Cognitive Neuroscience, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #103 (WUR) ,
Are you fascinated by the brain functions that make us see, hear, move, feel and think the way we do? Are you eager to gain the knowledge and skills needed to flexibly apply the most advanced brain imaging and brain stimulation techniques in fundamental, applied or clinical research settings? Then Cognitive Neuroscience at the Maastricht University is the right choice for you! 


This highly multidisciplinary programme is embedded in the M-BIC (Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre) and provides you with the theoretical background and hands-on research skills necessary for becoming a versatile brain researcher. Cognitive Neuroscience is an ideal choice for those who aim for an academic or related career focused on understanding normal and/or abnormal brain function.

Why this programme?

In the Cognitive Neuroscience specialisation at Maastricht University you acquire a unique combination of in-depth knowledge on human brain function, perception and cognition, paralleled with an extensive and hands-on training for using the most advanced non-invasive brain imaging (including fMRI, fNIRS, DWI, EEG/MEG) and brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS) techniques. The obtained knowledge and skills provide an excellent background to flexibly apply these techniques in fundamental as well as applied and clinical research settings.

This teaching programme covers relevant topics of Cognitive Neuroscience and reflects the research expertise of the ‘Cognitive Neuroscience’ group at the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC). By addressing key issues in perceptual and cognitive brain research, you will build a detailed understanding of how the ‘working’ brain perceives, feels, moves, learns and creates a conscious mind. Specific course topics include auditory and visual perception, attention, language, sensorimotor functions, learning and memory as well as brain connectivity and connectomics and neuroimaging in disorders of consciousness.

Moreover, you learn to translate this knowledge in empirical research by extensive hands-on training in all aspects of the experimental cycle, including experimental design, recording and manipulating brain activation, and advanced data analysis. Methods that you will learn to apply include (f)MRI, fNIRS, DWI, TMS, tDCS, EEG/MEG as well as data analysis in Matlab, EEGLAB, Brainvoyager and Turbo-BrainVoyager (neurofeedback).


Thanks to the local research infrastructure as well as an exceptionally rich international network, you have ample opportunities for internships in cognitive neuroscience and related fields in our center and at top universities throughout the world (including Cambridge, Harvard, NIH, Stanford, University College London). Internship research topics range from fundamental brain research (e.g. neural basis of perceptual learning, layer-specific attention effects in visual cortex at 7T fMRI) and applications of advanced neuroimaging methods (e.g. brain-computer interfaces, multi-modal imaging) to clinical research (e.g. tDCS-based alleviation of phantom pain, neurofeedback training in Parkinson patients). We will help you find a topic and location that best fit your own interests and career goals. 

Your future

The research master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience is primarily designed to prepare students for a scientific career, in which pursuing a PhD is usually the next step. On average, more than 90% of our graduates find their desired job or training position within 3-6 months after graduation. The majority embark on PhD projects at top universities or research institutes. The others pursue further training or are employed in education, funding agencies or industry.

The programme also provides you with a solid background for careers in a variety of settings, such as:

  • scientific research, teaching and policy functions at university
  • scientific research and policy functions in research institutes
  • data analyst or consultancy functions
  • educational and mental health institutions
  • medical technology industry
  • government and funding agencies

Programme Structure

First year courses:
  • Auditory and Higher Order Language Processing
  • Perception and Attention 
  • Advanced Statistics 
  • Practical Training: SPSS I and Lisrel 
  • EEG and ERP 
  • Neuroimaging: Functional MRI 
  • Sensorimotor Processing 
  • fMRI 
  • Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) 
  • Neuroanatomy 
  • Methods of Deactivation 
  • Colloquia 
  • Advanced fMRI 
  • Brain Connectivity and Connectomics 
  • Practical Training: SPSS II
  • Real-Time fMRI and Neurofeedback 
  • Diffusion Weighted Imaging and Fibre Tracking 
  • Translational Neuroscience: Towards Clinical Applications for Disorders of Consciousness 
  • Timing Neural Processing with EEG and MEG 
  • Basic Mathematical Methods 
  • Scientific Writing 
  • Programming in Matlab Basic Course 
  • Research Grant Writing Workshop

Second Year Courses

  • Programming in Matlab Advanced Course 
  • Signal Analysis 
  • The Brain's Engram: Memorising Experiences and Experiencing Memory 
  • Research Grant Writing Course

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details: If you apply before 14 January, you’ll take part in the first selection round. If you apply between 14 January and 31 March, you’ll take part in the second selection round. 
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    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.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    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

Excellent graduates from a university bachelor’s programme are admissible to the Research master’s programme Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience. Each year, the programme will admit a maximum of 20-25 students to each of the six specialisations.

The Board of Admissions has not set a minimum GPA as an admission requirement. Although your academic record is an important indicator of your suitability for this programme, the Board of Admissions will base its decision on your total application.

All candidates should meet the general requirements:

  • bachelor's degree
  • submit your curriculum vitae,
  • write a letter of motivation,
  • ask for two references,
  • demonstrate proficiency in English.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    17500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 17500 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Maastricht

  • 700 - 1170 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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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