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Cognition and Computation (MA/MSc)

Course Description

This postgraduate degree studies the cognitive processes and representations underlying human thought, knowledge and behaviour. It integrates a wide range of disciplines and methodologies with the core assumption that human cognition is a computational process, implemented in neural hardware.

Key topics include: the nature of computational explanation; general principles of cognition; methodology of computational modelling; theories of the cognitive architecture; symbol systems; connectionism; neural computation; and case studies in computational cognitive modelling.

The programme involves intensive training in experimental design and methodology, building computational models and carrying out a substantial piece of original research.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Draws on academics from many disciplines, including internationally renowned researchers in psychology, computational modelling and neuroscience.
Good foundation for a research career in the cognitive sciences.
Develops an understanding of core theoretical principles of human thought and an expertise in computer simulation.
Designed for graduates of either the computational sciences or the psychological sciences.
The Department of Psychological Sciences has an outstanding research tradition, with an outstanding international reputation in all aspects of cognitive neuroscience, and especially developmental cognitive neuroscience.
You will have the opportunity to interact with world-class researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology, and attend research seminars organised by the department and a number of other local research centres and institutes.
Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 5th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and we achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to research of world-leading quality.
Psychological research at Birkbeck has ranked 5th in the world in a category of the Best Global Universities Rankings 2016, an important and influential index of research quality.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 5th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and we achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to research of world-leading quality.

Visit the Cognition and Computation (MA/MSc) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Undergraduate degree (normally at least 2:1 honours) in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, engineering, mathematics or a related discipline.If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 4250 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 8500 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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