MSc Cognitive Science

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Students study topics in a very wide variety of professional disciplines. The breadth of topics covered is challenging, but encourages students to think beyond the narrow confines of a single speciality. The research project is structured to allow greater depth in the pursuit of a single topic, and results in professionally meaningful deliverables. Lecturers are highly qualified, research active cognitive scientists with a range of specialities.
  • 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. In the course of 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 for before, and to do PhDs in areas that would not have been possible before. It also has the potential to enrich one’s engagement with a very broad range of challenging material. 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.

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 discipline 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 form 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 (W358) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MSc Cognitive Science (W359) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5460
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***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.

In order to qualify for admission to the degree, a student must have a good honours undergraduate degree in one of computer science, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, or a cognate discipline. Typically a minimum final grade of II.1 or equivalent is expected.References from two academic referees must be submitted, as well as a 400-600 word statement of research interest which outlines your reasons for wanting to follow this course. Official transcripts from your university will also be required. Details are given on the Online Applications website.

  • 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.
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Graduate Profile
Eileen Wahl, Kentucky,USA,

Eileen Wahl is from Kentucky, USA and gained her BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. She likes the interdisciplinary approach of the UCD MSc in Cognitive Science. Her favourite class was Advances in Neuroscience, where every week the class read papers to discuss in class. “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 over the world.”

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Cognitive Science FT (W358)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Cognitive Science PT (W359)
2 Years
Part Time

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