Objectives and competences
Cognitive Science and Language is an inter-university, interdisciplinary postgraduate programme combining master's degree and doctoral levels that responds to the need to overcome the academic barriers between the different areas of cognitive science. The programme places a particular focus on speech perception and language acquisition, the syntactic and semantic processing involved in speech, the relationship between semantics and cognition, the logical structure of language and the epistemic and conceptual foundations of language study, computational analysis of language, and the relationship between the different areas of cognitive science.
This master's degree offers interdisciplinary education in three key areas of cognitive science: psychology, linguistics and philosophy. The course consists of a common module of basic subjects, a specialization module covering specific topics from each of the three key areas, and a module comprising optional subjects. The goal of this degree is to give students the skills they will need to carry out a research project, which may be developed further under the doctoral programme and lead to the writing and defence of a doctoral thesis.
The three areas of specialization in both the master's degree and the doctoral programme are overseen by the best lecturers and researchers at each of the participating universities, and renowned international specialists are continually invited to participate as guest lecturers. This places the scientific education of the postgraduate programme in Cognitive Science and Language on a comparable level of quality to the leading postgraduate programmes in Europe, particularly in the interdisciplinary areas of cognitive science.
Objectives and competences
The general objective of the master's degree in Cognitive Science and Language is to provide training to language researchers from three scientific perspectives: those of the linguist, the cognitive psychologist and the analytic philosopher. Interdisciplinary training in each of these areas will enable students to monitor and appraise new contributions in the other two areas.
On completion of the degree, students will be able to:
- Display a capacity for original thinking in the development and/or application of ideas in a research context.
- Apply the knowledge acquired during the course to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments related to the specific field of study.
- Integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, giving due consideration to the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.
- Present conclusions and the grounds on which they have been reached in a clear and concise manner.
- Demonstrate the learning skills acquired to facilitate further learning requiring a more independent and self-directed approach.
Successful students will also be able to:
- Master the resources needed for research (languages of scientific interest, efficient information search, use of computer resources).
- Display a capacity for the critical analysis of relevant scientific bibliography in a specific field of study and for the development of research work appropriate to the level demanded by the programme.
With respect to the specific applications of their knowledge, students will be able to:
- Show mastery of the principles and methods of linguistics, analytic philosophy and cognitive psychology, in order to apply them to the study of language, while displaying a capacity for critically evaluating the main contemporary contributions of these disciplines.
- Describe linguistic phenomena clearly, capturing all of their complexity and using the necessary level of detail.
- Display a capacity for extracting the logical form of arguments, evaluating their validity and identifying any fallacies or methodological errors, and make critical use of the methods for studying language appropriate to contemporary analytical philosophy (specialization in Logic and Philosophy).
- Gather data and formulate analysis to solve problems in the areas of theoretical linguistics and computational linguistics (specialization in Grammatical Theory and Linguistic Processing).
- Use and evaluate results obtained through the main exploration techniques in neuroscience, correctly design and carry out experimental research in cognitive science, and apply the statistical techniques needed to analyse the results correctly (specialization in Cognitive Processing Models).
Applicant profile and access requirements
Recommended applicant profile
Ideally, candidates will have prior training in one or more of the specializations (philosophy, psychology, linguistics) or in related disciplines (philology, translation and interpreting, humanities, biology, medicine, etc.) and a strong motivation to pursue further study in the area of cognitive science. Applicants must also have a good level of English (see below).
Access requirements and conditions
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:
- Official Spanish university degree.
- A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
- A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.
- Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in psychology, philosophy, linguistics, translation and interpreting, or philology. Holders of a bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in a related discipline (humanities, biology, medicine, computer science, mathematics, etc.) may be required to complete up to 30 credits of bridging subjects, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
- Commitment to conduct a significant piece of research, expressed in a statement indicating the candidate's interests and how these interests are related to the content of the programme.
- Level of English equivalent to B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or higher.
- First period: 15 February - 16 April 2023
Notification of resolutions: before 7 May
- Second period: 19 April - 4 June 2023
Notification of resolutions: before 20 June
- Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
- Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.
The documents should be scanned and uploaded when completing the online application form
The Admissions Committee evaluates candidates on the basis of the following criteria, weighted as shown:
- Previous studies (50%)
- Curriculum vitae and statement of interest (30%)
- English language skills (20%)
When reviewing candidate's degrees in relation to the academic requirements, the Committee will assess the similarity of each degree to this master's degree as well as each candidate's academic record. If necessary, candidates may be asked to provide samples of their academic work or to attend a personal interview.
An Admissions Committee made up of representatives from the five participating universities select the candidates for admission to the programme. Students may be asked to attend a personal interview.
As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned
Subjects and course plans
Distribution of credits
List of subjects
Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.
Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record. There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.
What can you work on ?
This master's degree is primarily a research-focused programme. As such, the main career opportunities are research and university teaching in fields related to the cognitive sciences. Other important areas include fields in which interdisciplinary training in language research is valuable, including publishing, information technology, cultural management, journalism and public administration.
Access to the labour market
Data from the university system in Catalonia