Integrated MSc-PhD

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About the Program

Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (CBCS) has a vibrant, International level research environment highly conducive for graduate studies. The goal of the Integrated program in Cognitive Science would be to enable students to develop their knowledge base in Cognitive Science and learn the skills to pursue basic and applied research in the field of Cognitive Science. The program will focus on current knowledge status of behavioural and cognitive processes and exploring new inter-disciplinary interfaces (with computer science, neuroscience, physiology, philosophy, economics and language sciences) with the aim of understanding cognition and behaviour in its research endeavours.

Learning outcomes
  • Core knowledge about the interdisciplinary approach in cognitive science
  • Training in research skills and methodologies of interest including eye tracking, EEG/ERP, functional neuroimaging and behavioural experimentation.
  • Integrating theory and methods in cognitive science
  • The program will enable students to develop the skills for becoming an Independent researcher in the field of cognitive science and also to think about the applications of cognitive science related to clinical/consumer neuroscience or industry.

The program has multilevel entry/exit options as below –

YEAREntry point with  EligibilityExit point certificate / Diploma / Degree Earned
1st Year[Bachelor’s degree in Science/Engineering/Medical/Management/Biological/Life Sciences/Psychology/related disciplines Certificate in Cognitive Science
2nd YearNo entryMSc Degree in Cognitive Science
5th YearNo entryPhD in Cognitive Science

Note: Students admitted in 1st year have exist options after completion of 1st year (Certificate), 2nd year (Degree), and 5th year (PhD).

Master’s Track (Semester I – Semester IV)

If a student opts to terminate with a MSc degree: They will have to do a compulsory Master’s thesis starting in the third semester.

If a student opts to continue with the Integrated MSc-PhD Program: They will be required to start with their PhD thesis work (research proposal) in the third and fourth Semester (2nd year of the integrated program).


  1. The decision to continue with PhD has to be made at the end of the First Year.
  2. Doctoral Advisory Committee may advise the students continuing in the PhD program to take certain specific electives in the third and fourth semester depending on the area of research.

Educational Visit

One educational visit (1 credit) for students in the intergrated MSc-PhD program will be organized to provide exposure/experience of working in specialized labs for cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence/clinical settings/industry in institutions such as IIIT Allahabad, BHU, National Brain research Centre, Manesar, NIMHANS, Bangalore, IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi and/or others.

* Criteria for transitioning from MSc to PhD:

  1. Overall CGPA of at least 7/10 in MSc Degree.
  2. Only top 6 students willing to continue with the PhD programme will be considered.
  3. On top, admission to the PhD programme will be based on
    1. Students’ performance in M.Sc. thesis.
    2. Availability in the preferred lab
  4. A comprehensive viva to determine students’ technical and theoretical knowledge with respect to specific requirements of corresponding labs/methodologies/areas of research.
  5. The probationary/mutual evaluation in the Third semester of the MSc degree before commitment to continue with the programme and the decision will be finalized by the DPC, CBCS.

Evaluation System (MSc level)

The students would undertake mid-term and final semester examinations during each semester. Grading would be based on a 10-point letter grade system as currently followed in the University. The continuous assessment would consist of a mid-term exam and term paper/assignments/ presentations and the end-semester exam. As far as possible, students will be given feedback. The board of examiners would review the evaluation of the marks/assigned by the individual course instructors. The master’s thesis is evaluated by an internal and external examiner including an open viva voice examination (thesis defense) at the end of fourth semester.

PhD Track (Semester V – Semester X)

The doctoral degree from Semester V to X in the MSc-PhD Integrated program will be governed by the University rules and procedures for doctoral degree. The duration of the PhD will work the same way as it does for other PhD programs as per UGC norms.

Doctoral Advisory Committee

A Doctoral Advisory Committee will be constituted for each research scholar to look after the planning and administration of the program. The Committee will consist of the supervisor and two other faculty members working in related areas/methodology. The supervisor would act as the convenor of the Committee. The Committee will advise the student at all stages of research and evaluate the progress. It will also make recommendations regarding the extension or termination of the scholar from the program.

Pre-PhD Course Work

The Doctoral Advisory Committee may recommend remedial courses in Cognitive Science or related disciplines as needed. All students enrolled in a course will be evaluated by the course instructor. Evaluation is based on Course Assignments, participation in class discussions and performance in oral or written examination conducted by the course instructor.

Comprehensive Exam

Prior to submitting the research proposal, the candidate has to pass a comprehensive exam conducted by CBCS.

PhD thesis proposal

Students enrolled in the Integrated program will be required to submit a detailed research proposal for the PhD thesis including a review of relevant literature at the end of the second year if the student opts to continue with the PhD.

