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Cognition and Computation (MA)

Different course options

Full time | Birkbeck, University of London | 1 year | OCT

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Neuroscience / Neurobiology Cognitive Psychology

Course type


Course Summary

Aimed at graduates of either the computational sciences or the psychological sciences, the MA in Cognition and Computation is an ideal foundation for a research career in the cognitive sciences.

It studies the cognitive processes and representations underlying human thought, knowledge and behaviour, and 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 will give you intensive training in experimental design and methodology. You will build computational models and carry out a substantial piece of original research.


Graduates go on to careers in psychology, research sciences, and other disciplines in which computer simulation is used. Possible professions include psychologist or scientific researcher. This degree can also be useful within the field of visual science or in becoming a higher education lecturer.

We offer a comprehensive Careers Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.


The module will introduce students to foundational debates in cognitive science. A selection of topics from the following list will be addressed: Philosophy of science relevant to cognitive science; History of cognitive science; The relation between language and cognition; compositionality of representations; problems of learnability; learning versus development; what are concepts and can they be learned; can machines think? (including Searle and the Chinese Room argument); the problem of reference (including symbol grounding and the Frame problem); embodied cognition; consciousness (machines or otherwise); can machines have emotions,

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, engineering, mathematics or a related discipline.

University information

Based in the heart of London, Birkbeck has established a reputation for providing its postgraduate students with an engaging, exciting learning experience, and positive feedback from its community of professional alumni is testimony to the university’s continued success. With a history that dates back almost 200 years, Birkbeck, University of London offers a unique learning experience which delivers a competitive program of nearly 300...more