This programme combines the scientific study of human cognition with the application of cognitive science to broader societal concerns.
Students focus on core methodologies and theories of cognitive science, but also explore the synergy between cognitive science and its applications. This unifies forms of scholarly activity that are often pursued independently.
You will develop the skills to embark on your own research project and will learn how to communicate research, so if you are interested in developing a research career or in working within science communication, this programme will provide an excellent foundation.
Students who have well-developed written and oral communication skills will be encouraged to take on placement projects for knowledge exchange. Other students may choose to pursue scientific research that has implications for the broader society but aimed primarily at an academic audience.
Completion of the programme would provide the foundations of a research doctoral training programme, or a career in applied research or in science writing for the general public or non-academic professionals.
This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.
The taught component consists of a number of courses that are based around lectures, tutorials or small group seminars, and are assessed by oral presentations, essay or exam.
Option courses may include:
The dissertation work, based on original research, is completed under the supervision of a member of staff with related research interests.
The MSc in Cognition in Science and Society aims to:
This programme is intended for those who wish to pursue advanced research in human cognition in science and society. It may also be useful for those who wish to work in science communication.
This programme provides an intensive grounding in the philosophy of embodied cognitive science, its methodologies, research questions and techniques of research.
You will study among one of the world’s largest and most vibrant postgraduate communities in philosophy, alongside internationally recognised leaders in the study of mind, of language, and of situated and embodied cognition. By choosing this programme, you will be entering an increasingly popular field in which many large unsolved problems remain.
This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation of between 8,000 and 10,000 words written at the end of the second semester. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor with whom you meet to plan your reading and discuss your work.
A wide range of optional courses is offered in the philosophy, psychology, language sciences, informatics and music subject areas. Options may include:
This programme will provide you with the training necessary to undertake research in philosophy of cognitive science, and ultimately to pursue a career in academic philosophy. You will also acquire an understanding of the central debates in the sciences of the mind today.
If you do not intend to follow an academic route, the study of philosophy helps to develop general intellectual abilities and enhance analytical, critical, interpretive and problem-solving abilities.
Strongly interdisciplinary in nature, the Institute for Language, Cognition and Communication (ILCC) is dedicated to both basic and applied research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in both humans and machines.
As technology focuses increasingly on language-based communication tools, research into the automation of language processing has become vital. ILCC offers you the broadest research scope in the UK, and a strong computational focus.
Our primary areas of research are:
Much of our research is applied to software development, in areas as diverse as social media, assisted living, gaming and education.
You may find yourself working closely with other departments of the University, particularly the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences.
Many of our researchers are involved in two cross-disciplinary research centres:
The Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR) is an interdisciplinary research centre linking Informatics and Linguistics. Founded in 1984, it is now one of the world's largest concentrations of researchers working in the field of language and speech processing.
CSTR is concerned with research in all areas of speech technology including speech recognition, synthesis, signal processing, acoustic phonetics, information access, multi-modal interaction and dialogue systems.
The Centre is home to state-of-the-art research facilities including specialised speech and language-orientated computer labs, a digital recording studio, perception labs and a meeting room instrumented with multiple synchronised video cameras and microphones. There is also access to high-performance computer clusters, the University storage area network, a specialist library, and many speech and language databases.
The Human Communication Research Centre (HCRC) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow that brings together theories and methods from several formal and experimental disciplines to understand better how this happens.
We focus on spoken and written language; we also study communication in other visual, graphical and computer-based media.
You carry out your research within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups and may also attend lectures that are relevant to your research topic. Periodic reviews of your progress will be conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
The award-winning Informatics Forum is an international research facility for computing and related areas. It houses more than 400 research staff and students, providing office, meeting and social spaces.
It also contains two robotics labs, an instrumented multimedia room, eye-tracking and motion capture systems, and a full recording studio amongst other research facilities. Its spectacular atrium plays host to many events, from industry showcases and student hackathons to major research conferences.
Nearby teaching facilities include computer and teaching labs with more than 250 machines, 24-hour access to IT facilities for students, and comprehensive support provided by dedicated computing staff.
Among our entrepreneurial initiatives is Informatics Ventures, set up to support globally ambitious software companies in Scotland and nurture a technology cluster to rival Boston, Pittsburgh, Kyoto and Silicon Valley.
While many of our graduates pursue an academic career, others find their skills are highly sought after in the technology industry. A number of our students serve internships with large UK and international software developers, while others take up positions with major social media companies.
Joining our world-leading Language Evolution and Computation (LEC) research unit, you will investigate the origins and evolution of human language, tackling questions such as ‘what is it that makes us human?’, ‘how did our brains evolve?’ and ‘what are the origins of human language?’.
The LEC is at the cutting edge of research in this area and one of the world’s biggest research groups working on language evolution. You will have the opportunity to become involved with the unit’s research effort, and to make your own contribution to this dynamic field through your dissertation.
The programme focuses on a treatment of language as a dynamic evolving system, bringing together origins, acquisition and change.
It provides a broad introduction to the field of language evolution and cognitive evolution, and can form the basis for further (typically PhD) study for those wishing to continue their research.
The programme draws on many disciplines in the University, including archaeology, biology, linguistics, neuroscience, informatics, philosophy and psychology.
The programme involves two taught semesters and your own research dissertation. Four compulsory courses (in addition to the compulsory dissertation) provide a solid foundation, while optional courses allow you to explore your own areas of interest.
The taught element is delivered through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions. Assessment is by written/project work and examination.
Option courses may include:
You may also be able to take a course from other degree programmes in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, and in some cases from elsewhere in the University.
On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:
This programme provides solid grounding for further research in many associated areas, such as linguistics, cognitive sciences and human evolution.