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Cognition in Science and Society (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

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.

Programme structure

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.

Compulsory courses:

Cognition, Culture and Context
Human Cognition: Science and Application to Society
Introduction to Statistics and Experimental Design
Pragmatics of Linguistic Communication
Psychological Research Skills
Transferring Knowledge to Society

Option courses may include:

Advanced topics in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition
Child Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology
Concepts and Categorisation
Disorders of Language Functions
Human-Computer Interaction
Maturational Constraints on Language Acquisition
Origins and Evolution of Language
Psychology of Language Learning
Simulating Language
Working Memory in the Healthy and the Damaged Brain

The dissertation work, based on original research, is completed under the supervision of a member of staff with related research interests.

Learning outcomes

The MSc in Cognition in Science and Society aims to:

provide a basis for research in the core theories of cognition, language, and communication
provide a broad grounding in the research methods of the sciences of human cognition
prepare students to undertake advanced cross-disciplinary research
facilitate students' ability to integrate relevant cross-disciplinary knowledge
prepare students to examine problems of importance to society, and develop strategies for addressing them through appropriate methods in the laboratory or in an applied setting
enhance students' ability to communicate scientific findings to both the general public as well to the professionals in the public and private sectors
develop students' skills in knowledge transfer

Career opportunities

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.

Visit the Cognition in Science and Society (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1, or its international equivalent, preferably in psychology, linguistics, philosophy, or computer science/informatics.

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