Cognitive Science is the study of the human mind and how it shapes and is shaped by our experiences and interactions.
On the cognitive science programme, you are introduced to the fundamentals of theories of cognition. You learn how to design and carry out your own studies of the mind, the brain and human behaviour.
Courses consists of both lectures and classroom instruction, where you participate in discussions, make presentations and work with your study group. You also work with practical lab work learning to analyse data from brain scans, behavioural experiments and large text databases. The programme also introduces you to experimental design and statistics, cognitive neuroscience, consciousness as well as cognitive approaches to communication and culture. The degree programme will be conducted in English in order to promoting an international study environment and prepare students for the international labour market.
In the course of your studies, you learn about the fundamental cognitive processes that underlie our conscious and unconscious perceptions and actions. You learn about how humans make decisions, and how we use language to communicate, share feelings and interact with others. This requires knowledge of the relevant scientific theories as well as specific practical tools. You will thus learn computer programming (e.g. Python) and advanced tools for statistical analysis (e.g. R and MatLab) which you will use in your own experimental investigations of human cognition and behavior.
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Download and print a short presentation of the bachelor's degree programme in Cognitive Science.
With a Bachelor’s degree programme in cognitive science, you can choose from among a wide range of Master’s degree programmes, including neuroscience, information studies or corporate communication. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme along with its focus on concrete data collection and analysis skills means that graduates of the programme are interesting to prospective employers from a variety of sectors, including IT, product design, neuroscience research and management.
“The programme is just what we need out here in the real world. There’s an enormous unmet need for graduates who are able to combine behaviour, data and cognition, which will be fundamental elements in many business models in future.” Henrik Dresbøll, CEO Cosmographic og WeLearn.
Admissions area number: 22419
To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:
A qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):
If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).
The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission.
Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.
Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of:
From 2018: In addition to the criteria above applicants can write a motivation letter (max. 1,200 characters) describing how the applicant can contribute positively to the programme. The letter must be in English.
Quota 2 subjects:
In the academic regulations, you can read more about the content of the individual course, the structure of the degree programme and the demands the programme places on you as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.
The diagram below shows you how the programme is structured. You can click on the different courses to read the course descriptions.
Experimental methods 1
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Cognition and Communication
Experimental methods 2
Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
Experimental methods 3
Mind and Consciousness
Computational Modelling for Cognitive Science
Models of perception and action
Social and cultural dynamics in cognition
The Bachelor’s degree programme in cognitive science is based on lectures, practical exercises in e.g. programming and statistics, group discussions, independent study and experimental projects. At lectures, you learn about the central issues, theories and methodologies in the field of cognitive science. In connection with practical exercises, you apply this knowledge in connection with classroom discussions, data analysis and modelling exercises, as well as in designing and carrying out your own research projects. As a university student you will be spending a large part of your studies on independent reading, preparation and exercises in e.g. programming and statistics. You will also be part of a study group, where you will work on presentations and projects together and discuss your subject.
A world of knowledge
You study cognitive science because you’re curious! The degree programme is anchored in a vibrant research environment. Almost every day, you get to participate in research seminars and learn about fascinating new discoveries. For example, is it possible to tell if someone’s depressed based on their tone of voice? And can computer games help teach autistic children to talk?
Here is an example of a typical week in the first semester of the Bachelor’s degree programme in cognitive science. As you can see, you will be spending much of your time preparing for classes and lectures, and meeting with your study group. This is why cognitive science is a full-time degree programme, even though you don’t necessarily have scheduled classes every day.
9:00- 11:00 Lecture: Experimental Methods I
11:00 - 13:00 Project work
13:00 - 15:00 Practical exercises, Experimental Methods I
15:00 - 17:00 Independent study and practising programming
9:00 - 11:00 Independent study and practising programming
11:00 - 13:00 Lecture by guest professor
13:00-16:00 Independent study
10:00-12:00 Meeting in study group
13:00 - 14:30 Lecture: Introduction to Cognitive Science
14:30 - 16:00 Classroom instruction, Cognitive Science (presentation)
16:00-17:00 Independent study
10:00-12:00 Meeting in study group
12:00 - 14:00 Lecture: Cognition and Communication
14:00 - 16:00 Classroom instruction: Cognition and Communication
16:00-17:00 Independent study
9:00 - 15:00 Work on independent project
16:00 - ?? Friday bar
Your life as a student doesn’t end when you close your books. The cognitive science programme is new, which means that you and your fellow students have a unique opportunity to contribute to creating a fantastic study environment from the bottom up. For example, you can start a debate club, a film club or a football tournament. You can also participate in the annual regatta in the University Park, and if you’re keen on sport, AU has 18 different athletics clubs to choose from. As a cognitive science student, you will spend much of your time in the Nobel Park along with students from programmes such as cognitive semiotics, linguistics and English.
While studying cognitive science, you have the option of taking a semester abroad, which allows you to develop your language skills while gaining a new perspective on your sbuject, for example by studying artificial intelligence or communication. During the last year of your BA programme, you can take advantage of one of the many exchange agreements between Aarhus University and partner universities all over the world. Get inspiration, guidance and travel lust here.
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The diagram shows the kinds of jobs and job functions available to graduates of a corresponding MA/MSc programme, based on the 2013/14 AU employment survey.
Your career opportunities as graduate of the BA programme depend on what supplementary subjects you take as well as what Master’s degree programme you choose later on.
The broad, interdisciplinary nature of the programme along with its focus on concrete data collection and analysis skills means that graduates of the programme are interesting to prospective employers from a variety of sectors, including IT, product design, neuroscience research and management.
As a graduate of the Bachelor’s degree programme in cognitive science, you understand how the brain works, which gives you a unique understanding of how human beings interpret and relate to objects in their world, how they are affected by social situations and how they make decisions. This can prepare you for a career in design or the analysis of consumer behaviour and markets. As a cognitive scientist, you also understand how data systems work, and you acquire concrete skills in computer programming which qualify you to work with information technology. On the cognitive science programme, you also learn to design experiments and process large data sets. This gives you skills in advanced data analysis and modelling, which can prepare you for jobs in research consulting, communication and evaluation.
On the last year of the Bachelor’s degree programme, you must choose a subsidiary subject. You have the opportunity to choose a wide variety of subject, such as:
After completing the Bachelor’s degree in cognitive science, you are qualified for admission to many different Master’s degree programmes. However, you should be aware that admission to some programmes requires specific subsidiary subjects. Here are some of the options: