MSc Programme

Structure Courses | Admissions

Master of Science

Cognitive Science

2 year full-time programme

Get professionally ready for both academia and industry while learning about the booming field of cognitive science.

Taught courses, research project, internships, lecture series and more.

The programme will familiarize students with diverse theories, methods, and tools to understand the architecture and functioning of the human mind. It also envisages developing new state-of-the-art labs involved in finding better solutions to cognitive challenges and questions faced in the Indian scenario. It integrates teaching and learning through a multidisciplinary and diverse pedagogical curriculum. The MSc programme trains students to pursue academic careers and to work at the crossroads of academic-industry linkages for advancing and leading intellectual creation in the cognitive science space. The graduates from this programme could work in diverse sectors from basic research, brain sciences, management, engineering/design (robotics, smart software, and technology, human-machine interaction), social organizations; or decide to pursue higher education in cognitive science or any of its allied disciplines.<

Programme Structure

The total duration of the programme is four semesters that involves laying the foundations through core courses in semester I and II, followed by elective courses in semesters III and IV that allow students to pursue questions in their own areas of interest and/or disciplines of cognitive science.

The course requires students to complete 75 credits spread across two years (37 in the 1st year and 38 in the 2nd). The core coursework would train the incoming students in broad areas of cognition. Program electives will introduce students to advanced topics and developments in specific areas of cognitive science while open electives allow flexibility to choose any additional courses of interest from both within and outside the department. Visiting faculty from both national and international institutions could offer specific modules of a course. 

Apart from the core and elective courses, targeted lab-intensive courses will provide hands-on sessions to enable students acquire the skills necessary to delve into research, while also adding to their employability. Three advanced research methods courses are there as part of the elective credits which students can take for gaining more insights into how to conduct different kinds of methods. Additionally, an external project would enable them to engage with some basic or applied project beyond the courses. This requirement can be fulfilled through engagement in laboratory activities or by taking on a task with an organization. Lecture series would initiate students to engage with scholars and industry practitioners from diverse areas of cognition science. 

Program Core

In the first year of the programme, the focus will be on basic concepts, theories, methods and tools used in the scientific investigation of cognition.  These courses will comprise of introductory courses on cognitive science (including psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, mathematics, computation and data analysis). To cater to the heterogeneous nature of the incoming students, a bridge course on foundational subjects such as mathematics, biology, etc. will be offered in the 1st semester. All of these courses include a component of learning in a lab for the students to link the theoretical discussions with concrete examples. In this year, students will get acquainted with various skills, such as experimental design, programming, data analysis and latest tools used in cognitive science that will also be advanced in later elective courses that will help in their career advancements.

Program Electives

Nine credits need to be completed from programme electives to be taken in the 2nd (three credits), 3rd (three credits), and 4th (three credits) semesters. A student can decide on the courses based on one’s interest. These electives can be taken to specialize in a specific discipline cognitive science is comprised of or to gain broad perspectives across disciplines. The list of electives would be continuously updated, albeit with due consideration of recent advances in the field, faculty and emerging needs of the students. 

Open Electives

Students are required to complete six credits through open elective courses offered in other departments such as Mathematics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Neuro/Biosciences, Management, etc. based on the student’s background and ability. These courses will provide them with more cross disciplinary perspectives on cognitive science. We have formed a brief list of suggested electives keeping in mind the cross-disciplinary nature of the programme but they are not meant to be binding. A student can take any course at the requisite level from any department at IIT Delhi (after fulfilling eligibility criteria for the course as specified by the specific instructor and in consultation with co-ordinators in the cognitive science programme). 

Project & Lecture Series

External Project. Each student has to do an external project for 2 credit points during the lecture-free semester time, between 2nd and 3rd semesters. This is envisioned to be an opportunity for students to engage in basic or applied research outside the course curricula that can be at other academic labs, industries or organizations in India and abroad. The students will be required to submit a report which will be evaluated by a committee of faculty members.

M.Sc Project. Being able to demonstrate abilities to perform research is crucial. The credits for project are split in two parts across semesters 3 and 4. In semester 3, a student has to develop the idea and conduct preliminary studies while the complete study is to be conducted in semester 4 along with writing up the report. This helps the student to think about a problem, explore possible studies, have discussions and then go on to complete the project.

Lecture series. To build a broader understanding of the breadth and applications of cognitive science, 2 credits (across 3rd and 4th semesters) have been allocated for attending guest lectures by experts from academia and industry. If speakers are not able to come down to the campus, they would be offering their lectures via online platforms. Students would then prepare a report on these lectures that would be graded.

