School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences


MA Cognitive Science


Cognitive Science is a special interdisciplinary group honours degree offered by the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, closely coordinated with the similar BSc Cognitive Science degree in the School of Informatics in the College of Science & Engineering.

What will the MA Cognitive Science degree cover?

The Cognitive Science degree requires you to undertake a selection of basic courses in Linguistics, Philosophy and either Psychology or Informatics to give a broad understanding of issues such as the relationship between language and thought, the relationship between mind and brain and the philosophical implications of our increasing ability to look inside the working brain and to model its activities in computers and robots.

First Year

Students from the MA and BSc degrees study together the general introductory cognitive science course that gives an overview of perception, memory, motor control, language and reasoning, as well as introducing experimental, neural and computational methods.

Students also choose two or three other introductory courses from informatics such as computation and logic, Philosophy, Psychology and Linguistics. In the MA degree, the courses aim to introduce students to philosophical, linguistic and psychological approaches to studying the nature of language and the mind.

Second Year

In second year you choose among more specific courses in the sub-disciplines: artificial intelligence, algorithms and learning (in informatics), knowledge and reality (philosophy), language processing, linguistics, mind and language (linguistics), and various courses in psychology.

Third and Fourth Year

In third and fourth year the choices are: informatics (e.g. language processing, neural computation, robotics and vision, machine learning); linguistics (e.g. language evolution, language acquisition, speech processing); philosophy (e.g. ontology of mind, theories of mind, theories of truth, ethics); and psychology (e.g. psycholinguistics, memory and perception, attention, development, neuropsychology). In third year you may participate in a group project, and in fourth year you undertake an individual research project.

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught by a mixture of lectures, tutorials, practical classes and projects, while being assessed by a combination of examinations and coursework.

Typically, in the first two years, your week will contain around 20 timetabled hours of lectures, tutorials and practicals, and you will need about 15 to 20 hours private study to consolidate the material from lectures, prepare for exams, and to work individually on tutorial and practical assignments.

In later years the balance tips more towards private study (e.g. with 10 to 15 timetabled hours per week) as you develop independence in thinking and working. You will have individual supervision for your final year project.

Recommended reading

If you are thinking of applying to study Cognitive Science it is a good idea to read some books on the subject, or look ar web-based resources such as Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

For example:

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