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Masters Degrees (Behavioural Neuro)

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A flexible and interdisciplinary programme, which challenges you to use your specific knowledge to unravel the workings of the human brain. Read more
A flexible and interdisciplinary programme, which challenges you to use your specific knowledge to unravel the workings of the human brain.

Our brain contains many ingenious networks of millions of interconnected neurons. Together, they have a storage capacity and flexibility that far exceed modern supercomputers, or any artificial intelligent system. The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience aims at unravelling the neuro-biological and neuro-computational mechanisms of this fascinating, complex system. We study the full spectrum from molecule to man, and from experiment to advanced theory and models.

The brain, as part of the human body, may at a first glance seem the exclusive domain of Biology. However, as the communication between neurons involves neurotransmitters and electrical ionic currents, understanding these mechanisms calls for knowledge of Chemistry and Physics. Moreover, studying mechanisms of coding and encoding of neural signals, requires advanced concepts from Mathematics and Informatics. By working together, our students learn to view complex issues from all these different sides.

Choose your own angle

Neuroscience at the Science Faculty ranges from biology to physics and mathematics, and will thus appeal to students from different Master’s programmes. The programme can be readily adapted to your individual academic background – whether that is in the field of Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Computing Science. Apart from fundamental knowledge of the brain, the Neuroscience specialisation also provides you with a general background in the principles of complex systems, and of intelligent behaviour of living and artificial systems.

Why study Neuroscience at Radboud University?

- Radboud University is the only university in the Netherlands that covers the complete research field of Neuroscience, from cognition to behaviour, and from sub-cellular processes, to single cell analysis and big data.
- The specialisation is closely connected to the world-renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI). You will get the chance to work with DI researchers during your internship, and build up a high profile network for your future career.
- The courses have a strong focus on research: they will cover the latest developments in brain research and technology, and train you the essential academic skills.
- You will work with students and researchers from different backgrounds in the natural sciences and become acquainted with a wide variety of research methods and scientific approaches.

Change perspective

The brain, as part of the human body, may at a first glance seem the exclusive domain of Biology. However, as the communication between neurons involves neurotransmitters and electrical ionic currents, understanding these mechanisms calls for knowledge of Chemistry and Physics. Moreover, studying mechanisms of coding and encoding of neural signals, requires advanced concepts from Mathematics and Informatics. By working together, our students learn to view complex issues from all these different sides.

Career prospects

Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience
The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience gives you the chance to work at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and build up your own network of international renowned scientists who are working on the human brain: an excellent preparation for a future career in science. Neuroscience will also provide you with general skills that are required for any other job you aspire:
- the ability to structure complex problems
- excellent social skills for working in a multidisciplinary team
- extensive experience in presentations
- academic writing skills

Our approach to this field

At Radboud University, all branches of Neuroscience are accounted for, and strongly intertwined through the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI). This unique combination of expertises is a real advantage for Neuroscience students: it gives you absolute freedom to develop your knowledge in your field of interest and a high profile network for your future career.

- Science faculty
In this specialisation at the Science faculty, you will use your background in the natural sciences to unravel neurobiological processes. When completed, you will receive a Master’s degree in Medical Biology, Molecular Life Sciences, Physics & Astronomy or Science. For highly talented students it is possible to obtain a second Master’s degree at the selective Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience of the DI, which has a more cognitive approach. This extra Master’s degree takes one additional year (60 EC) to complete.

- Themes
The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience focuses on three of the four research themes of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour:

- Perception, Action and Control
Focus: Studying sensorimotor mechanisms, their cognitive and social components, their clinical implications, and their relevance for robotics.

Research: Researchers use theoretical analysis, psychophysical and behavioural studies, neurophysiological techniques, neuroimaging, clinical and pharmacological interventions, developmental and genetic approaches.

- Plasticity and Memory
Focus: The development and decay of the healthy and the maladaptive brain.

Research: Researchers in this field study the mechanistic underpinnings and behavioural consequences of long-term changes in neural structure and function. Genetic, molecular and cellular methods, animal models, as well as human neuroimaging and cognitive neuropsychology are used.

- Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
Focus: Complex neural networks, ranging from the very smallest – communication between individual neurons – to the largest: communication between different brain areas and the outside world.

Research: The research groups combine the development of new techniques for measurements of connectivity and activation, with the experimental application of these techniques in studies of cognition in humans, non-human primates and rodents. Computational modelling is an important component.

