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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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT)
Overseas:
£22,350 (FT) £11,125 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
28 February 2015

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.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

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
  • Multimodal Communication and Cognition
  • The Brain in Action
  • Neural Computation: Models of Brain Function
  • Understanding Individuals and Groups
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Social Cognition, Affect and Motivation
  • Current Issues in Attitude Research
  • Talent Management
  • Business Psychology Seminars
  • Interpretation of Forensic Evidence
  • Consulting Psychology
  • Attention and Awareness
  • Designing and Analysing fMRI Experiments

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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Cognitive and Decision Sciences MSc

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Linguistics Departmental Award

Value:
£500 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

MRes Speech, Language and Cognition Awards

Value:
£500 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

Sully Scholarship

Value:
c. £2,200 but may be split between students.(1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website

Careers

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 degree

  • Behavioural Insights Team, Cabinet Office (2013)
  • Advisor to Minister of Education, Civil Service, Ministry of Education (2010)
  • Human Interface Designer, Sony (2010)
  • Director of Development and Communication, University of Greenwich (2011)

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.

Why 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.

Student / staff ratios › 145 staff › 661 taught students › 457 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-02-28

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

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