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Cognitive neuroscience studies the cognitive and neural basis of mental processes such as perception, action, language, attention and memory. This relatively young discipline seeks to unravel the workings of the human brain.
What happens in our brains when we do what we do? How do those billions of nerve cells collaborate in an organ no bigger than half a football? Thanks to brain imaging - a technology for measuring and depicting brain activity - scientists are able to observe the human brain in action. As a result of this revolutionary development this discipline has gained tremendous momentum over the past twenty years.
As many already know, cognitive neuroscience is the discipline of the future. Research in the field of cognitive neuroscience is one of the spearheads in the research policy of Radboud University Nijmegen. Scientists from various faculties and top institutes have joined forces within the context of the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience (DGCN) to study the human brain. They closely work together, exchanging expertise and sharing state-of-the-art research equipment.
Are you also interested in the human brain? Would you like to conduct research into the workings of the brain and join an enthusiastic, international group of top researchers? Then the DGCN is the place to be with its multi-faculty research Master's programme in Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc CNS). The MSc CNS programme of the DGCN takes two years and is, of course, of a scientific orientation.
The Donders Institute for Brain, Cogntion and Behaviour has four research themes and these themes are also expressed by the Masters programme in the form of four specializations:
- Theme 1: Linguistics and Communicaiton Sciences; studies the acquisition, understanding and production of language
- Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control; studies basic sensorimotor aspects as well as the cognitive, contextual and social components of perception-action coupling
- Theme 3: Learning, Memory & Plasticity; studies the mechanistic underpinnings and behavioral consequences of long-term changes in neural structure and function
- Theme 4: Brain Networks & Neuronal Communication; studies the interaction between and within groups of neurons, and with the outside world
All courses are given by top researchers, who also supervise the traineeships and the writing of the Masters theses for all three specializations. English is the lingua franca for all four specializations.
Four common core courses
The four specializations in the Masters programme have a common basis. In the first year you will become acquainted with the most important theories, models, techniques and analysis methods in Cognitive Neuroscience. For this purpose you will follow the following four core courses together with students from the other specializations:
- Trends in cognitive neuroscience
- Neuroimaging I
- Lab rotation
You have to choose two out of the following four courses:
- advanced math
- advanced data analysis
- academic writing
A completed Bachelor's degree in Linguistics, Physics, Biology, Medicine, Mathematics, Behavioural Sciences, Artificial Intelligence or a related discipline
The graduation date of the last attained Bachelor’s degree relevant for this programme must be within five years of applying to the programme.
A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- A TOEFL score of >=600 (paper based) or >=100 (internet based)
- An IELTS score of >=7.0
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher
Specialisation specific requirements
Check the specific admission requirements for each specialisation:
- Language and Communication
- Perception, Action & Control
- Plasticity and Memory
- Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
* Applicants are considered to be a native speaker of English if they are from Australia, Canada (with exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA or South Africa.
There are various scholarships available for studying at Radboud University. Some of the opportunities are described below. A full list, including detailed information, can be found on our scholarships and grants page at our website.
Radboud Scholarship Programme
Open to a select number of excellent international students. Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,083 in 2019/2020). Visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are also covered.
Orange Tulip Scholarship
Open to students from Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, South-Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and China. Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,083 in 2019/2020). Visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are also covered.
Open to excellent American students. The grant will be paid in 12 monthly instalments of 1,050 euros. International travel and the cost of the residence permit will be covered, and an extra allowance of €1150 will be paid on arrival.
Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange Scholarship
Open to excellent students from China. Consists of a contribution of € 16,113 towards the total costs of one year of study or research in the Netherlands.
Aimed at lecturers at higher education institutions in Indonesia who wish to pursue a PhD or Master's at a university in the Netherlands. A DIKTI scholarship includes allowances for living expenses, insurance, travel costs, tuition fees and more.
Indonesian Education Scholarship (LPDP)
Open to excellent Indonesian students under the age of 35. Involves a full scholarship.
Holland Scholarship Programme
Open to excellent students from Canada, America, India and Turkey. Scholarship consists of 5,000 euros payed at the start of study.
Dutch Student Finance
EU/EEA students and Swiss students under 30 years of age are eligible if they are working at least 56 hours per month in the Netherlands, or have been living in the Netherlands for five years or more. Dutch student finance consists of four components: a basic grant, a supplementary grant (depending on the parental income), a student travel product, and a loan.