- Custom approach
The specialisation programme depends on the Master’s programme that you will follow. In this way, it will perfectly fit to your current knowledge and practical skills. However, as all neuroscience research topics are interdisciplinary, you will become acquainted with other disciplines as well. This will help you to develop a common ground that is necessary to communicate in a multi-faceted (research) team.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/neuro

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In the master programme in Education and Child Studies students can choose a specialisation in one of the sub disciplines of Education and Child Studies. Read more
In the master programme in Education and Child Studies students can choose a specialisation in one of the sub disciplines of Education and Child Studies. All specialisations prioritize the students’ academic education.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/education-and-child-studies/en/introduction

Course detail

The master programme in Education and Child Studies is an academic programme that focuses on the link between theory, research and practice. Students are taught to seek evidence based solutions to problems occurring in child rearing and education. Students choose a specialisation from the start. All specialisations have one course in common, a course on the practice of empirical research. The rest of the year is spent deepening the students’ scientific knowledge in the field of their choice, doing an internship and completing a master’s project in which students carry out their own research and prepare a written report of their research project.


You can choose from the following specialisations:

- Applied Neuroscience in Education and Child Studies
For those interested in the relation between neuro-cognitive and biological factors, and learning, behaviour and emotions.

- Child and Family Studies
For those wishing to specialise in the development of children within their family and day-care facilities.

- Clinical Child and Adolescents Studies / Orthopedagogiek
This master’s specialisation focuses on severe developmental and behavioural problems in children and adolescents.

- Digital Media in Human Development
This new master’s specialisation is devoted to the opportunities and challenges of digital media in child rearing and education.

- Educational Science
This specialisation is dedicated to the factors that influence the process of learning, reading, and arithmetic in school pupils.

- Forensic Family Sciene / Forensische Gezinspedagogiek
With this master’s at Leiden University you’ll be an expert in child care, (criminal)law, prevention and treatment

- Learning Problems and Impairments
In this specialisation you will learn to recognise and treat many common learning problems.

- Special Needs Children in Education / Kinderen met leer- en gedragsproblemen in het Onderwijs
In this master’s you learn how to use research to identify and diagnose children with behavioural, developmental and learning problems.

How to apply:



For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

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The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. Read more
The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following research areas:

Motor systems development, plasticity and function

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.

Visual system development, plasticity and repair]]
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.

[[Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Auditory neuroscience

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.


Our research focuses on:
-Understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
-The development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans


We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.


Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.

Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology

Our research covers:
-The assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
-Development and assessment of cognitive models
-Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
-Developmental disorders of perception and cognition

Systems and computational neuroscience

We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.

Behaviour and evolution

Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.

Visual perception and human cognition

We research:
-Colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention - memory
-Word learning in children
-Body image dysfunction
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour


Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

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Our unique MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme allows you to study theory while benefitting from hands-on research experience. Read more
Our unique MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme allows you to study theory while benefitting from hands-on research experience.

It covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods and allows you to develop research approaches to studying psychology, from the level of social groups through to neuro-imaging of brain activity.


Our MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme is designed to provide you with expertise in psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences.

You will develop the skills necessary for critically evaluating research, formulating innovative research questions, conducting empirical research, and analysing, interpreting and reporting research results.

The programme covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways. By the end of the programme, you will have developed an individual profile of research skills.

The programme also provides an ideal stepping stone for research at PhD level.


This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Aspects of Experimental Psychology
-Crafting Research: Linking Theory & Methods
-Psychological Neuroscience: Electrophysiology
-Psychological Neuroscience: Psychophysics & fMRI
-Qualitative Research Methods
-Quantitative Research Methods
-Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology
-Conducting Health Psychology Research
-Social Change and Influence
-Maintaining Health Throughout the Lifespan
-Key Questions in Environmental Psychology: People & Place


Students who have completed the Psychology programmes have progressed to a range of careers in areas such as local government, management, research posts in universities and commercial organisations, healthcare and clinical psychology, and many have progressed on to study for a PhD.


We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects.

As a student of the Department of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.


