Course information




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

Understanding the relationship between brain, cognition and behaviour is one of the biggest challenges the scientific community is currently working on. Computational cognitive neuroscience is a young and exciting discipline that tackles these long-standing research questions by integrating computer modelling with experimental research.

This Masters programme will foster a new generation of scientists who will be trained in both neuro-computational modelling as well as cognitive neuroscience. Its core topics include:

  • Creating computational/mathematical models of neurons, circuits and cognitive functions
  • The fundamentals of cognitive neuroscience (brain mechanisms and structures underlying cognition and behaviour)
  • Advanced data analysis and neuroimaging techniques

The programme is suitable for students from a variety of disciplines including – but not limited to – psychology, computing, neuroscience, engineering, biology, maths and physics. Students with no prior programming experience are welcome.

Graduates of this Masters will acquire a unique set of complementary skills that will make them extremely competitive in securing research or analyst positions in both academia and industry.

Why study this course?

  • This cutting-edge programme is at the forefront of a new, rapidly emerging field of research.
  • It is multidisciplinary, conveying the theory and practice of computational and cognitive neurosciences.
  • You can do your final research project in collaboration with a variety of international companies, paving the way for employment and internship opportunities​. Currently, our panel of industrialists includes representatives from Sony Japan, Bayer, Filament, Vungle, LiquidWeb, and AISat.
  • Graduates of this programme will gain a competitive edge in the job market over graduates of other, standard programmes in related fields.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Max Garagnani or Maria Herrojo-Ruiz.

What you'll study

You will study the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Foundations of Neuroscience 15 credits
  Statistical Methods 15 credits
  Cortical Modelling 15 credits
  Cognitive Neuroscience 15 credits
  Modelling Cognitive Functions 15 credits
  Advanced Quantitative Methods 15 credits

You will also undertake a 60 credit research project investigating an aspect of cognitive neuroscience using computational modelling, advanced data analysis methods, or a combination of these techniques. Culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation, the project will be carried out by combining the computational, experimental and data analysis skills that students will acquire over Term 1 and 2.

Option modules

You will choose one option from the following two modules:

Module title Credits
  Data Programming 15 credits
  Introduction to coding with MATLAB 15 credits

You will also choose one of the following options:

Module title Credits
  Neural Networks 15 credits
  Machine Learning 15 credits
  Natural Computing 15 credits
  Research Design and Analysis 15 credits
  Critical Analysis 15 credits
  Physical Computing 1 15 credits
  Behavioural Genetics 15 credits
  Artificial Intelligence 15 credits

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

First or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent undergraduate degree) in a relevant discipline. Applicants might also be considered if they aren’t a graduate or their degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can demonstrate the ability to work at postgraduate level.

A-levels in Science, Computer Science or Mathematics

Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Depending on previous background and experience, applicants may be required to take one or more pre-sessional courses (for example in programming, statistics, or maths) prior to the start of the programme. These courses will be free to MSc offer holders.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

The fees for 2021 will be made available soon, but for reference these were the fees for 2020.

  • Home - full-time: £10450
  • Home - part-time: £5225
  • EU - full-time: £10450
  • EU - part-time: £5225
  • International - full-time: £15500

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How to apply



Graduates of this programme will gain the following skills and knowledge:

  • A sound understanding of brain mechanisms and structures underlying cognition and behaviour
  • Understanding of how memory, attention and decision-making work
  • Knowledge or experience of experimental cognitive neuroscience methods
  • Skills in statistical data analysis
  • Knowledge of theory and practice of biologically constrained neural models of human brain function
  • Computer programming skills
  • Research, analytical, communication and software skills 


While studying your programme you will have access to the Goldsmiths Careers Service, who can give you tailored advice according to your own skills and interests. You can also seek advice from the tutors on your course.

When researching career opportunities, you may find it useful to visit the websites of professional bodies such as the Federation of European Neuroscience SocietiesNational Bernstein Network Computational NeuroscienceCognitive Neuroscience Society Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) and the Organisation for Computational Neurosciences.

Computational cognitive neuroscience graduates have a range of career options including:

  • Academic – take part in teaching and academic research in the field
  • Artificial intelligence – in a range of roles such as machine learning engineer or data scientist
  • Clinical engineer – designing, developing and maintaining equipment for diagnosing illnesses and treating patients
  • Communications – developing communications technologies as a communications engineer
  • Data analyst – providing insight and analysis of data in a range of sectors
  • Linguistics analysis – in areas such as speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, natural language processing, user research and computer-mediated language learning 
  • Programming, Systems Analysis and Software – in areas such as games design, Human-Computer Interface (HCI) design and Software design and development
  • Scientific research – in a variety of fields such as health and pharmaceutical research, and neural network applications
  • Various roles in the IT sector

You may also choose to extend and deepen your academic study by undertaking a PhD in computational cognitive neuroscience or a related field.


Programme leaders

Dr Maria Herrojo-Ruiz

Maria’s research focuses on the processes and brain mechanisms mediating learning and monitoring of sensorimotor sequences, both in healthy human subjects and in patients with movement disorders.  She uses electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and intra-craneal recordings to investigate the brain activity along cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits.

Dr Max Garagnani

Max’s research lies at the intersection of computational and cognitive neuroscience. He focuses on the implementation of biologically-realistic neural network models closely mimicking the structure, connectivity, and physiology of the human cortex. These models are applied to simulate and explain the cortical mechanisms underlying the spontaneous emergence of cognitive function - especially, language, but also, memory, attention, and “free” decisions.


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