Below you can find a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with associated answers, that apply to any topic related to the Neuroscience and Cognition Master's programme. Please click on the question of your choice and the corresponding answer will appear.
Do you have a question that is not listed here? Please don’t hesitate to fill in the contact form.
The disciplinary two-year Master’s programme Neuroscience and Cognition offers you the opportunity to investigate numerous areas of brain functioning that make the field of neuroscience uniquely intriguing and challenging. This research Master trains you to become a neuro-, and/or cognition scientist, fully equipped to face the challenges of modern research in the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience and cognition. With ample knowledge of the brain and its cognitive functioning, you will be prepared to join an international research team investigating the most complex organ of the human body.
The Neuroscience and Cognition research Master at Utrecht University enables you to experience a unique combination of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and basic neurosciences. This is brought forth by the association of the Master’s programme with seven faculties or departments and three large research institutes, including the Faculty of Medicine (Rudolf Magnus Institute), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (Helmholtz Institute Utrecht), Faculty of Humanities (Utrecht Institute of Linguistics), the Department of Biology, and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This allows for the investigation of the functions and organisation of the nervous system as a whole and offers students a superior Master’s programme that bridges fundamental and clinical research. Utrecht University is furthermore known for its excellent infrastructural environment with the latest developments in human and rodent functional neuroimaging, deep-sequencing of human genetic material, and state-of-the-art techniques in basic neuroscience. Last but definitely not least, this research Master offers the possibility of two extensive research projects that provide the opportunity to learn and train topic-related techniques and let you experience how it is to be a researcher. This offers students the best route to become a successful researcher.
Students can enrol in this two-year Master’s programme at the start of each academic year. The programme admits a maximum of 55 students each year. You will be considered for admission if you hold a bachelor degree in one of the following programmes: Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Linguistics, Medicine, Pharmacology, Physics, Psychobiology, Psychology, or Veterinary Medicine. The Master’s programme will also take into account your motivational letter, grade point average, marks for relevant courses, study progress, and extracurricular activities.
More information on the page Application.
The Cognitive Neuroscience (CN track) focuses on the relation between the central nervous system and cognitive abilities, ranging from perception and action, via social behaviour, to language processing. It does so by designing clever behavioural experiments and combining this with a variety of brain related techniques, such as fMRI, EEG, TMS, and patient lesion methodology.
The Experimental and Clinical Neurosciencen (ECN) track focuses on research into the development, functioning, adaptations, and pathologies of the central and peripheral nervous system. The course content examines these topics on the molecular, cellular, network, and behavioural levels, thereby focussing on patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions as well as the associated animal models.
More information on the page Educational programme.
The selection of internships is done under supervision of the track coordinator. You can contact the coordinator and arrange a meeting, in which he/she can advise where to look or whom to contact based on your interests. You can also contact a lecturer that gave an interesting lecture in the Fundamentals course, contact a senior researcher for a brief meeting, or search the websites of the three research institutes associated with the Master’s programme:
Keep in mind that you can either choose an internship for methodological reasons (i.e. you want to learn a new research method or technique) or because you are specifically interested in a certain topic or domain.
More information on the page Educational programme.
Once you found an internship, you have to fill in the General Application Form. This form can be downloaded on the website of the Graduate School of Life Sciences (studyguidelifesciences.nl). This form needs to be signed by both the track coordinator and the Examination Committee. Upon approval, you will receive an email of the Examination Committee that you can start with your internship. Make sure you have this arranged at least one month before the start of the internship.
Suitable places to work abroad can be found via the internet, via UU or UMCU staff members, or via your programme coordinator. Before you choose, always consult your programme coordinator. Additionally, you have to find an examiner within the UU/UMCU. Have your examiner sign both your General Application Form and your internship contract (studyguidelifesciences.nl/documents). If you would like to study abroad, we strongly advise you to start six to nine months in advance, since there are many things that have to be arranged before you leave. You are responsible for arranging your own visa, accommodation, insurance, and financial support, however you can always ask your supervisor for help. There is a special document available for master students with all practical instructions for international internships.
Your writing assignment can be either a literature review or a grant proposal. You are free in choosing the topic of your writing assignment. One critical rule is that the thesis should not overlap with the topic of the internships.
Each student can select a number of courses from a large series of available master courses in Utrecht or other Neuroscience master programs at a Dutch University. It is required that the course is at least offered at the master level. The selection of the courses is based on specific interest and is often done in consultation with the track coordinator. The electives are often done during the internships and/or writing of the thesis. Track-specific as well as general elective courses are being provided. An overview of all the courses can be found on the Utrecht University website.
Any advanced lecture within the field of Neuroscience and Cognition. For instance, RMI lectures / symposia, Helmholtz, and OTS lectures are likely candidates. Life Sciences seminars can also be followed. Moreover, conference talks, Mind the Brain symposium keynotes, NC Utrecht symposia, and ENP presentations are very suitable. Lab meetings on the other hand are not. Students have to write a brief summary (around one A4) about each seminar they have attended. The title and venue of the seminar should be clear. All seminar summaries should be included within a single document and have to be sent for approval to the track coordinator.
An overview of most latest seminars is provided on the website of the Journal of Neuroscience and Cognition: journal.neuroscience-cognition.org/seminars.
A Master’s degree in Neuroscience and Cognition offers you many career prospects. The majority of graduates continue as PhD students on to universities and research institutes, teaching hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, they may hold policy and management positions in the science, industry, and health care sectors.