-To provide postgraduate students with expertise of current psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences
-To provide postgraduate students with the skills necessary for research at PhD level and/or making transition to the world of work
-To provide postgraduate students with the skills necessary for formulating appropriate research questions, conducting empirical research and analysing and reporting research results


The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding
-Of the basic principles of research design and strategies
-Of psychology as an evidence-based science and the historical and theoretical issues underlying the discipline
-Of psychological concepts and methodologies and how to evaluate the range of alternative research methods
-Of quantitative/qualitative techniques to manage and analyse psychological data
-Of different methods to present and communicate the results
-Of ethical considerations when undertaking research

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Critically assess and comment on both published and unpublished sources of research
-Critically weigh up the contributions and limitations of psychological theories and methods in addressing research problems
-Critically compare methods and research findings to develop, where appropriate, integrative theoretical frameworks to understand research methodologies
-Design, conduct and evaluate psychological research including a rationale for choice of methods employed;
-Reflect on the mutual interaction between theory development, practice and application.

Professional practical skills
-Communicate work in a professional manner for academic and non-academic audiences in written and verbal formats
-Apply problem solving techniques to psychological research topics effectively
-Use effective learning strategies
-Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence in a competent and critical manner

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate theories and methods in relation to psychology research by oral and written means
-Use information technology effectively
-Manage own personal development


We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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The MSc in Music, Mind and Brain is a truly interdisciplinary programme that attracts students from diverse backgrounds who want to complement their knowledge on music research, neuroscience or cognitive psychology. Read more
The MSc in Music, Mind and Brain is a truly interdisciplinary programme that attracts students from diverse backgrounds who want to complement their knowledge on music research, neuroscience or cognitive psychology. This unique programme combines music psychology with neuroscience, focusing on both the biological and cognitive aspects of musical behaviour- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/msc-music-mind-brain/

The MSc in Music, Mind and Brain (MMB) is highly interdisciplinary and draws on expertise from leading figures in the field, in areas ranging from music cognition, cognitive neuroscience, computational modelling, music education and music therapy.

As a student on the MSc, you will learn about topics in music psychology (from perception to cognition) and the cognitive neuroscience of music, and will acquire all the necessary skills to pursue your own high-quality research.

The programme benefits from good links with institutions such as the Institute of Education, the Royal College of Music, and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Teaching staff

Programme director Dr Daniel Müllensiefen and deputy directors Prof Lauren Stewart and Dr Maria Herrojo-Ruiz are joined by an expert teaching faculty, all of whom have international profiles within the fields of music psychology and/or the neuroscience of music.

Our Eminent Invited Speaker Series brings world-leading researchers to Goldsmiths to present their latest research to our students.

What kind of project can I do?

We offer a range of research projects, drawing on a variety of approaches: behavioural, computational, neuroscientific. Students are also invited to propose a project of their own choice, providing appropriate supervision can be offered.

If a student has a contact with an external supervisor, it may be possible to arrange for project supervision outside Goldsmiths with the involvement of a faculty member as co-supervisor. Examples of previous projects include:

Exploring Absolute Pitch in Children and Young People with Visual Impairment
An fMRI Study Investigating how Music Impacts on the Perception of Emotion
The Influence of Native Language on Rhythmic Grouping
Neural Correlates of Melodic Expectancy

Further information

This journal article from Psychomusicology outlines the focus and contents of the programme.

Keep up to date with our research via our facebook page.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Val West.

Research Skills (15 credits)

This module provides you with the core skills needed to become a successful researcher. This is achieved via two complementary strands; the first strand covers fundamental research skills: seminars on bibliographic searching, essay writing, research report writing, oral presentation skills and career planning and lab sessions in which students conduct, analyse and write up an experiment from the field of music psychology. The second strand exposes students to cutting edge research in the field of music cognition and neuroscience via the Eminent Speaker Series and involves the opportunity to produce a collaborative report from the series for the Music, Mind and brain blog.

Research Project (60 credits)

This module provides you with the chance to design and pursue a substantial, independent research project on a topic of their choosing, with expert input from a nominated supervisor. You will be offered a selection of possible projects but are also encouraged to generate their own ideas. External supervision may also possible, in cases where students have links to outside institutions. As well as producing a written dissertation, you will have take produce and present a poster of your work to classmates and teachers from the programme.


Written examinations; written coursework (essays); oral presentations; research dissertation.


The programme will appeal to you if you are interested in pursuing doctoral research in this area or if you are already a music professional wishing to approach music scientifically.

Graduates from the Music, Mind and Brain programme have gone on to work in one of the following areas:

-Academia: Either pursuing a PhD, working in research position or engaged with university-level teaching
-Music and media industry
-Music practitioner or performer
-Music teacher

Other careers that would be informed by this programme include music therapy, neuro-rehabilitation, music consultancy and music and advertising.

