Undergraduate study - 2024 entry
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Subject area: Cognitive Science (Humanities)

Why choose Cognitive Science (Humanities) at the University of Edinburgh?

  • The University of Edinburgh helped to create the field of cognitive science and is still at the forefront of it. You will not only be taught by researchers who laid those foundations, but by researchers who are still making key advances.

  • Cognitive science includes psychology, philosophy, linguistics and informatics. Our broad-ranging research supports a wide range of advanced courses in later years, including those on consciousness, metaphysics, language acquisition, computational neuroscience, the computational mind, language pathology, and human agency and free will.

  • You will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities including electroencephalogram (EEG), non-invasive brain stimulation and eye and motion tracking equipment. You will also have access to a dedicated psychology and philosophy library.

Study abroad

The MA Cognitive Science degree at Edinburgh is one of its kind. Taking courses in different subject areas has been really interesting and it has broadened my perspective a lot.

Ané van der Merwe 4th Year MA (Hons) Cognitive Science
Ané van der Merwe 4th Year MA (Hons) Cognitive Science

Introducing Cognitive Science (Humanities)

Philosophers and scientists have long speculated about the nature of the human mind and the role of language in making the human mind what it is.

Recent developments - in fields as diverse as robotics, brain imaging, anthropology and speech technology - bring a host of new perspectives to our quest to understand our own inner workings.

Cognitive science brings together scholars from:

  • linguistics
  • psychology
  • philosophy
  • neuroscience
  • computer science

What is cognitive science?

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary attempt to understand the human mind. It focuses on abilities such as:

  • reasoning
  • perception
  • memory
  • awareness
  • emotion
  • attention
  • judgement
  • motor control
  • language use

Cognitive science brings together and forms connections between these abilities, through use of methods such as:

  • computer modelling
  • linguistic analysis
  • philosophical reasoning
  • robotics
  • neuroimaging
  • psychological experiments

Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh played a key role in founding this discipline, by exploiting and enriching long-standing connections between the disciplines that contribute to the study of human cognition.

You will be taught by the researchers who both laid the foundations and are still making key advances in the field. The course content is regularly reviewed to ensure our students learn about current developments.

Our Cognitive Science (Humanities) programme requires you to complete a selection of basic courses covering material in:

  • linguistics
  • philosophy
  • psychology
  • computer science

At honours level, in Years 3 and 4, you will choose from a wide variety of more advanced courses in this range of disciplines. You will have the opportunity to specialise in one domain for your honours dissertation project.

Our goal is to help you understand issues such as:

  • the relationship between language and thought
  • the relationship between mind and brain
  • the philosophical implications of our increasing ability to look inside the working brain and to model its activities in computers and robots

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1 degree in Cognitive Science (Humanities)

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