Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Cognitive Science (Humanities)

UCAS code: C851

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Year 1

You will pursue two general cognitive science courses that give an overview of perception, memory, motor control, language and reasoning, as well as introducing experimental, neural and computational methods.

Courses will also include one on logic, to understand the role of reasoning and deduction in the mind, and a course on the structure of language, to understand one of the most complex phenomena that the human is responsible for.

Courses aim to introduce you to philosophical, linguistic, computational and psychological approaches to studying the nature of thought and the mind.

Please note we are currently reviewing the content of our Cognitive Science programme. Please check online for the latest information before you apply.

Year 2

You will choose more specific courses in the sub-disciplines such as: Processing Formal and Natural Languages (Informatics) and Knowledge and Reality (Philosophy), as well as Year 2 courses from Psychology and Language Sciences.

Year 3

You can choose from informatics courses in:

  • Language processing
  • Neural computation
  • Robotics and vision
  • Machine learning

Or from linguistics courses in:

  • Language evolution
  • Language acquisition
  • Speech processing

Or from philosophy courses in:

  • Ontology of mind
  • Theories of mind
  • Theories of truth
  • Ethics

Or from psychology courses in psycholinguistics:

  • Memory and perception
  • Attention
  • Development
  • Neuropsychology

Year 4

As Year 3. In addition, you will undertake an individual research project.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

You will be taught within the University's Central Area, and you will have full access to the libraries, computer facilities and specialised laboratories in our Psychology and Linguistics departments, as well as other facilities available across our campuses.

Study abroad

Opportunities to study abroad are available in this subject area.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, small-group project work, and (in Year 4) individual project work.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams and coursework.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2019/20)

Graduates with cognitive science qualifications have excellent employment prospects in fields that will shape our society – those which depend on computers, such as economics, entertainment, technology, mobile systems, manufacturing and health, to name but a few – and those thought of traditionally as more humanities orientated, such as the civil service, management, finance, journalism, social work and teaching.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB - ABBB by the end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAAB - AABB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAAA - ABBB'.)
  • A Levels: ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAB - ABB'.)
  • IB: 38 points (grades 666 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '38 (666 at HL) - 34 (655 at HL)'. Revised 11/12/2019 from '39 (666 at HL) - 34 (655 at HL)')

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: Mathematics, Psychology or an approved science at grade B. National 5: English at grade C and Mathematics at grade A or Mathematics and Physics both at grade B or Higher Mathematics at grade C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics, Psychology or an approved science at grade B. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4 and Mathematics at grade A or 7 OR Mathematics and Physics both at grade B or 6 OR Mathematics, Science plus Additional Science (OR science double award) at grade B or 6.
  • IB: HL: one of Mathematics, Psychology or an approved science at grade 5. SL: English at grade 5 and Mathematics at grade 6 or Mathematical Studies at 7 (if not at HL).

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Cognitive Science (Humanities)

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

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