Master in Brain and Cognition


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

In a unique learning environment, you will examine cognitive and emotional processes in the brain.

Erasmus University

The Psychology curriculum consists of a series of modules or courses. Every course covers one specific psychological theme. All of the activities that you will undertake during this course, i.e. lectures, tutorials, practical meetings and assignments, are related to this theme. The Master’s programme consists of three courses in which you will study the topics of the specialisation of Brain and Cognition and one course in statistics.

In the second semester, from February onwards, you will conduct an empirical study and write your Master’s thesis. Please click on one of the courses in the programme overview below to see the course descriptions.

The curriculum is subject to alteration. No rights can be derived from this information.


  • Block 1
    • Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
    • Practical Neuroimaging
  • Block 2
    • Language and Brain
    • Practical Electrophysiology
  • Block 3
    • Concept and Categories
    • Practical Programming Experiments
  • Block 4
    • Applied Multivariate Data Analysis
    • Practical Applied Multivariate Data Analysis using SPSS
  • Block 5-8
    • Research Proposal and Thesis

Teaching method

Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a method that is based on the idea that the student plays an active role in the learning process (student-centred education). It is not about lecturing with the purpose of information transfer (as is the case in traditional educational systems). Instead, the aim is to stimulate the active participation of the student in small educational groups. Often, it is not the teacher who explains the study materials but the students themselves.

This student-centred approach stems from the constructivist vision on learning which states that the best way to deal with information is to actively construct knowledge instead of passively consuming it.

With Problem-Based Learning, you have a couple of collective lectures during which students listen to their lecturers. The tutorials are at the core of the PBL method. During the tutorials, students search for information which they subsequently discuss in small groups. The student uses his or her own knowledge as a basis for acquiring new knowledge. On average, there are twelve contact hours per week. This time is distributed over lectures, small group tutorial meetings and practical training. Students spend a large part of their time on self-study and resolving the problem (individually or in groups). Most students spend approximately 40 hours per week on their studies.

Why study Master Brain and Cognition

You will gain theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills to tackle questions with regard to brain functioning and cognitive-emotional processes. The training includes current theories and advanced research methodologies, such as behavioural tasks, eye tracking, EEG, fMRI and advanced statistics.

What is this specialisation about?

We are transported to an imaginary world when we read a story merely by looking at black marks on a white sheet of paper. We can rapidly decide if an animal is a cat or a dog, even though we have never seen a particular animal before. When something in our environment appears to be threatening, we automatically focus on its movement and shape rather than on its colour and other details.

Memory, language, categorisation and emotion are all cognitive functions. Sophisticated and theoretically motivated experimental studies can enable a better understanding of the way the brain operates while executing these functions.

The human brain has an immense capacity to process information and represent the outside world. As psychologists who study this field, we ask critical questions. An example of such a critical question is: how are the various brain structures involved in processing emotions, actions, language and concepts? By combining biological and cognitive perspectives on brain functioning we can try to answer this question.

Why study this Master’s programme in Rotterdam?

  • This is an intensive programme.
  • Problem-solving and working in small groups are key elements in this programme.
  • This first-rate programme offers thorough preparation for a career in education, business or research.

Why study in Rotterdam?

Welcome to the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), a highly ranked research university located in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Erasmus University was established in 1913. The university has become internationally recognised for its distinct social orientation in education and research.

Erasmus University Rotterdam. Make it happen.

Career opportunities for Master Brain and Cognition

Graduates of this programme have found positions in academia, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In addition, graduates work in research positions in health care, industry and in administration.

The Brain and Cognition specialisation prepares you for a successful career in academia or industry. Graduates of our programme have found positions in academia, both in the Netherlands and abroad (e.g. the UK or Australia), as well as in industry and in administration, working as, for instance, policy advisors.

Factsheet summary

  • Official CROHO name: Psychology
  • Programme name: Brain and Cognition
  • Instruction language: English
  • Type: Master
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Location: Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam
  • Tuition fees (2019-2020):
    • €2.083 (Statutory fee)
    • €11.900 (Institutional fee: EEA/EU students)
    • €14.900 (Institutional fee: NON-EEA/EU students)
Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

ESSB is home to a vast diversity of study programmes and scientific disciplines: Public Administration, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS ... Read More

ESSB is home to a vast diversity of study programmes and scientific disciplines: Public Administration, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. Our education is small-scale and based around Problem Based Learning (PBL). Being connected to the professional field is another characteristic of our study programmes. Read less