Neural Engineering with Psychology (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24 - 2024/25
Course overview
(BEng) Bachelor of Engineering
Neural Engineering with Psychology (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer:

Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
  • T-levels: Pass with E in core

For this course all applicants must also hold GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). We may be able to consider a pass in Level 2 Functional Skills Maths where you cannot meet the requirements for Maths at GCSE level. However, you are advised to try to retake GCSE Mathematics if possible as this will better prepare you for university study and future employment.

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

You will still need to meet our GCSE requirements.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Prof Sandra Dudley

Professor of Communication Systems

London South Bank University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PS118-4-FY-CO  Applied Psychology  Core  30  30 
02  CE101-4-FY-CO  Team Project Challenge  Core  15  15 
03    CE142-4-AU or CE141-4-FY  Core with Options  15  15 
04  CE151-4-AU-CO  Introduction to Programming  Core  15  15 
05  CE162-4-SP-CO  Digital Electronic Systems  Core  15  15 
06  CE163-4-AU-CO  Foundations of Electronics I  Core  15  15 
07  CE171-4-SP-CO  Neural Engineering Research Methods  Core  15  15 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CE213-5-SP-CO  Introduction to Artificial Intelligence  Core  15  15 
02    CE223-5-SP or CE294-5-SP  Core with Options  15  15 
03  CE225-5-AU-CO  Neuroimaging and Brain Stimulation Technologies  Core  15  15 
04  CE246-5-SP-CO  Brain-Computer Interfaces and Peripheral-Neural Interfaces  Core  15  15 
05    CE262-5-AU or PS406-5-AU or CE204-5-AU  Core with Options  15  15 
06  CE201-5-FY-CO  Team Project Challenge  Core  15  15 
07  PS411-5-SP-CO  Brain and Behaviour  Core  15  15 
08    CE221-5-AU or PS407-5-AU or CE204-5-AU  Core with Options  15  15 

Year 3 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CE301-6-FY-CO  Individual Capstone Project Challenge  Core  45  45 
02  CE335-6-AU-CO  Digital Signal Processing  Core  15  15 
03  CE345-6-AU-CO  Analysis and Classification of Neural Signals  Core  15  15 
04  PS495-6-AU-CO  The Neuroscience of Human Nature  Core  15  15 
05    Option(s) from list  Core with Options  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills required to become leaders in the development of novel technologies and applications for the rapidly developing and innovative neural engineering industry .

  • To enable students to also acquire a solid background in biomedical, electronic and software engineering that will make them highly employable in the corresponding industries .

  • To give students a basic understanding of human-factors and psychological aspects associated with neural engineering and more generally biomedical engineering.

  • To provide students with a foundation for further study and research .

  • To develop the students' ability to make an effective contribution to team-based activity.

  • To encourage students to adopt an investigative approach and develop autonomous study skills in order to ensure their continuing professional development.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and methodology necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline, to enable appreciation of its scientific and engineering context, and to support their understanding of relevant historical, current and future developments and technologies.

A2: Knowledge and understanding of mathematical and statistical methods necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply mathematical and statistical methods, tools and notations proficiently in the analysis and solution of engineering problems.

A3: Knowledge and understanding of signal processing and electronic systems as applied to neurological interfaces

A4: Basic psychological theory, research methods and statistics.

A5: Psychological theory within the core domains as outlined by the BPS. These are Biological Psychology; Sensation and Perception; Cognitive Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology and Research Methods

A6: Principles and techniques in those areas in which the student has chosen to develop special expertise including economics.

Learning methods

Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in the majority of the learning outcomes. Students are also directed to reading from textbooks, academic papers and material available on-line. Understanding is reinforced by means of exercise classes, discussion groups, laboratories, assignments and project work.
Specialist knowledge is further developed during supervision of the final year individual project which must be in the area of neural engineering. It should be noted that students will also be carrying out neural engineering specific project work in the earlier project modules CE101-4-FY and CE201-5-FY where team work will be an element.

