MA in Cognitive Semiotics

Aarhus University

Program Description

MA in Cognitive Semiotics

Aarhus University


Humans experience things as meaningful; we learn by experience, we think, reason, and find new insight. We also, in addition to comprehending meaningful phenomena, constantly produce meaning through communication, science and art. On the MA in Cognitive Semiotics, we study how meaning is created in every sense of the word, whether in perception, thought, or language.

The goal of the programme is to enable our students to come up with well-substantiated answers to questions such as: What are the essential characteristics of meaning construction? How does it work in language, in perception, in our interaction with the natural world, and in the social world?

Students acquire a solid, operational knowledge of the most important aspects of meaning making, and since human meaning construction is found in all the areas of our daily lives and activities, the programme is very transdisciplinary.


The programme consists of five main modules: the Cognition and Semiotics module, the Cognitive Linguistics module, the Mind and Cognition module, the Cognitive Aesthetics module, and the Experimental Cognition module.


Our aim is not just to deliver research-based instruction, but to do ‘instruction-based research’ – in other words, to give competent students the opportunity to actively contribute to ongoing research projects and participate in organising and making presentations at conferences.

Similarly, we expect students to be rationally questioning, constructively critical, active, eager for knowledge, and hard-working. We know that we have the framework for a highly qualified and insight-giving education in human meaning construction. But it is the students who make sense of the framework, by filling it with commitment, enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity. Anyone who fulfils these criteria is welcome at the Centre for Semiotics. In return, we promise to take your education a very important step further.


The MA in Cognitive Science is taught at the Centre for Semiotics in a very international and informal environment. Our extensive network of international contacts means that we regularly have visits and seminars from academics who can impart expert knowledge in many areas including cognitive science, classic and modern semiotics, philosophy, cognitive psychology and linguistics, and aesthetics. The Faculty of Arts and Aarhus University also organise a wide range of events for students including lectures, student fairs, career days, seminars, celebrations and sports days.


Graduates of the MA in Cognitive Semiotics have gone on to pursue careers in fields as diverse as communication, advertising, and marketing. Some graduates also move on into teaching or research.

“I met five students from this programme at a student conference. They all presented very different topics, relating to cognitive aspects of film, narrative, language etc., but all were equally interesting and using a common framework. That’s why I decided to sign up - because this programme allowed me to study the things I was already interested in, but from a new perspective. It is also a place where I got the feeling that anyone can learn anything at any age, if they really want it.”


4+4 (MA/PhD) Student, MA in Cognitive Semiotics, from Germany

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 4, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
8,000 EUR
Start date Sept. 2017
Denmark Aarhus
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 8,000 EUR
Tuition fee per year; EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: FREE