This MSc focuses on how individuals construe the social world and the processes that underlie social judgement and behaviour. The programme draws on the research of outstanding academic staff working in the areas of social cognition, social endocrinology, socio-cognitive neuroscience, and judgement and decision-making to provide unique, cutting-edge perspectives on humans as social beings.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £10,140 (FT) £4,785 (PT)
- £24,420 (FT) £12,150 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Students are expected to have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. However, very good candidates in related areas, such as management, sociology, or communication sciences, will also be considered. Students should be prepared for the mathematical component contained in the MSc-level Research Statistics module.
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.
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:
About this degree
The programme provides an understanding of how the human emotional, cognitive and neural systems have evolved to sustain social co-ordination and adaptation to the environment. Key topics include: social perception, motivation, attitudes, embodiment, emotion, social judgement and decision-making, and social neuroscience.
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).
- Understanding Individuals and Groups
- Social Cognition, Affect, and Motivation
- Current Issues in Attitude Research
- Social Neuroscience
- Research Statistics
- Social Cognition: Research Methods
Options may include the following:
- Knowledge, Learning, and Inference
- Applied Decision-making
- Principles of Cognition
- Human Learning and Memory
- Social Psychology
- The Psychology of Health
- Organisational Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Consumer Behaviour
- Consulting Psychology
- Business Psychology Seminars
- Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience II: Elaborative and Adaptive Processes
- Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience III: Translational Research
- The Brain in Action
- Programming for Cognitive Science
- Judgement and Decision-making
- Talent Management
- Evolution and Social Behaviour
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, tutorials and seminars. The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences has advanced technology for the study of socio-cognitive processes, including fMRI, eye-, speech- and motion tracking equipment for dyadic and group settings, as well as a 360o video camera. Assessment is through coursework, online assessment and the dissertation.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates have taken up positions in research, marketing, teaching, and management consultancy.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Behaviour Change Adviser, Bupa
- PhD in Psychology, Humboldt University of Berlin
- Research Consultant, Behaviour Change Partners
- Business Director, Mindshare
- University Lecturer, Northumbria University and studying PhD in Self-perception, Northumbria University
On completion of this programme students will have acquired an understanding of the processes involved in the construction of the social reality, in particular how cognitive and affective processes guide social judgement and behaviour, and how these processes are implemented in the brain. The students will have acquired methodological skills to design and carry out socio-cognitive research which will enable them to address real-world social problems and/or pursue an academic career. In addition, they will have acquired knowledge related to theoretical and philosophical issues underlying psychological research.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language.
Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.
Opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.
Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Student / staff numbers
› 181 staff
including 173 postdocs
› 780 taught students
› 440 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"UCL has a long, storied history in social cognition researchers, and as such, boasts a nucleus of researchers concerned with this topic. Additionally, its location in London affords opportunities for research and collaboration unavailable anywhere else. My research focuses on flexible social cognition, that is, our ability to engage or withhold thinking about the minds of others. I enjoy being an interdisciplinary scientist. I also enjoy mentoring students, training them in the scientific approach, and guiding them through the early parts of their careers. I supervise students from a variety of MSc. programmes, including the Research Methods programme and programmes in Crime Sciences. Finally, I supervise PhD. students in Experimental Psychology and Crime Sciences."
Dr Lasana HarrisSocial Cognition: Research and Applications MSc, Cognitive and Decision Sciences MSc
Application and next steps
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
Social cognition is a rapidly developing domain with implications for many areas of psychology - clinical, cross-cultural, health, consumer, educational, organisational, and political - and the programme will appeal to students with a background in these areas and an interest in social judgement and behaviour.
- All applicants
- 2 March 2018
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 Social Cognition at graduate level
- why you want to study Social Cognition 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.