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 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 optional 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 Research 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
  • Automated Reasoning
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Neural Computation
  • Text Technologies for Data Science
  • Bioinformatics
  • Topics in Cognitive Modelling

This programme will give you a deep understanding of the expanding domain of cognitive science through formal study and experiments. It is perfect 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.

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 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.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 5 Forrest Hill
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2QL

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
  • 5 Forrest Hill
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2QL