behavioural Sciences), and which includes English and scientific communication, methodological seminars, ethics in human and behavioural sciences, cognitive sciences and an introduction to cognition disciplines.

(2) more specialised theoretical training in the six areas of research carried out by the host laboratories (speciality modules, total of 90 hours): i) autism and development problems, ii) affective neurosciences, iii) social behaviour, learning and emotion in animals, iv) normal and pathological language development, v) adult development and normal and pathological psychological ageing, and vi) cognitive and neurocognitive ageing.

(3) practical training in research through a placement (lasting around 4 months) and production of a research paper, in one of the five host teams connected with the 2nd-year Master’s, or in another laboratory subject to the agreement of the Master’s educational team.

Students may complement their education by taking classes in a professional or research speciality in Psychology, Languages, Cultures and Representation, or (evolutionary and integrative) Biology-Health and Biology, with which links between specialities exist.

Students completing their initial education in psychology (Bachelor’s degree and 1st-year Master’s) may go on to become practising psychologists provided that 1) a 400-hour supplementary placement monitored in the context of a professional 2nd-year Master’s (among the University of Tours’ four Professional 2nd -year Masters in Psychology) is validated, and 2) they follow two modules dispensed in the context of the Professional 2nd-year Master’s. The placement will be accredited by validation of an orally defended professional paper.

  • Admission requirements
Students must have obtained a Bachelor’s degree or 1st-year Master’s in at least one of the speciality’s fields (psychology, neurosciences, behavioural sciences, linguistics and psychiatry).

Admission procedures: pre-selection screening of applications by a selection committee composed of at least two members of each laboratory, followed by interviews with candidates held by laboratory boards.

Pre-selection criteria: academic marks and quality of the 1st-year Master’s research paper.

Selection criteria: the candidate’s ability to define and present his/her commitment in a coherent research project.