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Brain and Cognitive Sciences
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Marieke Woensdregt (BSc in Psychobiology and Language and Culture)

Not one day have I regretted my choice for the master Brain & Cognitive Sciences, and this is not just because it suits my personal interests very well, but also because it has a lot of more general advantages.

First of all, ‘interdisciplinary’ is a word you will hear so much during this Master that you might start getting immune to it, but they do make sure that it’s more than just a fancy word. You form a group with people that study cognition on every possible level, from intracellular processes to abstract models of behaviour, and you all get to learn from each other’s knowledge, ideas and interests. Also within your own track you will see that students come from a lot of different backgrounds, which makes class discussions very lively, diverse and interesting.

You own ideal mixture 

Within the broad range of topics and levels of investigation that are offered to you in this Master you are free to choose your own ideal mixture. That brings us to the second major advantage: the flexibility of the programme. Only the first eight weeks are fixed for your track and after that you can choose any course you like from a broad range of topics. And for when that’s not enough for you the Master also has good agreements with other Master's to make their courses accessible to you as well. In addition to your personal course recipe you get to do two research projects and a literature thesis, which really gives you a chance to explore where your true interests lie and what you like to do. Also this is flexible: you can choose to do more courses and spend less time on research projects, or the other way around, whatever suits your interests and study plan.

Lots of opportunities

The staff encourages you to make the best possible use of the opportunities that are given to you, such as going abroad for a research project, and to facilitate this you get a lot of freedom in composing your personal study plan. On top of this, the teachers, study advisers and program coordinators are all easy to reach and, conform good Dutch practice, pleasantly informal in their contact with students. You can see that not just the students but also the staff enjoys the uniqueness of this Master.

Fun and friends 

In sum, this Master provides a perfect lead-up to an interesting scientific career, but luckily that’s not all; a fun social environment is taken care of as well. The weekly current issues lectures that you follow with the whole group form a perfect occasion to continue both your intelligent and less serious conversations over a beer in the nearby pub. The study trip at the beginning of the first year is also guaranteed fun, and as if this is not enough, there’s always the student union Cognito to organize gatherings and parties at every possible occasion. In other words: I would recommend this Master to anyone who is interested in the topic of brain and cognition, and who is not afraid to broaden their horizon.