Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does my degree in (subject) make me eligible for the M.Sc. Cognitive Systems?

    The M.Sc. Cognitive Systems is an interdisciplinary program, so we are very open-minded about accepting degrees in related subjects. The crucial point is that your prior education covers at least one of our foundational modules, Foundations of Mathematics (e.g. calculus, linear algebra, statistics), Foundations of Computer Science (e.g. data structures and algorithms, formal languages and automata), or Foundations of Linguistics (e.g. syntax, semantics, phonology, pragmatics). You document your background knowledge through at least 9 credit points worth of classes. Together, these classes need to cover the entire content of at least one of the foundational modules.

  • I have a degree in Applied Linguistics. Am I eligible for the M.Sc. Cognitive Systems?

    Please note that we require you to have foundations in theoretical linguistics, e.g. syntactic theory, semantics, or psycholinguistics. Purely applied courses, e.g. on the descriptive grammar of an individual language, are not sufficient. For example, a course on syntactic phenomena of an individual language (e.g. German has free word order, English doesn't) would not be considered relevant. By contrast, a course on grammar theories such as generative grammar or Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, would be considered relevant.

    If you have studied applied linguistics or language and literature, it can sometimes be hard for us to identify whether a course falls in one or the other category, as this differs strongly between universities, and the titles are often not informative. Therefore it is of crucial importance that you provide additional information in your application that helps us recognize that your courses cover the content of the FM Linguistics.

  • I don't have any programming skills. Can I apply to the M.Sc. Cognitive Systems anyway?

    Documented programming skills are one of our admission requirements (check our application guidelines for more information). If you have no prior programming experience, it is still possible to acquire those skills before applying. For that, we recommend that you learn Python, as it is fairly easy to learn and is used throughout the Cognitive Systems program.

  • Can I prove programming experience by doing online courses and which online course(s) should I take?

    We do accept certificates from online courses as proof for programming knowledge.

    Just like university courses, online courses come in a variety of different styles and focus on different things. The difference between an online course and a university course is that it is usually not attached to a specific program and it does not grant you university credits (like ECTS). We do not recommend any specific online course, but decide eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

    When selecting online courses, keep in mind that:

    • The admission criteria require at least 6 ECTS worth of work, this corresponds to roughly 150 hours of work. (The workload can be spread over several courses). It is your responsibility to show documentation of workload.
    • Any higher-order programming language is acceptable (e.g. Java, C++, Python, Ruby); we recommend Python because this is the main programming language used in the program at the moment.
    • Concepts (in Python) that the program assumes students know about include:
      • Variables, loops, conditions, operators
      • Data types str, int, float, bool, list, dict, set, tuple
      • List comprehensions
      • Functions of the standard library, e.g. for Python abs(), print(), len(), isinstance(), max(), open(), range(), sum(), zip(), and more
      • Reading from and writing to files
      • Debugging methods
      • Modularizing code using functions
      • At least working knowledge of object-oriented design
    • We strongly recommend familiarity with common data formats such as json, csv, xml, yaml as well as experience in processing such data.
    • NB It is the applicant's responsibility to provide information about the content of a course in their application.
    • NB None of the information provided here is legally binding. It is up the examination committee to judge whether the admissions criteria are met.

  • What is the valid standard for verification / translation of documents?

    Please check the uni-assist guidelines.