Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
Are you interested in the neural basis of cognition, the mechanisms of neurodegeneration or the evolution of behaviour?

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typeonderzoek, 120 EC
start1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur2 jaar voltijd
numerus fixusnee

In this programme, you can study the function and mechanisms of the brain and behaviour from three different perspectives:

  • Animal and Human Behavioural Neurosciences (B-track)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling (C-track)
  • Molecular and Clinical Neuroscience (N-track)

In these tracks, you will deepen your knowledge of the aims and methods of your chosen domain (See “Programme” for more info). In addition, thanks to integrated courses and links between tracks, you will get a unique opportunity to acquire multi-disciplinary skills and training in the neurosciences.

The main focus of this Research Master is to train students to become independent researchers. For this purpose, a large portion of the programme is devoted to two research projects (in total 70 ECTS) in which the students are embedded in research groups to conduct their own experiments. Students are encouraged to perform one of these research projects abroad.

The BCN Research Master is one of the best Neuroscience master programmes of the Netherlands (Dutch Higher Education Guide 2017 - Keuzegids Masters 2017).

Admission to the programme is selective, based on the applicant’s academic credentials and motivation (See “Entry Requirements” for details).

Waarom aan de RUG?

  • Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label (Keuzegids Masters 2017/2018/2019)
  • Excellent research facilities including University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), NeuroImaging Center and Centre for Life Sciences
  • More than 75% enrolment in PhD projects after graduation
  • Integrated teaching by top researchers from three faculties in small groups
  • Students collaborate in stable cohorts during the 2 years


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specialisatie Animal and Human Behavioural Neurosciences (B-track)

The B-track focuses on the neurobiology as well as the function and evolution of behaviour.

Neurobiological, physiological, developmental and (epi)genetic processes are crucial to understand the evolution, function, causation and development of behaviour. Exploring these fields will provide insights in brain circuitry and processes driving human and animal behaviour. Courses in the B-track cover chronobiology (circadian and annual rhythms), evolution of behaviour (development, causation, evolution and adaptive significance), neuroendocrinology, physiology and behaviour (brain-periphery interactions, energy balance, eating disorders), and individuality of behaviour (trait-like patterns, behavioural and physiological responses). Students perform a minor and major research project where they acquire fundamental and scientific knowledge skills on animal and human behavioural neurosciences. Altogether the B-track prepares students for a scientific career in the behavioural neuroscience field.

Bachelor-Master connections: Life Science and Technology, Biology

The coordinator of the B-track is prof. Anton Scheurink:

For the complete curriculum, please see:

specialisatie Molecular and Clinical Neuroscience (N-track)

The N-track focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie neuronal development, function and communication.

Investigating these molecular and cellular pathways contributes to understanding the neuronal basis of cognition and behaviour and is essential for the development of strategies to detect, treat or even prevent neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Courses in the N-track cover the anatomy of the nervous system, neurotransmission and transduction cascades, neurophysiology, stem cell biology, protein homeostasis and quality control, neuropathology, neuropharmacology and neuroinflammation. Students engage in diverse research projects that range from basic research in simple model systems to translational studies in clinical departments but ultimately share a common interest in addressing neuroscience-related research questions at the molecular and cellular level. Altogether, the N-track master prepares students for a future research career in the molecular neurosciences.

Bachelor-Master connections: (Molecular) Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Life Sciences and Technology.

The coordinator of the N-track is dr. Liesbeth Veenhoff

For the complete curriculum, please see:

specialisatie Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling (C-track)

The C-track focuses on cognitive processes and their implementation through neural mechanisms at the systems-level.

By characterizing and modelling the functional and neural implementation of cognitive processes, a fundamental understanding of both the workings of the healthy brain and mind can be achieved, and of how cognitive functioning breaks down in case of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Courses in the C-track offer knowledge and hands-on training in advanced statistical analyses, EEG and fMRI methods, cognitive modelling, and cognitive neuropsychiatry. In addition, students execute two research projects in which they can pursue and develop their interests and research skills. Altogether, training in the C-track prepares students for a PhD position in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

Bachelor-Master connections: Bachelor programs that teach knowledge and skills in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. For instance, Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, Human Movement Sciences.

