Cognitive Semiotics, M.A.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #65 ,
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 at Aarhus University, we study how meaning is created in every sense of the word, whether in perception, thought, or language.


The goal of the Cognitive Semiotics programme at Aarhus University 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.

Insight-giving Education
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.
Student Life
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.

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

Programme Structure


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.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score: 560

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 83

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Admission Requirements
Applicants to the MA programme must have completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a humanistic subject. Certain bachelor’s degree programmes not belonging to these two categories may be accepted by the Board of Studies at the Scandinavian Department, if the candidate for admission is able to argue convincingly for the relevance of the bachelor’s degree.
Selection Criteria

As the Master’s programme admits only a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. The admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark or GPA of the bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.

Please note: If there are more academically qualified applicants than places available, each applicant will be assessed according to the following criteria: academic background (counts 75 per cent) based on the number and quality of BA exams relevant to the MA programme; and other relevant experience (counts 25 per cent) based on the CV and the applicant’s statement of relevance.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 8000 International
  • Free EU/EEA


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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