The Master-of-Science programme "Cognitive Neuroscience" (CNS) is an interdisciplinary research-master programme that enrols students with a Bachelor degree in cognitive science, behavioural science, biomedical science, linguistics, or natural science. Cognitive neuroscience is the science of the cognitive and neural foundations of mental functions such as perception, action, language, memory, attention and emotion and is one of the key research areas of the Radboud University Nijmegen. Research in this field is carried out in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Future researchers in cognitive neuroscience are trained in the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience and the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences.
The Cognitive Neuroscience research profile of the Radboud University is characterized by four main topics: (1) language and communication, (2) perception, action and control, (3) learning, memory and plasticity, and (4) brain networks and neuronal communication. Language and communication research is carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Centre for Language Studies (CLS), and the Donders Centre for Cognition (DCC). Research on perception, action and control belongs to the core activities of the DCC and the Donders Centre for Neuroscience (DCN). Research on learning, memory and plasticity is conducted at the Donders Centre for Cogitive Neuroimaging (DCCN) and in research groups of the University Medical Center (UMC St. Radboud). Research on brain networks and neuronal communication is conducted at the Donders Centre for Neuroscience (DCN). In all these areas, the Radboud University Nijmegen is recognized for the quality of its research, which is of the highest international standards.
The two-year MSc CNS programme has four specialisations that fully correspond to the abovementioned research lines of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, viz.: (1) Language and Communication, (2) Perception, Action and Control, (3) Learning, Memory and Plasticity and (4) Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication. The programme is an excellent opportunity for students who want to prepare themselves for a career as a researcher. Next to coursework, the programme offers the student many opportunities for hands-on research experience. The MSc CNS-programme is internationally oriented. All courses are in English.
The MSc CNS programme amounts to 120 EC points. In the first year, 60 EC are devoted to ten compulsory core courses and one skill training course. In the second year, the research project conducted amounts to 45 EC, with an additional 12 EC reserved for elective courses, plus one skill training course. Compulsory common courses for all students, regardless of specialisation, include Neuroimaging 1 (6 EC), Lab rotations (3 EC), Trends in Cognitive Neuroscience (6 EC), and Neurophilosophy (6 EC) and one of the two Neuroimaging 2 courses (6 EC). Although it is expected that the choice of your Neuroimaging 2 course (i.e., haemodynamic or electrophysiological methods) depends on your preferred experimental method during your internship, this dependency is not obligatory. The second year is largely dedicated to gaining hands-on research experience in one of the participating research institutes and research groups. The second year will be completed by a Master Thesis and publication in the student journal of the MSc Cognitive Neuroscience (Nijmegen CNS Proceedings of the Cognitive Neuroscience Master of the Radboud University). Table 1 specifies the general framework of the programme.
MSc CNS courses provide coursesites on the Internet, mostly in Blackboard, on which the lecturers provide essential information of their courses. In addition, the CNS programme has a Communitysite on Blackboard on which both lecturers and students can find helpful information like the EER (Education and Examination Regulations), guidelines for research projects, checklists, news, mailing lists, minutes of meetings, etc. Students are advised to check the MSc CNS Communitysite regularly.
Table 1. General framework of the MSc Cognitive Neuroscience
|FIRST YEAR|| |
|Theoretical Training|| EC||Practical Training|| EC|
|- General (compulsory)|| ||- General (compulsory)|| |
|1. Trends in CNS|| 6||5. Research Project|| 45|
|2. Neuroimaging 1|| 6|| || |
|3. Neurophilosophy|| 6|| || |
|4. Lab rotations|| 3|| || |
| || || || |
| Choose one of the two|| || || |
| Neuroimaging II courses:|| 6|| || |
| - Electrophysiological Methods || || || |
| - Haemodynamic methods|| || || |
| || || || |
|- Specialisation|| ||- Choice|| |
|Five Core CNS courses|| 30 ||Two Elective CNS courses|| 12 |
| || || || |
|Skill Training (two out of four)|| || || |
|1. Neuroanatomy|| 3||5. Structural Equation Modeling || 3 |
|2. Advanced Math || 3 ||6. Dynamics of complex Systems|| 3 |
|3. Data Analysis|| 3 ||7. Academic Writing|| 3|
|4. Multilevel analysis|| 3 || || |
| || || || |
|Total|| 60 ||Total || 60|