Cognitive Neuroscience (research)

In the track Cognitive Neuroscience we focus on the investigation of the psychological, computational, and neuroscientific bases of human cognition by means of mind and brain research.

Our research and teaching are based on the conviction that cognitive processes can only be understood in the context of their function and purpose for action control. That is, for the adaptation of intentional, goal-directed actions to environmental demands.

The master’s specialisation Cognitive Neuroscience has a strong hands-on flavour with numerous practical course modules. You play a very active role in ongoing behavioural and neuroscientific research, partly within the interfaculty centre for interdisciplinary research on brain and cognition, the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition: LIBC

Aim of the programme

The programme provides you with a rigorous training in the methodological and practical skills necessary to carry out scientific research on human behaviour. You gain hands-on experience with how psychological theory can contribute to the analysis and solution of practical problems and how the application of existing theory guides further theoretical development. You have ample opportunity to get in touch with and work with top researchers and excel in the area of your choice. You are also trained in a broad multi-layered, theoretically-driven approach to processes of self-regulation.

Laboratory facilities

The research is carried out in a number of specially dedicated laboratories:

  • electrophysiological and fMRI laboratories for the study of the neurophysiological basis of attention and action control
  • an infant laboratory for the study of the development of voluntary action
  • numerous experimental testing rooms for the study of young and old healthy subjects and patients

Your own laboratory

Master’s students of this specialisation are provided with their own laboratory including six testing rooms, dedicated work places for the development of psychological experiments, and a discussion room.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Psychology (research)
  • Degree Master of Science in Psychology (research)
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September and February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60395

What our alumni say

Jonne Oldenburg, PhD student Ghent University

“I wanted to know what makes people tick and to understand their behaviour.”

“I started studying psychology because I was interested in people. I wanted to know what makes them tick, to understand their behaviour. At first my idea was to do this through talking to them as a clinical psychologist. However, during my studies I became more and more interested in doing research on the brain and its workings, because of the fundamental role it plays in determining behaviour and the many mysteries still surrounding it. It was this interest that led me to enroll in the Research Master’s programme in Psychology, a choice that to this day has not once disappointed me.

I am currently a PhD student at Ghent University. I’m doing research in cognitive neuroscience, linking brain activation to behaviour, and so furthering our understanding of human nature. Without the Research Master’s this would not have been possible. It taught me very important research skills and enabled me to do an elaborate internship, equipping me with invaluable assets for the career to which I aspired and in which I have, thanks to my training, already taken my first steps.”

Find your master's at Leiden University