MA Cognitive Studies

Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Renowned academics and an exceptional range of options make Sheffield one of the best places in the world for this subject.

Our style of teaching encourages originality and independence of mind. You will learn how to express complex ideas clearly, how to argue persuasively for those ideas and you will also learn to understand other points of view.

Our international teaching team includes Jennifer Saul, Eric Olson and Angie Hobbs, the UK's first Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy.

You'll be part of a large group of students from all over the world. You'll socialise together, share ideas and inspire each other.

About the course

This course offers an opportunity to explore this cutting-edge field, where philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science and anthropology come together to discover how the mind works.

You'll be based in the Department of Philosophy but you're free to take any MA module in the departments of Archaeology, Human Communication Sciences, Linguistics and Psychology.

We also encourage you to join the iCog network and take part in events run by the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies.

You'll write a long essay for each module and a dissertation. If you’re going on to a PhD, you may choose to write a PhD proposal.

Core modules

  • Cognitive Studies Seminar
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Other modules include:

  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Current Issues in Psychological Research
  • Evolutionary Primatology
  • Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Hominid Palaeontology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Mind and Language Research Seminar
  • Philosophy of Psychology


  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials


  • A long essay for each module
  • Dissertation
  • PhD proposal (for students intending to continue to a PhD)

Apply now

Briana Toole, postgraduate student in the Department of Philosophy

Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a first-class or 2:1 honours degree.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

If you qualify, you may be able to get financial support through the University's studentships and fee waivers, and the AHRC Block Grant Partnership.

Department of Philosophy postgraduate funding opportunities

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Your career

A masters from Sheffield will set you apart and is excellent preparation for a PhD at any leading university, or for a wide range of careers, including teaching, law, publishing, civil service, charities, and NGOs, among others.

Our postgraduate students have gone on to academic posts at Aberdeen, UC Berkeley, Birkbeck, Cambridge, Essex, Keele, Kent, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Manitoba, Newcastle, Nottingham, the Open University, Oxford, Sheffield, Stirling and Zurich.

Our style of teaching encourages originality and independence of mind.

Our graduates have the confidence and the focus to tackle big projects. And they know how to carry out their own research.

A lively study environment

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks us 2nd in the UK for the quality of our published work.

We want your time here to be rewarding, a positive experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

We have expertise in almost every area of the subject, particularly philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophical logic, philosophy of psychology, history of philosophy, political philosophy, metaethics and feminist philosophy.

The department is also home to The Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies and a number of major research projects.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

Joanne Renshaw
T: +44 (0)114 222 0587