Integrated MSc-PhD

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About the Program

The Integrated MSc-PhD program in Cognitive Science offered by the Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (CBCS) is specifically designed for highly motivated and talented Bachelor’s students who possess a strong scientific curiosity and a desire to pursue advanced research in this field. This program aims to equip students with a strong foundational understanding of cognitive science and provide them with the necessary skills to conduct research in this field. The program will explore the current knowledge status of behavioural and cognitive processes, as well as the interdisciplinary interfaces with computer science, neuroscience, physiology, philosophy, economics and language sciences. Through this integrated program, students will be able to gain a comprehensive understanding of cognition and behaviour and contribute to cutting-edge research in this exciting field.

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 the 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.

CBCS offers multiple exit points in the Integrated MSc-PhD program:

  1. Exit after 1 Year (After completion of coursework of 2 Semesters): Certificate in Cognitive Science.
  2. Exit after 2 Years (After completion of coursework of 4 semesters and Master’s thesis): Master’s Degree in Cognitive Science.
  3. After 5 Years (After completion of all coursework and PhD Thesis): PhD Degree in Cognitive Science.

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.

* 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 I

*There is option for earning the credit for this course from MOOCs (Swayam or NPTEL)
**Courses with lab sessions

Semester II

**Courses with lab sessions

Semester III (Master’s/PhD Thesis planning)

**Courses with lab sessions

Semester IV

Elective Subjects

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.

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.