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My Story: Caitlin, Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Caitlin. I grew up near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I started my own company when I was 17, but after 3 years decided that I wanted to study. I also have my own blog.

Why did you apply to study MSc Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London?

I want to do a PhD in affective neuroscience. My psychology degree gave me a lot of abstract knowledge about the brain, but not a lot of practical skills. Therefore I thought this program would be helpful. Also, I really liked the idea of living in London.

How does applying for a postgraduate degree differ from applying for undergraduate?

For this program it was quite similar to applying to undergrad: a motovation letter, 2 references and a cv.

How are you finding your experience at University College London so far?

I did my undergrad at the University of York and did a summer program at Columbia University in New York. Compared to those universities and courses, the UCL courses are badly organised and the teaching is not great. The location is great, but in terms of the course it is not.

What is your top tip for applicants from the Netherlands?

Try to take a gap year and work on your cv. Figure out what the university you apply to appreciates, and try to get some experience in that area. Also, London is very expensive. If your tight on budget, look into places outside of London, life is much more cheap (and relax) and the teaching is often better.

How is MSc Cognitive Neuroscience as a degree? What should people keep in mind about it before applying?

Think about the skills you want to learn and ask how much you will actually practise this. For example, from the course website I expected to get basic fMRI and EEG skills from this course. It turns out that it actually only involves about 6h actually analysing this data.

Caitlin is from The Netherlands and is studying MSc Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.

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