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MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (Research Master)

    Masters Programmes Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    September, February

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 2 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    €2,143 (from EEA countries); €12,645 (from non-EEA countries)

  • Last Updated

    12 November 2019


Studying the cognitive and neural basis for diverse brain functions such as perception, action, language, attention and memory.

Thanks to advanced brain-imaging techniques, scientists are now able to observe the human brain in action. Cognitive neuroscientists therefore no longer have to rely solely on patients with brain damage to ascertain which parts of the brains are involved in which tasks and functions. They can now conduct targeted experiments on healthy persons. As a result, the discipline has gained tremendous momentum over the past twenty years.

This research Master’s programme is open to students with Bachelor’s degrees in Linguistics, Physics, Biology, Medicine, Mathematics, Behavioural Sciences, Artificial Intelligence or a related discipline. It offers an in-depth theoretical background by internationally renowned scientists in the first year. The second year is dedicated to elaborate practical training in setting up, conducting and reporting research in cognitive neuroscience. A large majority of our graduates gain a PhD position, while other graduates find jobs in the commercial sector or at research institutes.

Why study Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University?

- This Master’s programme is located within the world-renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, located on the campus of the Radboud University, with a research staff of over 500 scientists.

- Nijmegen is one of the foremost centres of cognitive neuroscience in the world. Hundreds of scientists from various faculties and top institutes have joined forces on the Radboud University campus. Besides the Donders Institute there is the Radboud university medical centre and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Their researchers work together very closely, exchange expertise and share state-of-the-art research equipment to unravel the workings of the human brain.

- This competitive programme provides a sound balance of theory and practice. Our selective approach guarantees excellence, especially during the research training period.

- The Radboud University campus holds a large array of state-of-the-art equipment, like labs with fMRI, MEG, EEG and eye-tracking equipment. Master’s students are free to use these, enabling you to do any type of research in this field you’d want to.

- The programme has its own, student-driven, scientific journal; based on the Stanford Exchange: Proceeding of the Master’s Programme Cognitive Neuroscience.


The research Master’s programme offers four specialisations that coincide with the research themes of the Donders Institute:

- Language and Communication

Studies the acquisition, understanding and production of language, and their biological underpinning.

- Perception, Action and Control

Studies basic sensorimotor aspects as well as the cognitive, contextual and social components of perception-action coupling.

- Plasticity and Memory

Studies the mechanistic underpinnings and behavioural consequences of long-term changes in neural structure and function.

- Neural Computation and Neurotechnology

Studies the interaction between and within groups of neurons, and with the outside world

Our approach to this field

We have deliberately created a high admission threshold to ensure that all our students are highly motivated and have the ability to work at an advanced level. All applications are screened individually to make sure the new students meet our stringent entry criteria and help maintain the current standards of excellence.

- Multidisciplinary

Once admitted to the programme, you can expect to be trained as a multidisciplinary scientist. We offer a multi-disciplinary programme that closely involves scientists from various faculties and research institutes on campus, who come from all over the world. Their research has gained national and international recognition for its high quality. In the Master’s programme you’ll attend lectures by these top scientists. They will also supervise your practical training and the writing of a Master’s thesis in the second year.

The research you’ll become a part of addresses cross-disciplinary challenges. Besides studying the basic topics of your specialisation, you may also choose to help improve brain-computer interfaces, a hot topic with applications in medicine and information technology. Apart from being very exciting, it’s also logical that various disciplines are merging.

Our research in this field

A unique multi-disciplinary Master’s programme

Are you interested in the human brain? Would you like to conduct research into the workings of the brain and join an enthusiastic, international group of top researchers? Radboud University offers a multi-faculty Master’s programme in Cognitive Neuroscience. The programme takes two years and is of course of a scientific orientation. There is a strong emphasis on experimental research. After all, what counts is hands-on research experience. This Master’s programme is unique in Europe.

The Master’s programme in Cognitive Neuroscience is primarily focused on training you as a researcher and if possible, a top researcher, because research institutes and businesses around the world desperately need highly qualified and motivated young researchers. Moreover, since cognitive neuroscience is a rather young discipline, much in this field has not yet been explored. There are many challenging questions that need to be answered. So there is plenty of room for new discoveries!

This competitive programme provides a sound balance of theory and practice. We enroll about 50 students per year. Our selective approach guarantees excellence, especially during the research training period.

Career prospects

This Master's programme will give you the qualifications you need to go on to get a PhD position. About 80-90% of our graduates take on a PhD project in Nijmegen or in other parts of the world. Others find jobs in the commercial sector or in research institutes.

Each year there are, on average, about 12 PhD positions available at the graduate schools Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience (DGCN) and the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

See the website

Visit the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (Research Master) page on the Radboud University website for more details!






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