The degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human Sciences is a newly established 2-year Master course coordinated by the Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences of the University of Pavia (DBBS), and by the Cognitive, Social and Behavioral Sciences Area of the University School for Advanced Studies (IUSS). This degree has its roots within the Italian Department of Excellence network and it is at the same time an Italian Laurea magistrale in Psicologia (LM-51) thus allowing all students to receive the qualification for the compulsory postgraduate training leading to the Albo degli Psicologi (Italian register for clinical psychology professionals).

This Master Degree is a didactic course of excellence providing high-level training and courses, specifically focused on the interaction between psychology, neuroscience and the many human and social sciences disciplines that are more and more connected to the investigation of the human brain and behavior.

While standard psychological courses are provided (including, for example, Experimental Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology, and Cognitive Development courses), students may also choose one or more specific curriculum including selected specialization courses. These curricula include:

  • Social and Forensic Neuroscience (coordinated by Gabriella Bottini and Nicola Canessa), comprising exams such as Forensic Neuroscience, Neuroeconomics, Social Cognition or Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • Neurophilosophy (coordinated by Michele Di Francesco), comprising exams such as Philosophy of Mind, Logic or Epistemology
  • Neurolinguistics (coordinated by Stefano Cappa and Andrea Moro), comprising exams such as Neurolinguistics, Neuropragmatics, Language Acquisition and Degeneration or Psychology of Learning Disabilities
  • Neurocomputation (coordinated by Egidio D’Angelo), comprising exams such as Neural Modelling and Computation, Neurophysiology or MRI Physics for Neuroscience. This curriculum is organized in collaboration with the Human Brain Project European research network.
  • Psychology of Music (coordinated by Tomaso Vecchi), comprising exams such as Psychology of Music, Neuroscience of Music or Development of Musical Abilities. This curriculum is organized in collaboration with the Neuromusic Network and the Fondazione Pierfranco and Luisa Mariani

Additional Practical Courses, Laboratories, and Individual Training Activities will be provided in university settings, or in association with different Hospitals operating in the Area (Mondino Neurological Foundation, Maugeri Foundation, Ca’ Granda Niguarda Hospital in Milan).

Information about selection and enrollment are available on our website and students may have a confirmation by May 2019. Courses will start October 1, 2019.

About us

The Master degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human Sciences is coordinated by the Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences of the University of Pavia (DBBS), and by the Cognitive, Social and Behavioral Sciences Area of the University School for Advanced Studies (IUSS).

The DBBS integrate all neurological, neuroscientific, psychiatric and psychological competencies present at the University of Pavia, strictly connected with the C. Mondino National Neurological Institute. This new integrated research center has been established in 2012 in order to expand and support teaching and research activities in the psychological and neuroscientific domains. Since its foundation, the DBBS has always received the highest evaluations for both didactic and scientific qualities: it is consistently among the top-3 psychological institutions in Italy.

The Cognitive, Social and Behavioral Sciences Area of the IUSS has started its activities in 2010 and reached a fully operational level during 2014. The original activities in theoretical linguistics and neurolinguistics have been integrated with additional research areas in cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, epistemology, economics, and social sciences. The unifying element of the area is a global conception of the human sciences, which, starting from the biological basis, extends to psychological processes, to formal philosophical reflection and to the study of the social and economic contexts. This approach is carried out through interdisciplinary research programs in privileged areas such as language, decision-making and the philosophy of mind.

Both DBBS and IUSS in 2017 received the status of “Department of Excellence” by the Italian National Ranking System.

Historical background and future perspectives

The University of Pavia and the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia are the key steps of a long-lasting higher education process started in 825 A.C. when Lotharius I, Emperor of the Romans and King of Italy, appointed Pavia, the ancient capital of the Lombard kingdom, as the site for higher education. This process went through the foundation – in 1361 by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV – of the Studium Generale, later on, named “University of Pavia”, and it later became the sole University of the Duchy of Milan. After the decadence during the Spanish domination, the University prestige was restored by Maria Theresa Sovereign of Austria and Holy Roman Empress.

Just to focus on science, we can mention a few of the famous professors who taught at the University of Pavia: Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576), who invented the “cardanic joint”, a fundamental mechanical device; Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), the inventor of the battery; Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832), who gave his name to many anatomical parts such as “the Scarpa triangle”, and the Nobel Laureate Camillo Golgi (1843-1926), who invented the so-called “black reaction”, which, for the first time, displayed the ramified structure of nerve cells, and discovered many microstructures including the famous “Golgi complex”. The Pavia University system provides a unique offer for more than 20.000 students, including a choice of University colleges. Among them: the “Almo Collegio Borromeo” and the “Collegio Ghislieri”, established in the 16th centuries. There are now fifteen colleges, hosting almost 2.000 students, and they offer a unique opportunity for study and cultural enrichment in a multidisciplinary and multiethnic environment. Through centuries the University of Pavia became one of the leading institutions in Europe. It is worth mentioning that at the beginning of the human nervous system investigation, early 19th century, Pavia was probably the worldwide leading institution for neuroscience. Not only Golgi received the Nobel prize for his “Black reaction” discovery but many other researchers contribute to an enormous number of scientific critical studies, including the discovery of serotonin, by researchers such as Vittorio Erspamer, Ottorino Rossi, Casimiro Mondino and many others. The Camillo Golgi Neuroscience museum is still present and open to the public at the University of Pavia. This longstanding tradition has now a new future under the Human Brain Project, a flagship European decennial project where the DBBS is one of the leading coordination centers in Europe.

Since 1997, IUSS fulfills an advanced teaching and research model successfully implemented by two other prestigious institutions in Italy, the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa. The core mission of IUSS is that of contributing to the growth of a small number of students, selected among five University colleges, by offering them, at any step of their higher education, qualified programs at an international level enhancing their capabilities and knowledge in an interdisciplinary fashion depending on the choices, the specific fields and outstanding qualifications of the professors constituting the Faculty. IUSS is also committed to scientific progress by promoting Ph.D. programs and developing research activities at an international level. The connection between the Pavia college system and the Degree in Neuroscience and Human Sciences is very strict and a number of positions will be allocated specifically to highly motivated students enrolled in the Master Degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human Sciences.

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Last updated April 10, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Oct 1, 2019
2 years
3,500 EUR
For EU students fees are based on students' family income. They range from about 160 euro to 3500 euro per year. For non-EU students a flat rate is determined according to the Country of citizenship and range from 400 euro to 3500 euro.
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By date
Start Date
Oct 1, 2019
End Date
July 1, 2021
Application deadline

Oct 1, 2019

Application deadline
End Date
July 1, 2021