Postgraduate study

Cognitive Science

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Cognitive Science is a discipline in growing demand, and Edinburgh is a widely recognised leader in this area, with particular strengths in natural language, speech technology, robotics and learning, neural computation and the philosophy of the mind.

You will gain a thorough grounding in neural computation, formal logic, computational and theoretical linguistics, cognitive psychology and natural language processing, and through a vast range of option courses you will develop your own interests in this fascinating field.

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

You will choose a ‘specialist area’ within the programme, which will determine the choice of your optional courses. The specialist areas are:

  • Cognitive Science
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Neural Computation and Neuroinformatics

Compulsory courses:

  • Informatics Research Review
  • Informatics Project Proposal
  • Introduction to Java Programming (for students who do not already meet the programming requirements for the taught masters)
  • Dissertation

There are several optional courses to choose from, such as:

  • Accelerated Natural Language Processing
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Neural Computation
  • Text Technologies for Data Science
  • Bioinformatics

This programme will give you a deep understanding of the expanding domain of cognitive science through formal study and experiments. It is excellent preparation for a rewarding academic or professional career. The quality and reputation of the University, the School of Informatics and this programme will enhance your standing with many types of employer. Recent graduates are now working as software engineers, analysts and language scientists for companies such as British Telecom and Intel.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in informatics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology, plus experience in computer programming.

You must have a sufficient mathematical (60 credits equivalent of Maths) and informatics background for your chosen area of study.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section
  • PTE(A): total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Applicants receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 to secure their place on the programme by 31st March.

Any applicants who are required to pay will receive an offer with full details. If there is no information on your offer about the deposit you are not required to pay. The deposit has to be paid by 31st March for offers made by 1st March, within 28 days for offers made before 30th June and within 14 days for those offers made from 1st July onwards.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 6th Floor, Appleton Tower
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LE

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 6th Floor, Appleton Tower
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LE