Other entry requirements

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0).


Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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This course will enable you to gain a university qualification that we believe will enrich your knowledge and skills. Compassion Focused Therapy is a rich integrative model rooted in evolutionary, neuro and psychological science models. Read more

Why choose this course:

• This course will enable you to gain a university qualification that we believe will enrich your knowledge and skills. Compassion Focused Therapy is a rich integrative model rooted in evolutionary, neuro and psychological science models. There are also influences from Buddhist philosophy. The CFT approach pays particular attention to the key role of the therapeutic relationship and examines the skills and competencies required to enhance those skills in detail both in terms of the theory base as well as the skills base.

• You will receive training with experts in the field of Compassion Focused Therapy including Professor Paul Gilbert PhD FBPs OBE. Paul will be delivering the three day workshop that begin the course and will be delivering live presentations at various points throughout the course.

• You will receive weekly supervision from experts in the field of Compassion Focused Therapy.

• You will have access to a rich source of learning materials via our online course resources, as well as weekly live online contact.

• You will attend two five day intensive training blocks at the University of Derby.

• The course is delivered via blended learning which allows flexibility and reducing the need to travel.

About the course:

Compassion focused therapy is a psychological approach that was originally developed to help people with high shame and self-criticism, and this course will introduce you to the basic ideas and interventions that are used. This course is for you if you are in a mental health profession, for example psychiatry, psychology, nursing or occupational therapy and you are trained to form and develop psychotherapeutic relationships. Also, if you have basic counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy skills and you would like to develop your skills when working with clients who experience shame and self-criticism thoughts, then this course is for you.

By studying this course, you will develop your clinical and theoretical knowledge in compassion focused therapy. You'll have the opportunity to network with likeminded, dynamic individuals and be taught by leading academics and professionals in your field of expertise. There is also the opportunity for you to experience expert clinical and academic supervision to develop your practical skills and ensure you can provide proficient therapy to your future clients.

Throughout this course you will learn to focus on the forms and functions of shame and self-criticism and how to treat them by developing self and other directed compassion. Compassion focused therapy aims to develop care and affiliative-focused motivation, attention, emotion behaviour and thinking in clients, and the key skills that are used include Socratic questioning, guided discovery behaviour experiments and multiple chair work. You will also look at the use of compassion focused imagery during this course, which includes building the compassionate self and using the sense of a compassionate self to engage with areas of personal difficulty.

You will study this course for 36 weeks based on studying for one day a week. You will learn through a combination of e-learning, personal study, workshops and case provision where you will need to identify suitable clients to work with. For your supervision sessions, you will be video recorded, which is a fundamental part of this course and will help to transfer you from a learning environment into practice and help to refine compassion focused practice.

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Learn how to create artificial information systems that mimic biological systems as well as how to use theoretical insights from AI to better understand cognitive processing in humans. Read more
Learn how to create artificial information systems that mimic biological systems as well as how to use theoretical insights from AI to better understand cognitive processing in humans.
The human brain is a hugely complex machine that is able to perform tasks that are vastly beyond current capabilities of artificial systems. Understanding the brain has always been a source of inspiration for developing artificially intelligent agents and has led to some of the defining moments in the history of AI. At the same time, theoretical insights from artificial intelligence provide new ways to understand and probe neural information processing in biological systems.
On the one hand, the Master’s in Computation in Neural and Artificial Systems addresses how models based on neural information processing can be used to develop artificial systems, probing of human information processing in closed-loop online settings, as well as the development of new machine learning techniques to better understand human brain function.
On the other hand it addresses various ways of modelling and understanding cognitive processing in humans. These range from abstract mathematical models of learning that are derived from Bayesian statistics, complexity theory and optimal control theory to neural information processing systems such as neural networks that simulate particular cognitive functions in a biologically inspired manner. We also look at new groundbreaking areas in the field of AI, like brain computer interfacing and deep learning.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ai/computation

Why study Computation in Neural and Artificial Systems at Radboud University?
- Our cognitive focus leads to a highly interdisciplinary AI programme where students gain skills and knowledge from a number of different areas such as mathematics, computer science, psychology and neuroscience combined with a core foundation of artificial intelligence.

- Together with the world-renowned Donders Institute, the Behavioural Science Institute and various other leading research centres in Nijmegen, we train our students to become excellent researchers in AI.

