PhD in Cognitive Science and Language


Cognitive Science and Language (CCiL) is an interuniversity and interdisciplinary PhD on Cognitive Science as a means of overcoming the barriers that have existed until recently among the different areas of cognitive science. The doctorate is the natural continuations of the Interuniversity Masters Degree in Cognitive Science and language, but it also admits students from other Masters degrees from different backgrounds who want to carry out quality research in one of the lines available on this programme.

Candidate profile

This PhD programme is aimed at people who are interested and have a good basic training in one of the lines of research of the programme related to the areas of philosophy, language and psychology, with preference given to students who can show interdisciplinary experience such as that gained from taking the Masters degree in Cognitive Science and Language related to this PhD programme.

The programme may also be of interest to professionals or graduates in other areas related to language. Specifically the programme aims to satisfy the demand of the following groups of students or professionals:

  1. Students who have taken a Masters degree related to one of the areas of research of the  programme (60 credits related to subjects and methodologies directly linked to research n the area of cognitive sciences and language). Students presenting a particularly appropriate profile are those who have taken interuniversity Masters degrees (UB, UAB, UPF, URV & UdG) in Cognitive Science and Language. But students will also be considered who have successfully completed a Masters degree related to one of the lines of research of the PhD programme. These include all students from Social Science and Humanities, Health Science or Education (e.g. language teachers, translators, speech therapists, educational psychologists, etc.) This includes students who have taken a Masters degree related to philosophical aspects (such as the interuniversity Masters degree in Analytical Philosophy), linguists and language teachers (with a Masters degree related to the teaching of languages to native speakers and foreigners, applied linguistics and translation) and psychology (such as the Masters degrees related to cognitive psychology and the relationship between behaviour and cognition).

  2. Also admissible on a prior offer from the Academic Committee are students with other official qualifications in areas related to those commented in the previous section as long as the students can accredit having training in research methods and one of the lines of research of the PhD programme, as well as a good level of English.

Professional opportunities

Research, teaching and clinical practice in areas related to the lines of research worked on. Research and teaching in related areas (Health science and neuroscience, language pathologies, language acquisition, forensic linguistics).

Objectives and justification

The objectives of this programme are those of cognitive science, or as it is currently known cognitive neuroscience. This programme has been one of the pioneers in introducing this as an academic discipline.

Current research into the psychological, computational, linguistic and philosophical aspects of natural language constitutes a broadly established tradition and therefore the objective of this programme is to train specialists in techniques and theories in each of the areas of research.

The main underlying idea of cognitive science is that an adequate comprehension of linguistic phenomena can only be achieved thanks to individual contributions of the interacting disciplines so that research in any of the areas necessarily benefits from the contributions of the others.

The priority lines of research for the PhD programme are as follows:

  • Philosophy: "Philosophy of the mind and cognitive sciences” and “Analytical philosophy”;
  • Linguistics: "Theoretical and applied linguistics” and “Linguistics and cognition”;
  • Psychology, "Processing, representation and acquisition of language” and “Cognition, perception, action”

The names of some of the guest lecturers invited to take part in conferences and seminars, among which are some of the most prestigious in the different areas of cognitive science, give an idea of the range of areas that are covered and the relationships that the programme has with other prestigious centres: Kathleen Akins (Simon Fraser University); José Luis Bermúdez (Stirling University); Ned Block (New York University); Susan Carey (Harvard University); Sabine Iatridou, Michael Kenstowicz, David Pesetsky, (MIT); David Chalmers (Arizona); Gennaro Chierchia (Milano); Martin Davies (Australian National University);  Almerindo Ojeda (OC Davis); Brenda Rapp (Johns Hopkins);  Ernesto Sosa (Brown University);  Alexander Duncan Oliver (University of Cambridge), Yosef Grodzinsky (Tel Aviv U.); Juan Uriagereka (U. Maryland); Marina Nespor (SISSA-Trieste); Jacques Mehler (SISSA-Trieste); Marc van Oostendorp (Meertens Institut-Amsterdam).


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