MSc in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (research)

General

Program Description

University of Groningen

Are you interested in the neural basis of cognition, the mechanisms of neurodegeneration or the evolution of behavior?

In this program, you can study the function and mechanisms of the brain and behavior from three different perspectives:

  • Animal and Human Behavioural Neurosciences (B-track)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling (C-track)
  • Molecular and Clinical Neuroscience (N-track)

In these tracks, you will deepen your knowledge of the aims and methods of your chosen domain (See “Programme” for more info). In addition, thanks to integrated courses and links between tracks, you will get a unique opportunity to acquire multi-disciplinary skills and training in the neurosciences.

The main focus of this Research Master is to train students to become independent researchers. For this purpose, a large portion of the program is devoted to two research projects (in total 70 ECTS) in which the students are embedded in research groups to conduct their own experiments. Students are encouraged to perform one of these research projects abroad.

The BCN Research Master is one of the best Neuroscience master programs of the Netherlands (Dutch Higher Education Guide 2017 - Keuzegids Masters 2017).

Admission to the program is selective, based on the applicant’s academic credentials and motivation (See “Admission and application” for details).

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label (Keuzegids Masters 2017)
  • Excellent research facilities including University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), NeuroImaging Center and Centre for Life Sciences
  • More than 75% enrolment in Ph.D. projects after graduation
  • Integrated teaching by top researchers from three faculties in small groups
  • Students collaborate in stable cohorts during the 2 years

Program

Curriculum

2-year program; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended

Exchange: All our science and engineering programs offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, the UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programs have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Language test

English proficiency at VWO level is required.

Previous education

A Bachelor's degree in the Life Sciences, (Molecular) Biology, Medicine, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or related programs. The Admissions Board determines whether the content of the previous degree program meets the admission requirements.

Reference letter

Please provide us with the names of two qualified referees, preferably the supervisor of your BSc thesis.

Written request

Please make sure that your motivation letter addresses the following points:

  • The motivation for the BCN Research Master
  • Preferred track and motivation for this track
  • Discuss your previous relevant coursework and/or research experience
  • Future career goals
Other admission requirements

The BCN research master is a selective MSc program. After you have registered, your application will be passed on to the Admissions Board of the program. Students will be informed about the decision of the Admission Board before 1 June.

International diploma

Specific requirements More information
Additional subject

Admission to this program is selective. A limited number of students can be accepted. Successful applicants are scientifically and academically driven and have high grades in relevant courses, demonstrated interest (e.g. research experience) in behavioral and cognitive neurosciences, and good oral and written communication skills.

Application deadlines are listed below. Since applications are evaluated on a rolling basis until May 1, you do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Previous education

A Bachelor's degree in the Life Sciences, (Molecular) Biology, Medicine, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or related programs. The Admissions Board determines whether the content of the previous degree program meets the admission requirements.

Written request

Please make sure that your motivation letter addresses the following points:

  • The motivation for the BCN Research Master
  • Preferred track and motivation for this track
  • Discuss your previous relevant coursework and/or research experience
  • Future career goals

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

01 May 2021

01 September 2021

EU/EEA students

01 May 2021

01 September 2021

non-EU/EEA students

01 May 2021

01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 17500 full-time

Job prospects

As a graduate of this program, you can work as a researcher, both in the academic world and in other fields. Because of their multi-disciplinary training, graduates of this degree positively distinguish themselves: you can easily grasp the bigger picture and are able to familiarize yourself with new fields and methodologies quickly.

Job examples

  • Ph.D. Research Position
  • Participate in astronomical research projects
  • Professions dealing with astronomical instrumentation and informatics

Research

Becoming an expert in one specific track

This program is characterized by its interactive setting with a strong accent on scientific research, offering the unique chance of truly multidisciplinary education, while becoming an expert in one specific track.

This research master program concentrates on three focal and closely related areas of particular strength within Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN):

Animal and Human Behavioural Neurosciences (B-track)

Designed for students who are familiar with the theoretical foundations and basics of behavioral research. They follow the "four why's" of the evolution, function, causation, and development of behavior.

Thorough evolutionary insight is necessary for guiding the causal analysis of behavior, just as we cannot understand its evolution without physiological knowledge. Hence we link the functional and physiological analysis of behavior. This holds also for human behavior where particular emphasis is placed on evolutionary psychology. Development of behavior is a further key to understand the complex regulation of behavior in adulthood, the origins of individuality and the constraints and plasticity in behavioral adaptation.

The coordinator of the B-track is Prof. Anton Scheurink.

Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling

This research track focuses on cognitive processing from psychological, neurological and modeling perspectives.

The psychological aspect is covered in expert courses on psychological phenomena such as learning, memory, and attention. The neurological aspects entail specialized courses on neuroscience, both from functional, clinical and biological perspectives and training in different methodologies (e.g., fMRI, TMS, EEG) to study brain processes. The modeling aspect focuses on the abstract characterization of cognitive processing. These characterizations can take the form of statistical or computational models. This enables researchers to establish causal relations between behavioral and neurological phenomena and cognitive theories.

The coordinator of the C-track is dr. M.R. (Mark) Nieuwenstein.

Molecular and Clinical Neuroscience (N-track)

The Neuroscience track is designed for students interested in molecular mechanisms of brain function and of the neuropathology of diseases.

The brain and the central nervous system are the key players in behavior and cognition. The program focuses on molecular and functional neurosciences, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, neuro-inflammatory processes and stem cell biology. The courses emphasize the anatomy of the nervous system, neurotransmission and transduction cascades, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, and neuropathology. The latest insights in Parkinson's disease, sleep, and sleep disorders, obesity, aggression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, and stroke-related pathology will be discussed.

The coordinator of the N-track is Dr. Liesbeth Veenhoff.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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