Assessment methods

Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen examinations, and also through marked coursework. An assessment of the understanding of underlying concepts and principles forms part of the overall assessment of the final year individual project report and oral presentation.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of their own engineering discipline.

B2: Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to analyse key engineering processes.

B3: Understand and evaluate business, customer and user needs, including considerations such as the wider engineering context, public perception and aesthetics.

B4: Investigate and define the problem, identifying any constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations; ethical, health, safety, security and risk issues; intellectual property; codes of practice and standards.

B5: Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain and quantify the effect of this on the design.

B6: Apply advanced problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and understanding, to establish rigorous and creative solutions that are fit for purpose for all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal.

B7: Apply engineering design principles to the design and operation of neurological interfaces and systems.

B8: Employ evidence-based reasoning to produce coherent research plans and hypotheses.

Learning methods

The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and they are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and self directed study, assignments, laboratory and project work.

Assessment methods

Achievement of intellectual skills is assessed primarily through unseen examinations, and also through marked assignments and project work.

C: Practical skills

C1: Ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques.

C2: Ability to apply quantitative and computational methods in order to solve engineering problems and to implement appropriate action.

C3: Understanding of, and the ability to apply, an integrated or systems approach to solving engineering problems.

C4: Plan and manage the design process, including cost drivers, and evaluate outcomes.

C5: Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (eg operations and management, application and development of technology, etc).

C6: Knowledge of characteristics of particular materials, equipment, processes, or products.

C7: Ability to apply relevant practical and laboratory skills.

C8: Ability to design, construct and analyse neurological interfaces and systems.

C9: Effectively test research hypotheses using standard statistical techniques (e.g., t-test)

C10: Use a range of psychological tools, such as specialist software and laboratory equipment

Learning methods

Practical skills are developed in exercise classes, laboratory classes, assignments
and project work. Specialist practical skills are further developed during the final year individual project which must be in the area of neurological systems. It should be noted that
students will also be carrying out neurological engineering specific project work in the earlier project modules CE101-4-FY and CE201-5-FY where team work will be an element.

Assessment methods

Achievement of practical skills is assessed through marked coursework, project
reports, oral presentations and demonstrations of completed systems.

D: Key skills

D1: Communicate their work to technical and non-technical audiences.

D2: Understanding of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering and a knowledge of professional codes of conduct.

D3: Knowledge and understanding of the commercial, economic and social context of engineering processes.

D4: Knowledge and understanding of management techniques, including project management, that may be used to achieve engineering objectives.

D5: Understanding of the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development and ability to apply quantitative techniques where appropriate.

D6: Awareness of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health and safety, contracts, intellectual property rights, product safety and liability issues.

D7: Knowledge and understanding of risk issues, including health and safety, environmental and commercial risk, and of risk assessment and risk management techniques.

D8: Understanding of the use of technical literature and other information sources.

D9: Knowledge of relevant legal and contractual issues.

D10: Understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards.

D11: Awareness of quality issues and their application to continuous improvement.

D12: Ability to work with technical uncertainty.

D13: Understanding of, and the ability to work in, different roles within an engineering team.

D14: Problem solve and reason scientifically analyse complex problems and design effective solutions

D15: Improve own learning and performance i) Organise activity and time in an effective way. ii) Study independently.

Learning methods

Students learn key skills in research, problem solving, communication and team project work in the first year project module CE101-4-FY, and thereafter the development of key skills forms an integral part of their overall learning activity.

Assessment methods

Assessment of the key skills is intrinsic to subject based assessment. The assessment of project work includes specific allocations of credit for project management and the quality of presentations. An individual's contribution to team projects is determined by means of a submission containing reflective and self-assessment components. The assessment of the final year individual project report includes specific allocation of credit for the quality, extent and relevance of a bibliography, including internet sources.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


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