• M.Sc. Cognitive Systems at the University of Potsdam

  • Intensive hands-on experience and independent research

  • Live and study in the Berlin-Brandenburg area

About the MSc Cognitive Systems

Make computers think, learn, and talk

The MSc Cognitive Systems is a two-year Master's program that covers the areas of computational linguistics, machine learning, and knowledge representation and reasoning. The program is unique in bringing together all three fields in an interdisciplinary combination. The main focus is on developing intelligent computer systems; we also cover formal models of human cognitive processes.

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study program

Get up to speed and dive into research

We start you off with lectures to teach you the basics of language, learning, and reasoning. As you progress through the program, the responsibility of defining your own research problems will then shift more and more from us towards you, until at the end you complete your first larger-scale research project in the form of your MSc thesis.

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I had always been interested in both language and technology, but before starting the Cognitive Systems program, I didn’t have the chance to really dive into the tech side. As the program offers courses to fill in the gaps at the beginning (whether it’s linguistics, math, or computer science), I got up to speed quickly. The flexibility to pursue what you find interesting led me to spend a semester in Sydney with a well-known professor in syntax parsing, complete a project modeling historical language change and write my thesis on using machine learning for grammar correction.

Since graduating, I've found lots of opportunities with companies looking for the Cognitive Systems profile, such as an international tech company building a voice assistant and a Big-Four consulting firm for an artificial intelligence position. In the end, I opted for a research and consulting position at a software company making a language analysis tool, and it's thanks to this program that I have the skills I need for it.

James Longbotham, CogSys Graduate

The diversity of the MSc Program in Cognitive Systems allowed me the flexibility needed to forge my own path. I effectively traversed disciplines as I made my way from theoretical linguistics, to computational linguistics and finally to machine learning/data science. I got a job as a data scientist before I finished the program, and worked as a working-student during my studies (though I took longer than four semesters to finish...more like 7!). I continue to work in the same job, and have been able to directly apply skills from machine learning (e.g. classification) at work, and regularly program in Python and R, both of which are visited in the Cogsys program. Coming from a more theoretical background, the program was very difficult for me. I would say that it is absolutely necessary to be a self-starter and put in extra-hours in order to keep up with the more math/computer-science savvy students. But it can be done...I'm proof!

Clayton Violand, CogSys Graduate