The coordinator of the C-track is dr. Mark Nieuwenstein,


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet20% zelfstudie
20% theorie
60% praktijk
study abroad
Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Toelating en kosten


1 september 2022

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2022
wettelijk tarief : € 2209 (€1105 in het eerste jaar)
instellingstarief : € 15487
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 18850

1 september 2023

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2023
collegegeld nog niet bekend

Please fill out the following checklist to explain why you want to apply for this Master's degree programme (questions to be addressed are outlined on the form):

Do you prefer an early decision on your request of admission? Don't wait until 1 May, but use one of the earlier deadlines for this Master's programme (for a course start on 1 September).
If the University of Groningen has received your complete ap

Application - Decision:

1 December– 15 January

1 February – 1 March

15 March – 15 April

1 May - 15 June


For C-Track: Students are expected to have some programming experience, for example in Python or Matlab. Matlab experience can be obtained by taking the University of Groningen BSc Psychology course Programming for Psychologists (, taking the Coursera course Introduction to Programming with MATLAB ( or self-study (e.g., Borgo, M., Soranzo, A., & Grassi, M. (2012). MATLAB for Psychologists, Coursera also offers a number of good python courses at different levels of difficulty.

English proficiency at VWO level is required.

A Bachelor's degree in the Life Sciences, (Molecular) Biology, Medicine, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or related programmes. The Admissions Board determines whether the content of the previous degree programme meets the admission requirements.

reference letter
Please provide us with the names of two qualified referees, preferably the supervisor of your BSc thesis.

studie kosten
bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
bedrag kostenpost
€ 9500levensonderhoudper jaar
€ 75inschrijvingsgeldin het eerste jaar
€ 500studiematerialenper jaar
€ 750visa/permitvoor de gehele opleiding

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
303kamerhuur in Groningenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
172collegegeldop basis van € 2060 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1171totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


62 studenten volgen deze opleiding
65% daarvan is vrouw
4 eerstejaars gestart in 2017
75% daarvan is vrouw
29331 studenten aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
51% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData


Masters Association of Science and Engineering
MASE, short for Masters Association of Science and Engineering, is the newly founded study association for students of the small FSE Masters in Nanoscience, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Mechanical Engineering and Science Education and Communication.
MASE aims to organize social, cultural, career orienting, networking, and internationalization activities. Study association MASE is housed in the Linnaeusborg, in room 0067.

Op kamers in Groningen

55216studenten studerend
31914studenten woonachtig   
€ 303gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
21 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Celina Pütz
The perfect programme for a career in academia

I chose the BCN Research Master because it is interdisciplinary and full of opportunities. I am part of a research team for one semester every year, in which I can focus solely on gaining skills and first-hand experience in conducting research. I enjoy having a say in the process, whilst being taught by researchers themselves during both the research internship and the preceding courses.I have the chance to develop my skills in whichever direction I want them to go. But it is not only the research experiences I gain; BCN is more than just a Master's degree programme...
You never feel alone or lost in your work, and there is always someone to help you out if you are stuck. Everyone interacts on a first-name basis, and thanks to the small number of study groups, everyone is fully included in the programme and its process. It’s the perfect programme for someone that wants to start a career in academia, or is thinking about doing so. For me, it convinced me that academia is the direction I want to go, and thanks to BCN, the whole world is open for me after I graduate!

lees verder ...
See what our students have to say about BCN

Feiten en / studie in cijfers


bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete
algemeen oordeel4.34.3
De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2017 hebben meer dan 280.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is beoordeeld door 23 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.3 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

As a graduate of this programme, you can work as a researcher, both in the academic world and other fields. Because of their multi-disciplinary training, graduates of this degree positively distinguish themselves: you can easily grasp the bigger picture and are able to familiarise yourself with new fields and methodologies quickly.

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bron: UWV


Academic Advisors FSE

For questions regarding the programme

Study Science E-Mail

For students who are interested in a Campus Tour or who have other general questions

Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

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