MSc Cognitive Science

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc Cognitive Science suits those interested in issues relating to the rich questions about the human mind from philosophical, psychological, and computational perspectives. Advanced computational skills are not a prerequisite. The course is designed as a suitable preparation for those wishing to progress to research, e.g. at PhD level.
You will have the opportunity to be familiar with the problems associated with minds, brains, and behaviour and the theoretical approaches to them, know the principal 20th Century philosophical approaches to mind, brain and body, understand the principal issues, models, and concepts used in cognitive psychology, and develop an interdisciplinary perspective that links and integrates insights from multiple specialised domains.

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Course brochure (pdf) 

Further information is available on the course website

  • Unique taught offering providing advanced material in psychology, philosophy of mind, computational modeling, neuropsychology, and more
  • Ideal preparation for future PhD studies tackling interdisciplinary topics
  • Includes a substantial research project, conducted largely during the Summer months

Careers & Employability

This is not a vocational course. Over one year we cover a very broad range of material, thus greatly increasing the breadth of academic exposure of our students. Historically, about half of the students go on to do PhD studies, and many others look for work in research. This course will not make a psychologist out of a non-psychologist, or an IT specialist out of someone who is not an IT specialist upon entry. It will enable students to tackle research issues they might not have been able to before, and to do PhDs in areas that would not have been possible before. Many students pursue this course because of a passionate interest in our scientific understanding of what it is to be human. Please note that a cognitive science degree is not part of an accredited programme towards a clinical degree, and it has minimal neuroscientific content.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Anyone interested in issues relating to the understanding of the human mind from philosophical, psychological, and computational perspectives would be well suited to this degree.  A solid background in one contributing discipline is required.

(i) Purpose
This programme assumes the incoming student has a particular specialisation in one or more fields.  To this initial specialisation, the programme seeks to add interdisciplinary breadth, providing insights and concepts from many different fields. This sensitivity to interdisciplinary concerns is suitable as preparation for critical engagement with research at a postgraduate level.  It is thus intended to be an ideal preparation for those who wish to progress to PhD studies or to a career in research.  It will also suit those who harbour a personal interest in critical approaches to human experience and behaviour. It is not a vocational programme, in that it is not tailored for any specific employment target. 
(ii) Education and subject description, professional values
We encourage students to adopt rich, pluralist views of the topics covered, which combine insights and expertise from several disciplines, including philosophy, computer science, psychology and more.
(iii) Learning outcomes
Taught modules cover a broad range of disciplines, which will challenge and encourage students to develop critical skills that transcend disciplinary boundaries.
(iv) Approaches to teaching learning and assessment
Students will thus encounter many different ways of understanding and investigating focussed topics, and will be encouraged to learn to synthesise and integrate insights from disparate fields.  Because of the breadth of subject matter, students will encounter evaluation in many forms, including continuous assessment by exercises, essays, reports, portfolio assembly, and end of module examination.

  • Articulate research questions within the field and display an awareness of the empirical methods that can potentially be brought to bear on them
  • Bring insights from diverse disciplines to bear on focussed topics within the field
  • Communicate research questions and findings to audiences in diverse disciplines, including the general public
  • Critique theoretical and empirical claims made in the primary literature
  • Identify and describe major topics arising within the domain of cognitive science
  • Inform discussions that demand the integration of skills and insights from diverse disciplines in addressing topics related to human experience and behaviour
  • Present their research in public and communicate clearly in writing
  • Recognize and manage the theoretical diversity found within contributing disciplines
  • Situate contemporary research in cognitive science in a theoretical and practical context

MSc Cognitive Science (T023) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MSc Cognitive Science (T084) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5460

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

  • This programme is intended for applicants with a degree in computer science, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience or a other related discipline. More important than the name of the primary degree is that applicants must display an awareness of the interdisciplinary challenges of cognitive science, and be prepared to engage with those challenges through earnest and open questioning. Please note that many psychology undergraduate programmes do not provide this kind of interdisciplinary sensitivity.  An upper second class honours or the international equivalent is required. 
  •   Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent, such as TOEFL (iBT) score of 90 or PTE score of 63. Visit the UCD Admissions website for further details.  

Graduate Profile
Eileen Wahl, Kentucky, USA

I felt that I really grew as a scientist by being able to critique other people’s papers and to think about those issues when I am doing my own science work. I would certainly recommend this programme to international students as you get to meet people from all different countries.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Cognitive Science FT (T023)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Cognitive Science PT (T084)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised