Universitat de Barcelona

Cognitive Science and Language


Cognitive Science and Language is an inter-university, interdisciplinary postgraduate programme combining master's degree and doctoral levels that responds to the need to overcome the academic barriers between the different areas of cognitive science. The programme places a particular focus on speech perception and language acquisition, the syntactic and semantic processing involved in speech, the relationship between semantics and cognition, the logical structure of language and the epistemic and conceptual foundations of language study, computational analysis of language, and the relationship between the different areas of cognitive science.
This master's degree offers interdisciplinary education in three key areas of cognitive science: psychology, linguistics and philosophy. The course consists of a common module of basic subjects, a specialization module covering specific topics from each of the three key areas, and a module comprising optional subjects.
The goal of this degree is to give students the skills they will need to carry out a research project, which may be developed further under the doctoral programme and lead to the writing and defence of a doctoral thesis. The three areas of specialization in both the master's degree and the doctoral programme are overseen by the best lecturers and researchers at each of the participating universities, and renowned international specialists are continually invited to participate as guest lecturers.
This places the scientific education of the postgraduate programme in Cognitive Science and Language on a comparable level of quality to the leading postgraduate programmes in Europe, particularly in the interdisciplinary areas of cognitive science.

Learning objectives

The general objective of the master's degree in Cognitive Science and Language is to provide training to language researchers from three scientific perspectives: those of the linguist, the cognitive psychologist and the analytic philosopher. Interdisciplinary training in each of these areas will enable students to monitor and appraise new contributions in the other two areas.

Basic Information

Main university:
  • Universitat Barcelona
  • Universitat Barcelona
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Universitat Girona
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Number of ECTS credits awarded:
Language(s) of instruction:
 Catalan: 10%, Spanish: 10%, English: 80%
Number of places available:
Approximate price:
 27,67 euros per credit ( 82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2022-2023
Faculty or school:
  Faculty of Philosophy
Master's degree course homepage:
  Master's degree course homepage

Recommended applicant profile

Ideally, candidates will have prior training in one or more of the specializations (philosophy, psychology, linguistics) or in related disciplines (philology, translation and interpreting, humanities, biology, medicine, etc.) and a strong motivation to pursue further study in the area of cognitive science. Applicants must also have a good level of English (see below).

Admission requirements

In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/29 October 2007, students must hold one of the following qualifications to access university master's degree courses:
  • An official Spanish degree.
  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
  • A qualification from outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, the qualification should be recognized as equivalent to an official Spanish degree. If it is not recognized, the University of Barcelona shall verify that it corresponds to a level of education that is equivalent to official Spanish degrees and that it authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements

  • Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in psychology, philosophy, linguistics, translation and interpreting, or philology. Holders of a bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in a related discipline (humanities, biology, medicine, computer science, mathematics, etc.) may be required to complete up to 30 credits of bridging subjects, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
  • Commitment to conduct a significant piece of research, expressed in a statement indicating the candidate's interests and how these interests are related to the content of the programme.
  • Level of English equivalent to B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or higher.

Skills and competences

Basic competences:
On completion of the degree, students will be able to:
  • Display a capacity for original thinking in the development and/or application of ideas in a research context.
  • Apply the knowledge acquired during the course to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments related to the specific field of study.
  • Integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, giving due consideration to the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.
  • Present conclusions and the grounds on which they have been reached in a clear and concise manner.
  • Demonstrate the learning skills acquired to facilitate further learning requiring a more independent and self-directed approach.

General competences:
Successful students will also be able to:
  • Master the resources needed for research (languages of scientific interest, efficient information search, use of computer resources).
  • Display a capacity for the critical analysis of relevant scientific bibliography in a specific field of study and for the development of research work appropriate to the level demanded by the programme.

Specific competences:
With respect to the specific applications of their knowledge, students will be able to:
  • Show mastery of the principles and methods of linguistics, analytic philosophy and cognitive psychology, in order to apply them to the study of language, while displaying a capacity for critically evaluating the main contemporary contributions of these disciplines.
  • Describe linguistic phenomena clearly, capturing all of their complexity and using the necessary level of detail.
  • Display a capacity for extracting the logical form of arguments, evaluating their validity and identifying any fallacies or methodological errors, and make critical use of the methods for studying language appropriate to contemporary analytical philosophy (specialization in Logic and Philosophy).
  • Gather data and formulate analysis to solve problems in the areas of theoretical linguistics and computational linguistics (specialization in Grammatical Theory and Linguistic Processing).
  • Use and evaluate results obtained through the main exploration techniques in neuroscience, correctly design and carry out experimental research in cognitive science, and apply the statistical techniques needed to analyse the results correctly (specialization in Cognitive Processing Models).

Pre-enrolment calendar

- First period: 16 March - 27 May 2022.
Notification of resolutions: before 20 June.

- Second period: 31 May - 4 July 2022.
Notification of resolutions: before 20 July.

  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

Where to submit the documentation:
Documentation can be sent by email to master.ccil@ub.edu.

Scanned copies are accepted for the purposes of pre-enrolment only. To complete the final enrolment process, original copies of all documents are required.
For academic guidance and the selection of a specialization, students can contact one of the master's coordinators, preferably the coordinator in the preferred area of research and/or at the preferred university.
For administrative and other questions, students can contact master.ccil@ub.edu.

Selection criteria

The Admissions Committee evaluates candidates on the basis of the following criteria, weighted as shown:
  • Previous studies (50%)
  • Curriculum vitae and statement of interest (30%)
  • English language skills (20%)

When reviewing candidate's degrees in relation to the academic requirements, the Committee will assess the similarity of each degree to this master's degree as well as each candidate's academic record. If necessary, candidates may be asked to provide samples of their academic work or to attend a personal interview.


An Admissions Committee made up of representatives from the five participating universities select the candidates for admission to the programme. Students may be asked to attend a personal interview.


Open Enrolment