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

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700
  • Overseas Part-time: £10,800

Application date

  • 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).

Core Modules

  • Introduction to Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • Principles of Cognition
  • Research Statistics
  • Research Skills and Programming for Cognitive Science (MATLAB)
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Knowledge, Learning and Inference

Options

  • Applied Decision-making
  • Human Learning and Memory
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • The Brain in Action
  • Neural Computation: Models of Brain Function
  • Evolution of Human Cognition
  • Understanding Individuals and Groups
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Social Cognition, Affect and Motivation
  • Current Issues in Attitude Research
  • Talent Management
  • The Psychology of Behaviour at Work
  • Business Psychology Seminars
  • Interpretation of Forensic Evidence
  • Grounded and Embedded Approaches to the Mind
  • Attention and Awareness

Dissertation/report

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

Sully Scholarship

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.

Linguistics Departmental Award

Awarded for academic merit

MRes Speech, Language and Cognition Awards

To reward academic merit.

Childcare Support Grant

Selection based solely on financial need.

Graduate Support Bursary

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.


Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

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
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Career

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

Employability

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.


Next steps

Contact

Mrs Pia Horbacki

T: +44 (0)20 7679 5335

Department

Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Register your interest

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Make an application

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Prospectus subject

Psychology and Language Sciences

Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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