- Master’s students are free to use the state-of-the-art facilities available on campus, like equipment for brain imaging as EEG, fMRI and MEG.

- Exceptional students who choose this specialisation have the opportunity to study for a double degree in Artificial Intelligence together with the specialisation in Brain Network and Neuronal Communication. This will take three instead of two years.

- This specialisation offers plenty of room to create a programme that meets your own academic and professional interests.

- To help you decide on a research topic there is a semi-annual Thesis Fair where academics and companies present possible project ideas. Often there are more project proposals than students to accept them, giving you ample choice. We are also open to any of you own ideas for research.

- Our AI students are a close-knit group; they have their own room in which they often get together to interact, debate and develop their ideas. Every student also receives personal guidance and supervision from a member of our expert staff.

Our research in this field

The programme is closely related to the research carried out in the internationally renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. This institute has several unique facilities for brain imaging using EEG, fMRI and MEG. You will be able to use these facilities for developing new experimental research techniques, as well as for developing new machine learning algorithms to analyse the brain data and integrate them with brain-computer interfacing systems.

Some examples of possible thesis subjects:
- Deep learning
Recent breakthroughs in AI have led to the development of artificial neural networks that achieve human level performance in object recognition. This has led companies like Google and Facebook to invest a lot of research in this technology. Within the AI department you can do research on this topic. This can range from developing deep neural networks to map and decode thoughts from human brain activity to the development of speech recognition systems or neural networks that can play arcade games.

- Brain Computer Interfacing
Brain computer interfaces are systems which decode a users mental state online in real-time for the purpose of communication or control. An effective BCI requires both neuro-scientific insight (which mental states should we decode?) and technical expertise (which measurement systems and decoding algorithms should be used?). A project could be to develop new mental tasks that induce stronger/easier to decode signals, such as using broadband stimuli. Another project could be to develop new decoding methods better able to tease a weak signal from the background noise, such as adaptive-beam forming. Results for both would assessed by performing empirical studies with target users in one of the EEG/MEG/fMRI labs available in the institute.

Career prospects

Our Artificial Intelligence graduates have excellent job prospects and are often offered a job before they have actually graduated. Many of our graduates go on to do a PhD either at a major research institute or university with an AI department. Other graduates work for companies interested in cognitive design and research. Examples of companies looking for AI experts with this specialisation: Google, Facebook, IBM, Philips and the Brain Foundation. Some students have even gone on to start their own companies.

Job positions

Examples of jobs that a graduate of the specialisation in Computation in Neural and Artificial Systems could get:
- PhD researcher on bio-inspired computing
- PhD researcher on neural decoding
- PhD researcher on neural information processing
- Machine learning expert in a software company
- Company founder for brain-based computer games
- Hospital-based designer of assistive technology for patients
- Policy advisor on new developments in neurotechnology
- Software developer for analysis and online visual displays of brain activity


Half of your second year consists of an internship, giving you plenty of hands-on experience. We encourage students to do this internship abroad, although this is not mandatory. We do have connections with companies abroad, for example in China, Sweden and the United States.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ai/computation

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In the two-year Research Master's specialization Language and Cognition (MA Linguistics), you will study patterns of language and speech and the way our brain employs and organizes them. Read more
In the two-year Research Master's specialization Language and Cognition (MA Linguistics), you will study patterns of language and speech and the way our brain employs and organizes them. The programme offers a unique combination of n euro- and psycholinguistics, theoretical linguistics, developmental linguistics, computational linguistics, and communication science.

The programme is meant for talented students who aspire to do research in the field of Linguistics. After finishing the degree, you will have acquired essential research skills and fundamental knowledge of linguistic analysis, language development, and language processing. In addition, you will be able to study language at different levels, such as words, sentences, meaning and interaction.

The programme is linked to the excellent, multidisciplinary research carried out at the Centre for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and the Groningen Research School for Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN).

After finishing the programme you receive a Master of Arts degree in Linguistics.

Why in Groningen?

- Intensive supervision by high-quality researchers in small groups
- A challenging multidisciplinary approach
- Partial Talent Grants and Research Assistantships

Job perspectives

After graduation, you are well prepared for a career in research. In fact, this programme is an ideal stepping stone to a PhD position at a university. You can conduct research in Linguistics, such as Neuro- or Clinical Linguistics, Language Development or Theoretical Linguistics. Other options are Speech Technology, and Communication and Computer Linguistics.

