Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

MA Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science

Course Level:

Postgraduate, Taught




CODE P1178

How long it takes:

1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

You will study three core modules plus three optional modules before completing your 15,000 word dissertation.


Core modules

You will study three core modules: 


Research Skills and Methods

This module provides an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. Topics addressed typically include: critical thinking in philosophy, reading in philosophy, research skills, dissertation planning, and presenting philosophical arguments in written work. You will also participate in online sessions focused on generic research skills.
Assessment: Two 2,000-word essays


Philosophy of Mind

This module covers a range of advanced topics in philosophy of mind. In any given year of delivery several of the following topics will be addressed in detail: theories of consciousness, dualism, behaviourism, functionalism, anomalous monism, the representational theory of mind, externalism vs. internalism, mental causation, interpretationism, representationalism, perception, non-conceptual content, personal identity, self-knowledge.
Assessment: One or two written assignments totalling 4,000 words


Philosophy of Cognitive Science

This module covers key topics in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science. These will include foundational topics such as the Computational Theory of Mind and modularity, issues that have been central in the formation and development of cognitive science since the 1950s. We shall also address some more specialised and contemporary topics, which may include, for example, the scientific study of consciousness and perception, disorders or impairments of cognition, animal minds, and the issue as to what brain imaging techniques such as fMRI can tell us about the mind.
Assessment: One or two written assignments totalling 4,000 words


Philosophy and Mental Health

This module provides an overview of contemporary debates in philosophy psychiatry and Mental Health. In each seminar a new issue will be investigated, but there will be three interrelated threads throughout the module. One is about the nature of psychiatry. The second is about the sense in which psychiatric disorders are disorders of the self. The third is about how we should respond to people with psychiatric disorders, considered from a wide range of perspectives, including interpersonal, clinical, ethical, legal and public health policy. These themes will be addressed by reference to different aspects of psychiatry (classification, diagnosis, aetiology, research, treatment, etc.) and different psychiatric disorders (addiction, anorexia, dementia, dissociation, schizophrenia, personality disorders, psychopathy, etc.) and different disciplinary frameworks. The module will also have a practical element involving structured, outcome-focussed deliberation about difficult cases highlighting these threads and their interrelations.
Assessment: One or two written assignments totalling 4,000 words 


Optional modules

You will also choose three optional modules. Options typically available in Philosophy include:

  • Bioethics
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics and Global Ethics
  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
  • Human Rights
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy and Mental Health (if not taken as core)
  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science (if not taken as core)
  • Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Topics in Global Justice

However, up to 40 credits can also be taken from outside the discipline, such as from the School of Psychology or the School of Computer Science.

Options typically available in Psychology include:


Autumn term

  • BICN-Fundamentals in Brain Imaging Methods 
  • Design and Analysis 1
  • Introduction to Computational Methods 
  • Introduction to Neuroscientific Methods
  • Matlab Programming

Spring term

  • Advanced Brain Imaging in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Advanced Computational Methods 
  • Application of Electrophysiological Approaches in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Design and Analysis 2
  • Mind, Brain, and Models  

Admission to Psychology modules is at the discretion of the relevant module lead, subject to students demonstrating that they have the relevant background and skills to complete the module.



In addition to your taught modules, you will conduct a piece of independent research with the support of a
supervisor, culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University’s Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.


Postgraduate employability: Philosophy

Newcastle Philosophy postgraduates develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in the job market including articulacy, precise analytical thought, and the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments.

Due to the transferable nature of these skills, Philosophy postgraduates traditionally enter a wide range of employment areas, from teaching and lecturing to social work. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include BBC, Friends of the Earth, Newcastle Children?s Hospital, Highways England, Ministry of Justice and University of Newcastle . Over the past 5 years, 82% of Arts and Law postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 – 2017).