Mind and Brain

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: May 31, 2021
StudyQA ranking:498 Duration:2 years

Photos of university / #humboldt.uni

In October 2013, the research-based Master's programme "Mind and Brain" became part of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, a result of a successful re-application within the national Excellence Initiative.
This English-language Master's programme incorporates the innovative research conducted by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain into an interdisciplinary teaching programme. The programme acquaints students with the most up-to-date approaches to and results of neuroscience research as well as their bearing upon the fields of psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience and cognitive science.
Since the main fields of research conducted at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain - such as Decision-Making, Perception, Attention and Consciousness, Language, Brain Plasticity and Lifespan Ontogeny, Brain Disorders and Mental Dysfunction, and Human Sociality and the Brain - can only be worked on in conjunction with various disciplines, the teaching programme systematically demonstrates how interdisciplinary knowledge can be usefully employed in tackling questions related to specific fields of study.
The Mind and Brain Master's programme is an interdisciplinary course which allows students to select the course content by making a choice between two types of degree and three areas of specialisation based on the subjects in which they are interested - e.g. what they studied in their first degree - or their individual career prospects.
A special feature of the Master's programme Mind and Brain is that the course may be tailored to result in one of two different types of degree: the Track "Brain" leads to a Master of Science (MSc), the Track "Mind" leads to a Master of Arts (MA).
Students must decide upon one of the two tracks (Brain or Mind) at application.

Areas of Specialisation
In addition to the differentiation between the two degree tracks, there are three different areas of specialisation in the Master's programme Mind and Brain.

The three different areas of specialisation are:
1. Psychology or Neuroscience
Students with a particular interest in psychology or neuroscience do two lab rotations in module 13 (see programme outline below) and choose courses relating to topics drawn from psychology or neuroscience (research consolidation) in modules 11 or 12. Cognitive scientists and linguists with more of an interest in psychology or neuroscience may also choose this area of specialisation. This specialisation leads to a Master of Science (MSc) degree (Track Brain).

2. Philosophy
Students with a particular interest in philosophy develop two theoretical research projects in module 13 (see programme outline below) and choose courses relating to topics drawn from mind research. Cognitive scientists and linguists with more of an interest in theory may also choose this area of specialisation. This specialisation leads to a Master of Arts (MA) degree (Track Mind).

3. Academic Management
Students looking to pursue a career in academic management after the Master's programme complete two professional internships in module 13. This specialisation also leads to a Master of Arts (MA) degree (Track Mind).
For this specialisation, good German proficiency (C1) is required.

Educational organisation

Course Details
The core of the Mind and Brain Master's programme is made up of nine courses (neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, cognitive neuroscience, research methods, empirical research training, ethics, philosophy of mind, linguistics, clinical neuroscience, neuroimaging) to be taken in the first and second semesters, each of which consists of a lecture and a more in-depth seminar. Students have to select seven out of these nine core modules.
The focus themes and the research consolidations are a continuation of the mandatory courses and build further upon them. In the course of these modules students can - according to their area of specialisation (see explanation above) - select from courses that the Master's programme Mind and Brain offers in collaboration with the Charité Medical School, and the Humboldt University Department of Psychology, Department of Philosophy and Department of Linguistics.
In or at the end of the second and third semester, students must complete one of the following, depending upon their area of specialisation: a lab rotation (Track Brain - area of specialisation: psychology or neuroscience); development of a research project with a tutor (Track Mind - area of specialisation: philosophy) or a professional internship (Track Mind - area of specialisation: academic management).
The voluntary semester abroad is to be taken in the third semester. The courses taken during this semester are devised and agreed upon together with the international partners involved.

First Semester Modules
  • 1 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 2 Cognitive Neuroscience (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 3 Research Methods (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 4 Ethics and Neuroscience (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 10 Focus Theme Mind/Brain I + II (ten ECTS, four hours/week)
  • Individual Studies (five ECTS, two hours/week)

Second Semester Modules
  • 5 Clinical Neuroscience (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 6 Philosophy of Mind (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 7 Language and the Brain (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 8 Empirical Research Training (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 9 Neuroimaging (five ECTS, four hours/week)
  • 13/1 Lab Rotation/Research Project/Internship I (ten ECTS)

Third Semester Modules (third semester may also be spent abroad)
  • 13/2 Lab Rotation/Research Project/Internship II (ten ECTS)
  • 11 Research Consolidation Mind (ten ECTS, four hours/week) or
  • 12 Research Consolidation Brain (ten ECTS, four hours/week)
  • Individual Studies (five ECTS, two hours/week)

Fourth Semester
  • Master's thesis (30 ECTS)

Study abroad unit(s)

Participants may spend the third semester abroad. The courses taken during this semester are devised and agreed upon together with the international partners involved.

Forms of assessment

Core courses (modules 1-9) (see above): multiple choice tests or oral exams
Focus themes/research consolidations/research projects (modules 10, 11/12, 13): essays (approx. 20 pages)

Course objectives

The "Mind and Brain" Master's programme acquaints students with the most up-to-date approaches to and results of neuroscience research as well as their bearing upon the fields of psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, and cognitive science.
Students will gain an overview of the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience and learn how to employ this knowledge in tackling questions related to their specific field of study.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English at level B2 must be proven with a recognised language certificate. Accepted certificates are:
1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 5.0
2. Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE): B-C
3. ETS Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
  • internet-based test: 87
  • paper-based test: 560
4. DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) language certificate: a minimum of C in all skills
5. UNIcert® II-Zertifikat: 3.0

Proficiency in German is not required.

Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree in psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, biology, cognitive science, or a related subject is required.
Please see: http://www.mind-and-brain.de/master/admission/

Enrolment fees

Approx. 290 EUR per semester (includes a public transport travel pass for six months for the Berlin metropolitan area and parts of surrounding Brandenburg)

Costs of living

Approx. 800 EUR per month to cover personal expenses (including accommodation, food, health insurance, enrolment fees, public transport)

Job opportunities

Although it is a demanding Master's programme, it is possible to work one day each week.

Arrival support

Humboldt-Universität offers a variety of welcome services and guided tours for foreign students to introduce them to the structure and facilities of the university and the city.

Services and support for international students

The coordinator of the Master's programme and the staff of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain will assist with the administration of students' stays in Berlin (visa, registration, health insurance, matriculation, etc.).

Accommodation

Berlin has a huge market for flats. Compared to other German cities, flats for rent or shared flats for rent in Berlin are often still reasonably priced, but have recently become much more difficult to find. Prices for a room in a shared flat or for a one-room studio range from 400-700 EUR, depending on the district in Berlin and the amenities provided.
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