What is Cognitive Science?

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary field that has evolved during the past few decades at the intersection of a number of existing disciplines, including linguistics, computer science, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience. Each discipline makes its own distinctive contribution to the goal of elucidating the relationships between minds, brains and behaviour.

Who should take this degree?

Anyone interested in issues relating to the understanding of the human mind from philosophical, psychological, and computational perspectives would be well suited to this degree. Advanced computational skills are not a pre-requisite, but some familiarity with computers will be assumed. We do not require students to be able to write programs.

Every year we see very many applications from eager students that are unfortunately not appropriate for the degree we offer. Before you apply, please read this document to make sure you are not applying for an inappropriate degree.


Fees are liable to change each year. In 2017/2018, fees are €6,750 for EU students taking the degree on a full time basis, €18,300 for non-EU nationals. Part-time fees are €4,390 for EU students, and €9,1500 for non-nationals. Up-to-date information on fees is available through the UCD fees and grants office. Information about scholarships for incoming international students is available at this webpage. Some Irish students have had success in obtaining grants from their local councils.

Is the taught masters an MA or an MSc degree?

The taught masters is an interdisciplinary undertaking, with contributions from both Arts and Science. Students who enter with a BA will be awarded an MA on completion. Those with a BSc will be awarded an MSc. There is no difference in the materials covered or in the evaluation.

Students who complete only the two semesters of coursework, but do not complete a research project, will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science.

What are the employment prospects for graduates?

This is not a vocational course. In the course of one year we cover a very broad range of material, thus greatly increasing the breadth of academic exposure of our students. Historically, about half of the students go on to do PhD studies, and many others look for work in research. Critically, this course will not make a psychologist out of a non-psychologist, or an IT specialist out of someone who is not an IT specialist upon entry. It will hopefully enable students to tackle research issues they might not have been able for before, and to do PhDs in areas that would not have been possible before. It also has the potential to enrich one’s engagement with a very broad range of challenging material.

Please note that a cognitive science degree is not part of an accredited programme towards a clinical degree.