The master’s program Mind and Brain is an interdisciplinary course which allows students to select the course content by making a choice between two types of degree and three areas of specialization based on the subjects they are interested in – e.g. what they studied in their first degree – or their individual career prospects.
A special feature of the master’s program Mind and Brain is that the course may be tailored to result in one of two different types of degree: the Track “Brain” leads to a Master of Science (M.Sc.), the Track “Mind” leads to a Master of Arts (M.A.).
Students must decide upon one of the two tracks (Mind or Brain) at application.
A major difference between the Mind and Brain Tracks lies in their different approaches to empirical research: Brain-Track students are trained to conduct empirical neuroscientific research projects independently whereas the work of Mind-Track students is governed by a theoretical or philosophical examination of neuroscientific research. Although Mind-Track students also receive methodological training that allows them to assess the quality of neuroscientific research results, the aim of the training is not to instruct students in how to conduct their own empirical research.
Areas of specialization
In addition to the differentiation between the two degree tracks there are three different areas of specialization in the master’s program Mind and Brain.
The three different areas of specialization are:
(1) Psychology or Neuroscience
Students with a particular interest in psychology or neuroscience do two lab rotations in module 11 and choose courses relating to topics drawn from psychology or neuroscience (research consolidation) in module 9. Cognitive scientists and linguists with more of an interest in psychology or neuroscience may also choose this area of specialization. This specialization leads to a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree (Track Brain).
Students with a particular interest in philosophy develop two theoretical research projects in module 11 and choose courses relating to topics drawn from mind research in module 9. Cognitive scientists and linguists with more of an interest in theory may also choose this area of specialization. This specialization leads to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree (Track Mind).
(3) Academic management
Students looking to pursue a career in academic management after the master’s complete two professional internships in module 9. This specialization also leads to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree (Track Mind).
Nota bene: In order to study Academic Management, knowledge of German at a minimum level of C1 is required, as courses in this module are taught in German.
Doctorate: Please note!
If a doctorate is envisaged upon completion of the master’s program Mind and Brain, then students are advised to choose an area of specialization that builds on knowledge of the subject studied in the course of their first completed degree. In order to be admitted as a doctoral student in a particular discipline (e.g. philosophy, linguistics, psychology), students must be able to demonstrate they attended discipline-specific classes in the course of their master’s program.