Cognitive Semiotics, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English
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.

Programme Structure

The programme comprises courses in cognitive science and its links with semiotics in social cognition, text processing and production, and cognitive aesthetics. In a research workshop, students develop their own projects.

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.

Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics 

The Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics is one of the nine departments at the School of Communication and Culture at the Faculty of Arts. 

The teaching at the department is not only research based, but also research oriented. Students are encouraged to collect and analyse data and to design and carry out experiments, either alone or in cooperation with the research staff. In the best cases the students get their research published. Students regularly present their research to fellow students and staff at research seminars.

Programme Structure

Semester 1

  • Cognition and semiotics
  • Text: Processing, critique and improvement
  • Cognitive science

Semester 2

  • Cognitive aesthetics
  • Social cognition
  • Research workshop

Semester 3

  • Profile

Semester 4

  • Master's thesis

For more information, please check the programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

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:


    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:


    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

Applicants to the MA programme must have completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a subject in the humanities. Certain bachelor’s degree programmes not belonging to these two categories may be ac¬cepted by the Board of Studies at the Institute for Communication and Culture, if the candidate for admission is able to argue convincingly for the relevance of their bachelor’s degree. 

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.

For more information, please check the programme website.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    8000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 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 Århus

  • 6200 - 9300 DKK/month
    Living Costs

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


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

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.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.