Skip to main content

Cognitive Science | Master

Headerbild für Cognitive Science
Picture: ZIM/Frank Poser/Karin Pelte

This research-oriented master’s degree opens up new perspectives on addressing questions related to cognitive science and embodied cognition. Under the two keywords of interdisciplinarity and internationality, young scientists are given the opportunity to develop promising concepts and technologies and to test them in a state-of-the-art research environment.

NameCognitive Science
DegreeMaster of Science
Standard period of study4 semesters
Credit points120
Language of instructionEnglish
Start of study (1st semester)Winter semester
Fees & ChargesSemester fees and charges: yes
Tuition fees: no

Program Content

The master’s course of study serves to extend and deepen the discipline-specific and methodological knowledge and skills you have already acquired in your Bachelor's degree on the topic of human cognition. On the basis of a specific and interdisciplinary array of methods you will be placed in a position to formulate questions pertaining to cognitive process analysis and to develop solutions. Discussion of the most recent research results will enable you to work towards modelling neuro-cognitive processes and systems. Aside from learning to present complex stimuli and to measure human responses you will acquire broad and fundamental skills in experimental and psychophysical methods, especially pertaining to computer-based implementations of experimental designs with programming languages and their application for data collection.

You will learn to identify new areas of research and to study these experimentally, and you will be enabled to appropriately develop existing analytical approaches further. In collaboration with other team members you will be able to present your research results with a view towards international dissemination.

Prof. Martin Fischer, Ph.D.,

„In the Cognitive Sciences at the University of Potsdam we focus on nothing less than the basis of human communication and other complex mental and motor abilities.“

Course Objective and Future Career Options

Graduates of this degree program will be able to work scientifically in the cognitive and neurosciences. They are also qualified for research and leadership positions in corresponding industrial sectors. Based on their deep knowledge of cognitive processes and their neuronal foundations as well as mathematical and methodological skills the graduates of this program can conceptualize complex projects and experiments in various subfields of the cognitive sciences, formulate hypotheses and examine them quantitatively.

Prerequisites for Admission to the Master’s Program

Your continued interest in the mathematical and natural sciences, as well as a curiosity to establish neuronal foundations of human behaviour, provide a good foundation for being accepted into the program. In contrast, an interest in clinical psychology, psychiatric problems and their therapy, are clear contra-indications – these topics play no role in the degree course.

In general, the prerequisite for master’s studies at the University of Potsdam is a first academic degree, such as a bachelor’s degree. Your first degree should be in a subject relevant to the program, such as cognitive sciences, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, or computer science. In addition, students must have sufficient basic knowledge in the areas of "Experimental Psychological Training", "Foundations of Mathematics" and "Programming of Experiments" amounting to 6 CP each, as defined within the bridge modules.

Applicants who cannot prove that they have sufficient knowledge in either "Experimental Psychological Training", "Foundations of Mathematics”, or "Programming of Experiments" are obliged upon admission to complete the corresponding bridge module as part of the master's program to acquire the necessary knowledge. If knowledge is lacking in more than one of the areas above, admission will not be granted.  

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your strong interest in cognitive science, which must be evident from your previous studies and other activities, in a written subject-specific test (in English), in which you are asked about relevant (cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, mathematics and computer science) modules as well as other relevant qualifications (research internships, programming skills, conference contributions, etc.).  All of your prior knowledge is relevant for admission.

As the course is offered in English, we expect you to document very good English language skills, at least at the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference.

You can read more about the subject-specific admission requirements in the respective admission regulations.

Prof. Martin Fischer, Ph.D.,

„In the Cognitive Sciences at the University of Potsdam we focus on nothing less than the basis of human communication and other complex mental and motor abilities.“

Program Structure

As part of the four-semester master's degree program, you will earn a total of 120 credit points. The following overview provides information about the weighting of individual modules and types of courses. For additional information, please consult the subject-specific Degree Regulations or the Departmental Advisory Office.



Credit points

Mandatory modules54 CP
Cognitive Science15 CP
Mathematical Modelling in Cognitive Science6 CP
Cognitive Neuroscience9 CP
Individual Research Module12 CP
Introduction to statistical data analysis12 CP
Elective modules
Modules adding up to 36 - 39 credit points must be selected and successfully completed.
36 CP
Bayesian Statistics12 CP
Advanced Methods: Experiment Programming6 CP
Cognitive Development6 CP
Current Topics in Cognition6 CP
Advanced Topics in Cognition9 CP
Cognitive Modelling6 CP
Current Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience6 CP
First Language Acquisition6 CP
Advanced Topics in First Language Acquisition12 CP
Language Processing6 CP
Advanced Topics in Language Processing12 CP
Advanced Natural Language Processing9 CP
Evidence Bases for Language Disorders6 CP
Advanced topics in Evidence Bases for Language Disorders12 CP
Bridge Modules
The required bridge modules are decided by the examining board upon admission. Each module completed here will reduce the amount of CPs required in the optional mandatory modules accordingly.
6 CPs each
Experimental Psychological Training6 CP
Foundations of Mathematics6 CP
Programming of Experiments6 CP
Master's Thesis30 CP
Total120 CP


Elena Kulkova | Departmental Advisor

Admission-related: cosecuni-potsdamde
Study-related: cosec-studentrepuni-potsdamde

Advantages at a Glance

Der Wissenschaftsstandort Potsdam lässt Sie von einem ausgezeichneten Netzwerk überregional aktiver Forschungseinrichtungen profitieren. Moderne Einrichtungen und das Konzept der forschungsbasierten Lehre ermöglichen Ihnen, selbst gewählte fachliche Schwerpunkte praxisorientiert umzusetzen. The cross-faculty combination of experimental and modeling-based working methods within the cognitive sciences profile area facilitates synergy effects and boosts your academic profile, also thanks to the excellent student/professor ratio.

The University of Potsdam has taken into account the actual conditions among students and introduced the option for part-time study into several degree programs. This also pertains to Cognitive Science. For more information, go to part-time studies at the University of Potsdam.


Have you decided to study the English-language master's degree in Cognitive Science at the University of Potsdam? Then you should take the next step on the application pages to find out more about current application and enrollment procedures.


Elena Kulkova | Departmental Advisor

Admission-related: cosecuni-potsdamde
Study-related: cosec-studentrepuni-potsdamde

This description is based in part on information from the Discipline-Specific Regulations for Study and Examinations for the Master’s Program in Cognitive Science at the University of Potsdam dated January 31, 2024 (AmBek No. 7/24, p. 188).