Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

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 learn not only from researchers who laid those foundations but also from researchers who are still making key advances.

  • Cognitive science includes:

    • psychology
    • philosophy
    • linguistics
    • informatics

    Our broad research supports a range of advanced courses in later years, including those on:

    • consciousness
    • metaphysics
    • language acquisition
    • computational neuroscience
    • the computational mind
    • language pathology
    • human agency and free will
  • You will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities including:

    • electroencephalogram (EEG)
    • non-invasive brain stimulation
    • eye and motion tracking equipment

    You will also have access to a dedicated psychology and philosophy library.

  • Edinburgh is one of the largest centres in Europe for the study of human cognition and the only university in Scotland to offer Cognitive Science at undergraduate degree level.

Study abroad

The MA Cognitive Science degree at Edinburgh is one of a kind. Attempting to understand things like cognition, the relation between mind and body, how language works and just generally, what it means to be human, are the things I want to know more about.

Taking courses in Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology and Informatics and seeing how they intertwine and link is what I’ve enjoyed the most while studying Cognitive Science. This interdisciplinary approach has helped me explore my interests and helped me develop a better sense of what specific career I would like to pursue in the future.

Ané van der Merwe MA (Hons) Cognitive Science, Class of 2023
Ané van der Merwe MA (Hons) Cognitive Science, Class of 2023

Introducing Cognitive Science (Humanities)

Philosophers and scientists have speculated about the nature of the human mind and how language affects it.

Recent developments, across fields such as robotics, brain imaging and speech technology, offer new ways to understand our 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 through long-standing connections between the disciplines that contribute to the study of human cognition.

The course content is regularly reviewed to make sure our students learn about current developments.

As part of our Cognitive Science (Humanities) programme, you will 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 area 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 ability to look inside the brain and model its activities with computers and robots

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Find your degree

1 degree in Cognitive Science (Humanities)

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