Course Structure

Semester 1

PaperCourse CodeL-T-P-CCreditsTheory Papers and Practical LabsSessional MarksEnd Semester Marks
Paper 1CSC5013-1-0-44Introduction to Cognition*4060
Paper 2CSC5024-1-0-55Principles of Neuroscience4060
Paper 3CSC5034-0-0-44Research Methods**4060
Paper 4CSC5043-0-0-33Introduction to Programming and Algorithms**4060
Paper 5CSC5053-0-0-33Foundation course: Nation building/Language (German/French/Russian)4060
Paper 6CSC5063-0-0-33Skill enhancement course 14060
Practicals/lab sessionsCSC5070-0-2-11Psychophysics based experimentation, data analysis and research report writing4060
CSC5080-0-4-22Python, MATLAB and R4060

*There is option for earning the credit for this course from MOOCs (Swayam or NPTEL)
**Courses with lab sessions
Students will be provided with the list of Skill enhancement courses offered by the University and each student may opt for one of the 8 such courses in the first and second semester.

Semester 2

PaperCourse CodeL-T-P-CCreditsTheory Papers and Practical LabsSessional MarksEnd Semester Marks
Paper 1CSC5094-0-0-4  4Cognitive Neuroscience**4060
Paper 2CSC5104-0-0-44Computational Models of Cognition4060
Paper 3CSC5114-0-0-44Perception and Attention4060
Paper 4CSC5123-0-0-33Psycholinguistics**4060
Paper 5CSC5133-0-0-33Foundation course: Nation building/Language4060
Paper 6CSC5143-0-0-33Skill enhancement course- 24060
Lab sessionsCSC5150-0-2-11EEG/ERP recording and analysis; fMRI data acquisition4060
CSC5160-0-2-11Recording eye movements for language studies4060

**Courses with lab sessions

Semester 3

PaperCourse CodeL-T-P-CCreditsTheory Papers and Practical LabsSessional MarksEnd Semester Marks
Paper 1CSC5174-0-0-44Culture and Cognition4060
Paper 2Elective 14-0-0-44Elective 14060
Paper 3Elective 24-0-0-44Elective 24060
Practicals/ Lab sessionsCSC 5180-0-4-22Multivariate analysis, data reduction, regression analysis, moderation mediation analysis,4060
Masters’ thesis planning and initiation (proposal presentation, literature review, experimental design)  

**Courses with lab sessions

Semester 4

PaperCourse CodeL-T-P-CCreditsTheory Papers and Practical LabsSessional MarksEnd Semester Marks
Paper 1CSC5193-1-0-44Philosophy of Mind4060
Paper 2Elective 34-0-0-44Elective 34060
Paper 3 Elective 44-0-0-4       4Elective 44060
Paper 4CSC5200-0-0-1616Master’s Thesis4060

Elective Subjects

Semester III                           Semester IV
Set ISet IISet IIISet IV
551 Time perception559 Advanced Statistics567 Computational Neuroscience575 Cognitive Development
552 Emotions560 Multivariate Analysis568 Computational Vision576 Brain Computer Interfaces
553 Actions561 Reading569 Computational Linguistics577 Language and Cognition
554 Creativity562 Neurolinguistics570 Connectionist Modelling578 Usability Testing
555 Consciousness563 Cognitive Disorders571 Brain Imaging579 Neuroscience of Memory
556 Social Cognition564 Cognitive Robotics572 Pattern Recognition580 Speech Perception and Production
557 Neuropsychological Testing565 Decision Making573 Advanced Signal Processing581 Special Topics in Cognitive Science: Human Computer Interaction Vision and cognition Methods in Cognitive Science
558 Psychometrics566 Research ethics574 Multisensory Integration  
  582 Neuroscience of Brain Disorders583 Consumer Neuroscience

Foundation courses and skill development courses:

  • Scientific communication (writing and presentation skills)
  • Languages: English/French/Mandarin and one of the Indian languages

Additional skill set: We propose to offer the following (short-term) courses: Art and brain, Computer applications, Programming, Mindfulness/Yoga training.

As resolved by the Advisory Committee of the Centre, the duration of PhD in the integrated program need not be restricted and may work the same way as it does for other PhD programs as per UGC norms given that 5 years is a very constrained period for MSc and PhD since there are no undergraduate programs in Cognitive Science and a 2-year course work is needed during Masters. The students who continue with the PhD in the integrated program will be entitled for the University fellowship given to PhD students of the University, given that the students in the Integrated program are admitted through a National entrance exam (COGJET) or GATE.

Placement Opportunities

Students after the Integrated PhD in Cognitive Science could be placed primarily in academic institutions as faculty or research scientists or as research engineers in the R&D divisions within the industry.

Faculty positions at IITs, ISSERs, IIMs, Central Universities like University of Hyderabad, Private Universities like Flame University, Ashoka University, Christ University and others have been employing Cognitive Science graduates.