nl en

Introduction to Cognitive Science


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course will familiarize students with the discipline of cognitive science. In this discipline, neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, computer scientists, and biologists try to shed light on the causes of and mechanisms underlying mental processes. Multiple levels of analysis can be used in the analysis of cognitive systems, which will be discussed in this course.

Course objectives

  • Students are familiar with the history and fundamentals of cognitive science.

  • Students can identify contributions from the different traditional disciplines (biology, computer science, psychology, philosophy) to cognitive science.

  • Students can analyze cognitive systems from a computational, algorithmic, and implementation level.

  • Students can critically appraise a topic in cognitive science and write a scientific paper on it.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudymap will automatically be displayed in MyTimetable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Pleas note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of 14 lectures, and students will write an individual paper. Instructions will be provided on Brightspace.

Assessment method

The final grade for this course is a weighted average of:

  • a multiple-choice exam based on the textbook and lecture content, consisting of 40 questions (70%)

  • a paper on a topic in cognitive science (30%)

Both grades will need to be at least 5.5 to pass the course. If the paper grade is insufficient, there is a re-sit opportunity. However, the maximum paper grade will then be a 6.0.

Reading list

Bermúdez, J. L. (2020). Cognitive science: An introduction to the science of the mind. (3rd Ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108440349.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudymap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information. An exemption is the fall semester for 1st year bachelor students, the student administration will enroll this group.

Please note that it is compulsory to register for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course.

Extensive FAQ on MyStudymap can be found here.


Course coordinator: dr. ir. Roy de Kleijn


Not applicable.