Student Support for Coursework & Research

Course/elective guidance. Each student will be allocated a faculty mentor with whom s/he will undertake the project work at the end of the 1st year. The mentor will help the student in selecting electives, if desired.

Research. The programme would provide sustained and continued support to the students to train them up for undertaking research. This would be done by credit-based lab-intensive courses that systematically add the skills of general research, design, data collection and tools, data analysis and technical writing in a progressive manner. A mentor allotted to them will help in selecting a problem and implementing a study in the 2nd year. This paced out approach should make it easier for students to get introduced to research in a cumulative manner. Further, the 3rd semester is kept for piloting and testing ideas with a Part I project, which then gets extended into a more advanced final Part II project in the 4th semester.

Overall Credit Structure

Total credits = 75

Credit Structure

Electives &Open 
project &
No. of

Courses of study

Core courses

  • Independent Study in Cognitive Science (Bridge course)
  • Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • Basics of Programming for Cognitive Science
  • Language in the Mind
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Mathematical Foundations for Cognitive Science
  • Computation and Cognition
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognition
  • Cognitive Processes: From Labs to Fields
  • Research Methods in Cognitive Science
  • Language Computations and Mental Architecture
  • Workshop on Scientific Writing

Tentative List of Programme Electives

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Culture and Cognition 
  • Advances in Social Cognition
  • Emotion and Decision making
  • Social and Cultural Construction of Emotions
  • Number Cognition
  • Data Analysis for Behavioral Research using R
  • Advanced Computational Methods
  • Advanced Experimental Methods
  • Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • Transformational Theories of Language
  • Language Acquisition, Teaching, and Assessment
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Optimality Theory and Harmonic Grammar
  • Eye Movement and Cognitive Processes
  • Advanced Data Analysis for Behavioral Research using R
  • Reading and Sentence Processing
  • Computational Models of Meaning

Eligibility & Admission Process

Program Code : HCS

Number of seats and their distribution

Total seats: 25

15% seats are reserved for SC candidates, 7.5% for ST candidates, 27% for OBC (non-creamy layer) candidates and 10% for EWS candidates.

*5% of the seats (viz., 1 seat) are reserved for Persons with Disability (PD). The candidates selected against the quota for PD be placed in the appropriate category viz. SC / ST / OBC / EWS / General depending upon the category to which they belong.

Admission to the program

COGJET scores and personal interview. Applicants with valid JAM/GATE/CSIR/JRF/NET scores (where applicable) would be waived from COGJET. In addition, applicants from Centrally Funded Technological Institutes with a minimum CGPA of 8.0 and those with an MBBS degree from recognized institutions and universities are exempted from the COGJET/GATE/JAM/CSIR/JRF/NET requirement. This will be subject to revision as decided by the academic section of IIT Delhi and will be as per rules. See 2020 MSc admissions for details on applying.

Eligibility for the program

Any Bachelors degree. The minimum cut-off grade in the qualifying degree will be as per the existing norms for the other MSc programmes of the institute, reproduced below:

At least 55% aggregate marks or 5.5 CGPA/CPI out of 10 without rounding-off (taking into account all subjects including languages and subsidiaries, all years combined) for General/ OBC (Non Creamy Layer)/EWS category candidates (taking into account all subjects, including languages and subsidiaries, all years combined) in the qualifying degree.

For Candidates with letter grades / CGPA (instead of percentage of marks), the equivalence in percentage of marks will be decided by the Institute. For SC, ST and PD candidates, relaxation of 5% marks or 0.5 CGPA (on ten point scale) in the qualifying degree will be provided.

Application procedure

Candidates can apply through the Institute PG Admissions portal. See 2020 MSc admissions for details on applying.

Application fee

The application fee will be charged as per other M.Sc. programmes at IIT Delhi. No financial assistance will be provided to the candidates for attending the interview.

Admission of foreign nationals

As per Institute norms for other MSc programs

Fee structure

As per Institute norms for other MSc programs

Hostel accommodation

As per Institute norms for other MSc programs

Financial assistance during the program

Students may be considered for MCM (Merit-cum-Means) and any other scholarships available to other MSc students.

TEN Student Assistantships will be provided by the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) for Cobotics, IIT Delhi at INR 6000 per month which will entail working for about 3-4 hours per week. The assistantship will be provided starting 1st semester

Shortlisting criteria for the program

Once applications are received, the shortlisting criteria for the program will be decided by the department DRC (and approved by the Dean, Academics) and those candidates will be called for the interview to IIT Delhi

Queues for the M.Sc. programme should be sent to the programme co-ordinators at