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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Computational Cognitive Science
Header image Computational Cognitive Science

Computational Cognitive Science

How can we model human task performance? How do our brains combine visual and auditory information? What is the ideal patient monitor for a tired emergency doctor?

The Master's degree programme in Computational Cognitive Science (CCS) focuses on cognitive (neuro)science and its applications. CCS provides you with insights into human cognition, language and the brain and teaches you to use this knowledge in applied settings, such as human-computer interaction and computerized learning tools. For example, by leveraging knowledge of human cognition, you can optimize how an Artificial Intelligence system communicates with the human user, develop virtual reality applications for education or develop simulation models of human task performance.

Two questions form the basis for this programme:

  • How do human cognition and the human brain work?
  • How can we use this knowledge in applied settings?

To answer these questions, you have to know how humans perform tasks and how this affects potential interactions. How do humans acquire new skills and how do they learn to adapt to a new task? In addition, it is important to think about how humans communicate and apply this to human-machine communication. Language is a natural way of human communication, and this may or may not be a good choice for communication with a machine, depending on the circumstances.

Facts & Figures
MSc in Computational Cognitive Science
Course type
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Science and Engineering
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • This programme is unique in its formal approach to the study of cognitive neuroscience and its applications. It therefore combines Cognitive science and modeling; Artificial Intelligence; Computational neuroscience; Language modeling and Human-AI interaction.
  • Our students in particular value the scientific approach in this programme


2-year programme; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

For the complete curriculum, please see:

Programme options
Cognitive Engineering (specialization)
Cognitive Language Modeling (specialization)
Cognitive Modeling (specialization)
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience (specialization)
HTSM Honours Master (honours program)

This Master's degree programme gives access to the additional, highly selective, High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) Honours Master.

The HTSM Honours Master is organized in cooperation with Philips and other major industry partners.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Exchange is possible, for example as part of your Master thesis. All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Artificial IntelligenceAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

Access to be decided by the admissions board

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Artificial IntelligenceUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Information ScienceUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
PsychologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Students with a BSc in psychology who have sufficient programming experience and have passed the course Architectures of Intelligence can be admitted.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

BEFORE YOU APPLY! Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at: for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

language test

MAKE SURE TO VISIT for all the necessary information about required language tests and minimum scores.

previous education

A Bachelor's degree in Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or a relevant degree including the following subjects: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology or Cognitive Science, Statistics and Research methods, practical skills in Programming.

This is merely an indication of required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master programme for which you applied.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.


In cooperation with major national and international companies we welcome students with several scholarships

ASML Scholarship: ASML is one of the world's leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. The €5000 p/y scholarship is awarded every year to 25 exceptional students, who get the chance to become a Technology Ambassador within their scholarship period. More information can be found here:

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 18850full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Once you have obtained your Master's degree, you can then use your skills in industrial research and development departments or usability labs, where you make sure that knowledge about human thinking and acting is used as early as possible in the design process.

In companies where computer software and new media applications are made, user interface design experts, usability testers and interaction designers are needed.

You could also choose to find a job at a research institute where you work as a researcher. This can be done at a university (PhD studentship) or at a research institute like TNO. About 50% of our students choose a career as a scientist, mostly as PhD student.

Job examples

  • Work for a startups to develop smart software
  • Interaction designer
  • Usability tester
  • Software developer
  • PhD research position

Interdisciplinary in nature

Within the Master's degree programme Computational Cognitive Science, much of the research is connected to the department of Artificial Intelligence and the research institute Bernoulli. Most of the teachers in the Master's programme are affiliated with the Bernoulli Institute and the content of the courses is closely linked to their research themes.

The mission of the Bernoulli Institute is to perform outstanding academic research and teaching in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence, and to maintain international leadership herein; to foster these disciplines as a living body of knowledge, and to make it relevant to society in its broadest sense. The symbiosis between pure and applied science, and between mono- and multidisciplinary research and teaching, is a distinguishing characteristic of our institute. As an important part of this mission we aim to transfer our results to other areas of science and technology, and initiate and expand inter- and multi-disciplinary research collaborations.

The following research groups within the institute focus on Artificial Intelligence:

The research in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering is inherently interdisciplinary in nature. With Computing Science, an interest in formal modeling is shared, where these models may be symbolic, statistical or hybrid in nature. With Psychology and Biology an interest in natural cognition is shared, where the goal is to describe fundamental qualities of cognition in such an explicit way that computational models of perceptual, cognitive, and behavioural control functions can be constructed.

Good ties with the research of other institutes at the University of Groningen

The master Computational Cognitive Science has strong ties with other institutes of the University of Groningen, such as the research institute for Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, the Heymans Institute for Experimental Psychology and the University Hospital.

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  • Academic Advisors FSE (For questions regarding the programme)
  • Study Science E-Mail (For students who are interested in a Campus Tour or who have other general questions)
    Email: studyscience
						Testimonial of Kai van Amsterdam

    My job is as multifaceted as the programme is

    – Kai van Amsterdam
    Read more

    'I got a job at the UMCG after writing a thesis on anaesthesia monitors. Anaesthesiologists view graphs on monitors during surgery. We wanted to develop a monitor that translates graphs into statistical patterns. It proved that anaesthesiologists cannot recognize these patterns. Maybe a computer can? Could a model predict what's going to happen next? This is the focus of my research.

    I also analyse data for the anaesthesia department. There is too much data for the physicians to process. You need to find the right balance of drugs for each patient, which is why it is important that physicians can make good use of the available data. My job is as multifaceted and practical as the programme was. I get to do research and I’m also involved in various projects!’

						Testimonial of Chris Janssen

    It is good to see that as a student I can already play a role in research and business

    – Chris Janssen
    Read more

    The Master Human-Machine Communication appealed to me because of its combined practical and fundamental programme. By studying the human mind and formalizing theories in computer models, you can test theories on a lot of aspects relatively easy.

    At the moment I work on a project to create a computer game in which players learn social skills. My role is to develop a digital teacher who can assess your level of skill for different training objectives and uses this to dynamically personalize the training. Besides the interesting topic of digital learning, the project is also very interesting as it is done together with a lot of companies. Knowing both some psychology and technology, helps me to play a bridging role between the different partners.

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Study associations


Cover is the study association for bachelor and master students studying Artificial Intelligence, Computing Science or Human Machine Communication at the University of Groningen. We organise many events, all aimed at having a good time, improving upon your education skills and your future career. On our website you can check out our agenda to see upcoming events!
Our association counts many committees which work together to organise career related events, create our yearbook, plan trips abroad, provide study support to fellow students and much more. Feel free to walk into the Cover room (Bernoulliborg 0041a) where you can join in on a game, ask for help with a course or just hang out!
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