Professor Passingham was awarded a B.A in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford (1966), and an M.Sc in Abnormal Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry (London) (1967). He did his Ph.D. in London under the supervision of Dr. George Ettlinger (1967-1970). He then returned to Oxford, initially on a programme grant to Professor Larry Weiskrantz and Dr Alan Cowey. In 1976 he was appointed to a University Lectureship in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford, together with a Fellowship at Wadham College. He was made an ad hominem Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience in 1993 and a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in 1997. He has been an Honorary Principal at the Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging (London) since 1994.