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Master's Degree Programme

About the programme
Language: English (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  | Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


Cognitive Science is the study of how processes in the mind shape human behavior. Cognitive scientists use advanced statistics, and sensitive experimental methods, to reveal the nature of these processes. They do this to advance our knowledge of human thought and behavior, and to apply this knowledge in real world settings.

As a students on the MSc in Cognitive Science, you will develop a theoretical understanding of the human brain and human cognitive function, and learn how to use this understanding to solve real world problems. You will learn how to develop your own computational and statistical models of cognitive process; how to analyse large and complex data sets; and how to use experimental tools, including functional brain imaging and eye-tracking technology, to measure human behavior.


Graduates from the MSc program will acquire knowledge, skills, and competences required to work in fields related to human decision making and consumer cognition; in fields related to data analytics; in fields related to information technology development and design; in fields related to human sensation and perception; and in research and development in the cognitive and behavioural sciences.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements

The following degree programmes qualify the student for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Cognitive Science:

  • The Bachelor's programme in Cognitive Science (Aarhus University)
  • The Bachelor's programme in Product and Design Psychology (Aalborg University) 

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.

The corresponding Bachelor’s degree should as a minimum include:

  • 30 ECTS in topics related to cognition. This could for example include courses in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics, psycholinguistics, or artificial intelligence; and
  • 30 ECTS in topics related to statistics and computational methods for experiments and/or data analysis.

Legal right of admission

Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Cognitive Science at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Cognitive Science on the condition that application is made for admission to the Master’s degree programme no later than three years after completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Language requirements

English at B level at upper-secondary school or the equivalent is a requirement for admission: read about English language requirements.

Selection criteria

As the Master’s degree programmes in Cognitive Science only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. 

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA. The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.

Programme structure

Academic regulations

As a student it is important to know the regulations for your chosen subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you. You can find this information in the academic regulations.

The first semester includes courses in neuroscience and neuroimaging, decision-making, and statistical processing of natural language data. The second semester includes courses in computational and statistical modeling of cognition, human-computer interaction, and advanced methods for analysis of large and complex data sets. Classes and exams on the first two semesters are heavily project based, and are designed to allow students to develop a portfolio of project work during their study. The first two semesters also include intensive workshops focused on neuroimaging methodology and more advanced data science methods. In the third semester, students will have the option of studying abroad, completing an internship, or completing a faculty profile course, while also preparing for their MSc thesis, which they will write in the final semester.  

In the following graphical presentation you can see the different modules and courses.

Student life

The MSc in Cognitive Science is a full time education, and requires students to work about 37-40 hours per week. This includes time spent in lectures and workshops, time spent preparing course work and exams, and time spent working in study groups and private study.

The student environment for Cognitive Science is located at Nobelparken, which is north of the main campus. As a student at Cognitive Science, you will be able to get involved with our social and academic activities. These include:

  • Broca’s Bodega: Cognitive Science has its own Friday bar, named in honour of Paul Broca, who discovered the part of the brain associated with the production of language.
  • The Interacting Minds Centre: The centre is one of the main research centres at the Faculty of Arts. It hosts weekly seminars, academic conferences, summer courses, and other events. The centre also houses researchers working on topics relevant to cognitive science, and students from the program are welcome to attend events and get involved in research.
  • CogTalks: The students at Cognitive Science arrange different talks concerning topics within the cognitive science field.
  • CogKnition: A knitting group where the students meet up, drink coffee, and knit together.
  • Gazzaniga's Gang: The Gazzaniga's Gang is an event group dedicated to making our collective CogSci Family even more close-knit.
  • LICS Student council, The Basal Gang. Together, Cognitive Science and Linguistics form a student council that jointly organises meetings and events aimed at promoting the academic enviroment in the studies.
  • BrainWaves is a student association dedicated to year-round morning swims. After the swims, the students enjoy coffee, breakfast, and conversations by the sea before starting their university day. The association also organises events focused on watersports, breathing techniques, and mindfulness.

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Graduates from the MSc program will be trained to enter any field that requires skills in experimental design and statistical modeling for human behavior.

Job profile

Graduates will be particularly well suited to careers in the following four sectors.

  • Consumer cognition
    With their knowledge of how people perceive and pay attention to their environment, and of how people make decisions, Cognitive Science graduates will be well suited to assist organisations in developing more engaging products and marketing materials.
  • Cognitive analytics
    With their skills in advanced statistical modeling, combined with their ability to apply those skills to explaining complex human behavior, Cognitive Science graduates will be well suited to assist organisations in maximising the use of existing databases to develop new strategies and products.
  • Design of information technology
    With their specific skills in analysing human/machine interaction, Cognitive Science graduates will be well suited to assist companies in developing new technologies for human use, both in the design and testing phase of research and development.
  • Sensory science
    With their knowledge of how the brain transforms light, sound, and chemical energy into sensory information, and how it combines that information into perceptions of the world, Cognitive Science graduates will be well suited to research and development in the food industry, or in audio technology. 

Career guidance

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.