Job examples

- Research oriented career in Linguistics

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- Aims. It is our aim to develop in our students the skills required to submit a satisfactory MPhil thesis at the end of their chosen duration (1 year full time or 2 years part time). Read more


- Aims
It is our aim to develop in our students the skills required to submit a satisfactory MPhil thesis at the end of their chosen duration (1 year full time or 2 years part time). In order to achieve this, a student will have acquired the essential skills required to design and conduct experiments (including applying for ethics approval where necessary), to analyse results, and to communicate these both in writing and orally. These skills will include those that can be transferred successfully to their choice of academic or other career.

- Support
The MPhil at the CBU is achieved by supervised research and is under the jurisdiction of the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Biology. The provision of supervision and teaching is overseen by the Graduate School of Life Sciences. Within the CBU, the internal Graduate Committee is responsible for all aspects of the running of the degrees. A suitable project falling within the interests of the supervisor, and sustainable within the limits imposed by the facilities available at the CBU, is agreed by both student and supervisor, and endorsed by the Graduate Committee. Each graduate student has a primary Supervisor, who will supervise the main body of their research, and an Advisor who acts as a supplementary source of advice and support. We also have two pastoral tutors who offer personal support and counselling throughout a student’s time at the Unit.

- Seminars
Students attend a variety of Unit Seminars given by distinguished scientists. They are able to draw from the CBU’s panels of research volunteers, both normal and clinical, and enjoy the benefits of superb computing facilities and support staff, including a Graphics/Multimedia Officer.

- The Cambridge Graduate Programme in Cognitive and Brain Sciences
CBU students are full members of the Cambridge Graduate Programme in Cognitive and Brain Sciences, which has been jointly established by the Unit and the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. This consists of a weekly series of theoretical seminars presented by senior researchers from the CBU and from the University. Lectures will be held on Mondays 4-5.30pm in the West Wing Seminar Room at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge, CB2 7EF (unless otherwise specified), or at the Psychology department on the Downing Site in Cambridge city centre. Seminars are held during Michaelmas and Lent terms only.
All public talks are publicised on the University talks website, which also contains an archive of older lectures. All scientists at the CBU are expected to attend the two public talk series, held on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

- Facilities and Linkages
The CBU has excellent facilities for experimental behavioural studies involving normal populations and patients with brain damage, as well as institutional links with Addenbrooke’s hospital giving access to various types of patient populations, including stroke and progressive neural degenerative diseases. There is a 3 Tesla MRI scanner on the premises, as well as MEG and EEG facilities. Through its partnership with the University of Cambridge Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, the CBU has excellent access to PET and additional fMRI (3 Tesla) facilities. The CBU also offers state of the art computing facilities, supporting Unix, PC, and Mac platforms, and handling the large volumes of neuro-imaging data as well as extensive computational modelling. All students have their own networked desktop computer, with internet access through JANET.
The Unit’s close links with the University Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry are strengthened through the Cambridge Graduate Programme in Cognitive and Brain Sciences, a joint programme of termly Seminars given by members of each Department and attended by all graduate students.
The CBU is also an active member of the wider neuroscience community in Cambridge, supported by the Cambridge Neuroscience network.

- Completion on time
For MPhil students a personalised training and research programme will be agreed during the early weeks of the degree.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blcbmpbsc

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:
• a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
• demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical

understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
• shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
• demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.


There is no automatic progression from a CBU MPhil degree to a CBU PhD. MPhil students will need to apply to be considered for a PhD place alongside all other candidates.


We offer a variety of theoretical and skills based training to support our wide range of topics and streams of research. A personalised training programme will be agreed for each incoming student in the first few weeks of the degree period. This will cover an agreed timetable of attendance at the various seminars, the research project planned, amd the formal review points throughout the degree.

- Feedback
Continuous assessment and supervision. Students can expect to receive an online feedback report each term.

Funding Opportunities

For eligible applicants, several MRC funded studentships are available, which pay the University Composition Fee, and a small but liveable stipend (currently £13,726 p.a.), however it should be noted that this money has never been allocated to an MPhil student as we always have excellent eligible PhD students whose funding takes priority. In reality a MPhil would almost certainly need to be self-funded or have external funding. Hence, independently funded applications are very welcome, and we will also always nominate successful applicants for the various Cambridge University scholarships available, depending on individual eligibility.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Find out how to apply here http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blcbmpbsc/apply

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blcbmpbsc

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