The DEC’s main master’s program is the research master’s in cognitive science (Cogmaster).  This master’s program is interdisciplinary (philosophy, social science, linguistics, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and modeling).  


The Cogmaster

Logo Cogmaster

The Cogmaster is a research master’s in cognitive science, co-organized by the École Normale Supérieure-Ulm, Université Paris Descartes, and the EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales).  It offers a unique training opportunity in Europe.  Thanks to its over fifteen-year history, this interdisciplinary program utilizes resources from the entire Parisian scientific community.  It is open to students from a diverse range of scientific backgrounds.

This intensive program is organized amongst Paris’s best schools.  In addition to the EHESS, Université Paris Descartes, and the ENS, the program allows access to courses in seven additional institutions throughout the Île-de-France region, to guarantee the best education in every field.   Cogmaster students have access to over 1,100 hours of courses taught by the best specialists in France.  To ensure students are entirely immersed in a research environment, internships are proposed in one of the 40 host teams in the Paris region.

The master’s pedagogy is based on five main principles:

  • Mastery of the student’s initial background: we ensure that the student’s initial background is reinforced through a selection of modules taught by our partner institutions.  These courses are structured around five “majors” corresponding to the background of the student: psychology, neurobiology, philosophy and social science, linguistics, and mathematics and modeling.
  • Strong pedagogical methodology: we use a series of workshops to ensure the mastery of the core conceptual and methodological tools used in cognitive science (experimental design, statistics, neuroimaging, computer programing, computational modeling, and conceptual analysis).
  • Focussed interdisciplinary exploration: during the second year of the program, students attend interdisciplinary courses centered on a current or emerging research question.
  • Quick and total immersion in research teams: second year students join a research team for the duration of their M2 year; first year students are encouraged to participate in short-term research internships in research labs.  Students are thus trained in how to properly write and present a research report.
  • Flexibility: each student is assigned a tutor from the pedagogy team.  The tutor’s role is to guide students in their choice of coursework, and to help them to select the mono- and interdisciplinary courses that are best suited to their scientific goals.  Each semester, the student and tutor decide on and submit a customized curriculum.

The Cogmaster pays special attention to the use of innovative communicative tools.  Since 2007, most courses are recorded (slides, audio, and video are provided), stored, and made accessible on the master’s intranet.  These documents are available for all students and teachers of the program.


The department is also involved in two additional programs: the Philmaster, and the international Brain and Mind Sciences master.