MA (Honours) Cognitive Science
1. Awarding Institution: University of Edinburgh
2. Teaching Institution: University of Edinburgh
3. Programme Accredited By: see accreditation pages
4. Final Award: MA
5. Programme Title: Cognitive Science
6. UCAS Code: C850
7.Relevant QAA Subject Benchmarking Group(s) Computing, Psychology
8. Mode of Study: Full time
9. Educational aims of programme:
Cognitive science analyses and synthesises human and animal behaviour and mental processes, at many levels ranging from the social to the molecular. Social-level descriptions such as language grammars are understood as being implemented in the brain all the way down to the neural and molecular mechanisms of perception, action, thinking, learning and memory. Models of the mind are inspired by artificial intelligent systems, and vice versa.
There is a strong commitment to empirical studies and to the development of improved experimental methodologies. Both informatics and psychology involve constructing theories and testing them by building models and reasoning about their behaviour. Work in Cognitive Science is concerned with the problem of explaining and modelling cognitive functions in computational terms.
Researchers seek to improve their computational modelling techniques hand in hand with increasing understanding about the psychological and physiological processes at work in human and animal behaviour. The insights gained from computationally modelling natural systems can be used to provide increasingly sophisticated theories of cognitive processing.
10. Programme Outcomes:
After successfully completing the programme, students will gain the following abilities and skills.
(a) Knowledge and understanding
- Describe and explain the main theoretical, empirical and modeling approaches to understanding cognitive agents (both natural and artificial).
- Assess the scope, relevance and limitations of the disciplines that contribute to cognitive science.
- Critically evaluate formal and computational models of cognitive processes.
(b) Intellectual Skills
- Identify appropriate frameworks for analysing intelligent behaviour, and synthesise abstract representations of the behaviour within those frameworks.
- Specify and implement computer programs that model aspects of intelligent behaviour.
(c) Professional/subject-specific practical skills
- Conduct and analyze empirical studies of natural cognitive systems.
- Apply the methodologies (formal, empirical and computational modelling) employed by the disciplines that contribute to Cognitive Science.
- Communicate the results of their work using the standards and conventions appropriate to research in the contributing disciplines of Cognitive Science.
(d) Transferable skills
- Deploy logical, analytical, and problem solving skills.
- Show self-direction and time management skills when working independently.
- Work effectively as part of a team.
- Provide and accept peer evaluation.
- Communicate effectively through a variety of media, including oral, visual, written, diagrammatic and on-line communications.
- Make effective use of learning materials and acquire and apply knowledge from a variety of sources.
11. Programme Structure and Features
For formal definitions, including details of compulsory and optional course choices, consult the Degree Programme Table. Consult the List of Informatics courses to discover which courses belong to which subject area.
12. Entry Requirements
Please consult the current University Undergraduate Prospectus.