MSc in Psychology - Cognitive Neuroscience (Research)




What will I learn?

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.

What does this master's programme entail?

This two-year master's programme has a strong hands-on approach with numerous practical courses. The programme offers a thorough training in the methodological and practical skills necessary to carry out scientific research on human behaviour. You will have ample opportunity to get in touch with and work with top researchers and excel in the area of your choice. In addition, you will be trained in a multi-layered, theory-driven approach to processes of self-regulation. You are also trained in a broad multi-layered, theoretically-driven approach to processes of self-regulation.

Reasons to choose Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University

  • A Research Master's degree will give you a great perspective on a future in research within the public or private sector.
  • A Research Master's degree is the perfect way to prepare for a PhD programme.
  • Because only the most talented and motivated students will be admitted to the Research Master's track, you will be guaranteed to be challenged during your studies.
  • Because the Research Master is a two-year academic programme, you really have the possibility to delve deep into psychological theories about the subjects that interest you the most. This is also a great way to develop your research skills.

Cognitive Neuroscience: the right programme for you?

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.

Career prospects

A master's degree in Psychology at Leiden University combines theoretical knowledge with academic and professional skills, making you an attractive candidate for many employers.

Skills after graduation

Students who choose to take the Research Master’s track Cognitive Neuroscience acquire in-depth knowledge of the psychological, computational, and neuroscientific bases of human cognition. Key topics include the integration of perception and action, the relationship between cognitive, affective and social processes, the way perceptual and value-based decisions are made, and neuromodulatory influences on cognition.

Staff members in the Cognitive Psychology Unit use a wide variety of methods, including EEG, fMRI, pharmacology, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and computational modeling. Master students in the Cognitive Neuroscience track are encouraged to play an active role in ongoing behavioural and neuroscientific research.

Where do our former students work?

The master’s programme provides an ideal preparation for students who want to continue with an academic career and obtain a PhD in psychology. The research master’s programme also prepares students for positions where basic or applied psychological research is used to support the development of corporate or public policy. These include research agencies such as TNO, NIA, IOWO, as well as private firms (e.g. software and hardware development, safety control), municipal, and governmental (SCP) institutions focusing on research and consultancy.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (15,65,433) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2023


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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