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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Psychology

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    03 January 2018

Course content

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.

About this degree

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 Cognitive Science
  • Principles of Cognition
  • Research Statistics
  • Research Skills and Programming for Cognitive Science
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Knowledge, Learning and Inference

Optional modules

  • Applied Decision-making
  • Human Learning and Memory
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social Cognition: Research Methods
  • The Brain in Action
  • Neural Computation: Models of Brain Function
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • 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
  • Neuroscience of emotion and decision-making
  • Evolution and Social Behaviour

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 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 is available on the department website: Cognitive and Decision Sciences MSc

Careers

Students have gone on to find employment in the following areas: research, teaching, lecturing, consultancy, finance, and marketing. 

For more detailed careers information please visit the department website.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Change Management Consultant, HCL AXON
  • Project Research Officer, Government Office for Science
  • Research Assistant, Imperial College London / University of Oxford
  • PhD in Financial Computing
  • Assistant Policy Adviser, Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team

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 also have developed various analytical and logical reasoning skills which can be applied to many domains of research and non-academic work. They will, in addition, have an understanding of the philosophical issues underlying cognitive science and neuroscience.

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 programme draws on an outstanding academic staff, ranging across many disciplines, including internationally renowned researchers in psychology, computational modelling, neuroscience and economics.

London is one of the global hotspots 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.

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.


Visit the Cognitive and Decision Sciences (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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