Cognitive and Decision Sciences MSc
The Cognitive and Decision Sciences MSc at UCL studies the cognitive processes and representations underlying human thought, knowledge and decision-making. It integrates a wide range of disciplines and methodologies, with the core assumption that human cognition and choice are computational processes, implemented in neural hardware.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
- Overseas Full-time: £21,700
- Overseas Part-time: £10,800
- All applicants: 31 March 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Key topics include the nature of computational explanation; the general principles of cognition; the scope of rational choice explanation; probabilistic models of the mind; learning and memory; and applications to economics and business. The programme involves training in experimental design and methodology, building computational models and undertaking original research.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
The programme draws on an outstanding faculty, ranging across many disciplines, including internationally renowned researchers in psychology, computational modelling, neuroscience and economics.
London is one of the global hot-spots for research in cognition, decision-making, and neuroscience; and it is an intellectual hub, with a high density of research seminars and scientific meetings that attract leading international researchers.
London is also one of the world's foremost commercial and political centres, with consequent opportunities for high-level applied research; and it is a vibrant, culturally diverse and international city, with world-class music, theatre and galleries.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 8,000–10,000 words.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, class presentations, and practical, statistical, computational and experimental class work. Student performance is assessed through online tests, coursework, essays, practical experimental and computational mini-projects, and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
Scholarships available for this department
For current students in their final year of a research programme in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. This award is based on academic merit. Students must contact the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences for application information.
Awarded for academic merit
To reward academic merit.
Selection based solely on financial need.
For a prospective UK Master's student from under-represented background enrolling on a participating programme . Selection based solely on financial need.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Good
How to apply
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
The deadline for applications is 31 March 2014.
Who can apply?
This programme will appeal to outstanding students interested in pursuing a research career in the cognitive and decision sciences, or to those wishing to develop an understanding of core theoretical principles of human thought to tackle applied problems in a range of areas including marketing, finance, and public policy.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Cognitive and Decision Sciences at graduate level
- why you want to study Cognitive and Decision Sciences at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Students have gone on to find employment in the following areas: research assistants, teaching/lecturing, consultancy, finance, analyst and marketing.
For more detailed careers information please visit the department website.
Top career destinations for this programme
- UCL, Research Assistant, 2011
- Singapore National University, Research Assistant, 2011
- General Medical Council, Policy Research Assistant, 2011
- University of Greenwich, Director of Development and Communication, 2011
- The Independent, Media Consultant, 2010
On completion of the programme, students will have acquired theoretical and empirical knowledge in cognition science and decision-making, and a broad range of practical research skills. They will have made original contributions to this field in their research projects, and will understand how to apply their knowledge to real-world decision problems. They will have also developed various analytic and logical reasoning skills, which can be applied to many domains of research and non-academic work. In addition, they will have an understanding of the philosophical issues underlying cognitive science and neuroscience.
"In London, and at UCL in particular, I am surrounded by excellent colleagues who have helped me to shape my research in numerous ways. At least half of the techniques we use today in the laboratory were unknown to me until I joined UCL and started collaborating with colleagues."
Professor Matteo Carandini
Professor of Visual Neuroscience
Subject: Ophthalmology, Faculty: Brain Sciences
"The neurology cluster at Queen Square means you can bump into world leaders in your field just by crossing the road."
Degree: Advanced Neuroimaging MSc
Subject: Neurology, Faculty: Brain Sciences