Master in Brain and Cognition


Program Description

Master in Brain and Cognition

One of the greatest challenges in science is to explain the human mind. Thanks to the advent of revolutionary brain research methods, great progress in behavioural research techniques and the incredible inventiveness of many researchers, cognitive and neural sciences are finding ways to better approach this problem. The master's programme in Brain and Cognition will guide students through the latest and most exciting findings brought about by the interaction between cognitive research and brain research, furnishing them with the theoretical and practical means to actively participate in this exciting enterprise.

The core of the master's programme is composed of the research groups at UPF's Center for Brain and Cognition (CBC). These groups are directed by renowned scientists in areas such as computational neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, vision, multisensory perception, human development and comparative cognition. Students will thus be exposed to the ongoing research projects at the CBC and will be integrated into one of its main research lines, where they will conduct original research for their final project.


The aim of this master's programme is to offer research-oriented training in various fundamental domains of cognitive neuroscience. The programme faculty's main objective is to provide students with the training they need to understand how a scientific question becomes a topic of experimental research in cognitive neuroscience and how they could carry out this research.

Who is it for?

The master's programme will be of interest to psychologists, philosophers, MDs, biologists, linguists, mathematicians or physicists seeking to pursue a career investigating the fascinating question of how the relationship between the mind and the brain enables cognitive functions. While the programme is thus particularly apt for students who want to be trained to do research in cognitive neuroscience, it is also strongly recommended for individuals seeking to enrich their careers by obtaining a solid basis in cognitive neuroscience. Given its research orientation, the level of this one-year master's programme corresponds to the second year of a two-year master's in other international programmes. Students who are interested in the programme but do not have sufficient credits to enrol in a second-year master should contact the coordinator for further information.

Structure and Content

The programme is organized in three terms and consists of a total of 26 compulsory subject credits, 7 research seminar credits, and a 27-credit final research project. Depending on their individual curriculum, students may be required to take preliminary courses on the basics of brain and cognition and on statistics. Subjects will cover essential topics to ensure uniform knowledge and training. Students will be encouraged to be as involved as possible in ongoing original research projects and will be active participants in the seminars held by the CBC's research groups within their main area of interest. These seminars are where the research groups discuss recent outstanding scientific articles, present the progress made on ongoing research projects and critically analyse the results of other researchers. Students will have to complete an original research project under the supervision of one of the faculty members, to be carried out in the CBC's laboratories or, upon prior agreement, with another research group at UPF.

Career prospects

Graduates of this master's programme will be well positioned to enter a PhD programme in Cognitive Neuroscience or a related field and to join other Spanish or international research teams (including UPF's own).

Available facilities

The Center for Brain and Cognition has a 300m2 state-of-the-art laboratory space equipped with rooms for adult behavioural and psychophysical studies, rooms for infant research, EEG/ERP recording facilities for adults and infants, neuronavigated TMS, eye-trackers for adult and infant research, experimental settings for comparative cognition, agreements with imaging centres providing access to MRI scanning facilities, a 24-node computational cluster, and a dedicated technical workshop to set up specific experimental setups on demand.

Scholarships and grants

The CBC offers partial tuition fee grants for a selected group of students based on merit. The number and exact amount of these grants is contingent upon available funds.

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted to the Brain and Cognition - MSc candidates must submit the following documents:

  • Official undergraduate degree/diploma (a Bachelor's degree, a degree in engineering or architecture, technical engineering and technical architecture diplomas, or, in the case of a foreign degree, the equivalent qualification awarded by an accredited higher education institution). In addition, the official academic transcript with the average grade at the university of origin. Degrees in any academic field of study will be accepted.
  • Curriculum Vitae in English.
  • A letter of motivation in English, stating the candidate's expectations and interest in participating in the master's programme (600 to 800 words).
  • Two letters of recommendation sent directly by referees with a good knowledge of the candidate.
  • Proof of English language (level B2)
  • Identity Card or Passport.


  • Additional academic training in areas related to the master's programme.
  • Research experience.
  • Professional experience in any of the fields related to the master's programme.

In addition, the selection committee Department may decide to interview the candidate.

The undergraduate degree/diploma and the academic transcript

If you have finished your Bachelor's degree when you submit your application, you will need to send us the following documents:

  • A photocopy of your undergraduate degree/diploma or certification/proof of degree completion.
  • A photocopy of your completed official undergraduate transcript.

However, if you have not yet completed your undergraduate studies when submitting the application, you will need to provide us with the following documents:

  • A signed declaration that the degree will be obtained before beginning the master's programme PDF document
  • A photocopy of the provisional undergraduate transcript.


Remember that in order to be successfully enrolled, the presentation of an official English certificate is an essential admission requirement. Only applicants whose mother tongue is English do not need to pre¬sent an English certificate. Official results must be sent directly by the examining institution to the school’s Admissions Department and must comply with the required minimum scores:

  • TOEFL CBT: > 235
  • TOEFL PBT: > 575
  • TOEFL IBT: > 100
  • CAE: C1
  • IELTS: > 6.5

Applicants who, at the time of the application, still do not possess an official English certificate or who are in the process of obtaining it must include this information in their admission applications. Applicants who have completed their full Bachelor’s Degree at an English-speaking university must submit written evidence that the language of instruction of their studies was English.

Last updated Feb 2018

About the School

Its international orientation is one of the distinguishing features of UPF, a university with "its feet in Barcelona and its head in the world". This international projection has been recognised by th ... Read More

Its international orientation is one of the distinguishing features of UPF, a university with "its feet in Barcelona and its head in the world". This international projection has been recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Education through the International Campus of Excellence seal (2010) and is backed up by the UPF's distinguished position in international rankings as one of the top Spanish universities... Read less