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Department of Cognitive Science

Master of Research (MRes)

For students passionate about research, the Department of Cognitive Science offers the Master of Research (MRes) degree. This 2-year research training program offers students advanced coursework reflecting cutting-edge research in Cognitive Science as well as structured research training. This unique combination gives students the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge and comprehensive research training in their chosen field of study, providing an ideal foundation for undertaking the PhD in Cognitive Science.

For any questions about pursuing the MRes in Cognitive Science at Macquarie University, please send email to: info.cogsci.mres@mq.edu.au

Year 1

In Year 1 of the Cognitive Science MRes program, students explore key concepts and ground-breaking research methods used to investigate how the mind and brain work. This advanced coursework provides the intellectual foundation for commencing individual research projects in Year 2 of the MRes Program.

Coursework for MRes Year 1 is structured as follows

Required units in Cognitive Science
Plus
  • Research Communications (MRES700)
Plus
  • 2 elective units from related disciplines including Biology, Computing, Linguistics, Philosophy, Statistics, among others (subject to academic approval)

Additional information

MRes Units in Cognitive Science

Research Frontiers In Cognitive Science (COGS701)

This unit will engage students in critical research issues in cognitive science. We examine the assumptions and methodological issues of the main techniques used across the different fields of cognitive science (e.g., neuroimaging, behavioural, and neuropsychological techniques). The unit will include seminars by experts in the various techniques and student-led analyses of recently published papers. The aim is to provide students with the tools to critically appraise published studies and the inferences made on the basis of experimental data. Activities are based on seminar attendance, directed reading of research articles, and critical discussion of research in both written and oral form.

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Advanced Principles of Cognitive Science: Attention and Action (COGS702)

This unit forms part of a four-unit core sequence covering a range of foundational and cutting-edge research topics in cognitive science, with an emphasis on active research programs at MQ. This team-taught unit is made up of a selection of 3-4 topic modules, led by experts specialising in these fields. Topics to be covered may include but are not limited to: the varieties of attention (e.g., spatial attention, temporal attention, object attention, and attentional control); the relationship between attention and conscious awareness; brain mechanisms of attention and multisensory integration; motor planning and sensorimotor transformations.

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Advanced Principles of Cognitive Science: Sensation and Perception (COGS703)

This unit forms part of a four-unit core sequence covering a range of foundational and cutting-edge research topics in cognitive science, with an emphasis on active research programs at MQ. This team-taught unit is made up of a selection of 3-4 topic modules, led by experts specialising in these fields. Topics to be covered may include but are not limited to: the brain mechanisms of visual and auditory perception, mental imagery, and object recognition.

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Advanced Principles of Cognitive Science: Memory, Self, and Cognitive Theory (COGS704)

This unit forms part of a four-unit core sequence covering a range of foundational and cutting-edge research topics in cognitive science, with an emphasis on active research programs at MQ. This team-taught unit is made up of a selection of 3-4 topic modules, led by experts specialising in these fields. Topics to be covered may include but are not limited to: the nature of individual and social memory from an interdisciplinary perspective; views about the relationship between memory and the self; disorders of belief formation such as delusion; and theories of consciousness.

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Advanced Principles of Cognitive Science: Language and Reading (COGS705)

This unit forms part of a four-unit core sequence covering a range of foundational and cutting-edge research topics in cognitive science, with an emphasis on active research programs at MQ. This team-taught unit is made up of a selection of 3-4 topic modules, led by experts specialising in these fields. Topics to be covered may include but are not limited to: the cognitive science and cognitive neuropsychology of reading and language, with a particular focus on reading development, language production, developmental and acquired dyslexia, and acquired aphasia.

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Year 2

Year 2 of the MRes builds on the knowledge and skills gained in Year 1, allowing students to focus on the pursuit of a year-long supervised research project in a specific area of interest within cognitive science, which culminates in the writing of a thesis. The research training received in Year 2 provides an invaluable foundation for pursuing higher degree research in Cognitive Science. To help guide students towards successful completion of the MRes thesis, Year 2 is structured around a core set of required activities:

Research Frontiers 2 Essay

This activity is designed to increase exposure to the latest developments in the candidate's chosen field of research. Under the guidance of their supervisors, candidates will critically examine the frontiers of their chosen research field by addressing questions such as: What are the most important recent developments or findings in your field? What are the major open questions?

Research Methods

This activity develops specific skills that students will need in order to participate as successful researchers in their chosen fields. Methods-based training will be provided within the Department in the form of small workshops or on an individual basis, as dictated by specific needs.

MRes Research Proposal

This activity is intended to foster research project planning. In general, a research proposal should define the chosen area of study, detail the aims of the proposed project and provide an indication of the (experimental and theoretical) approach to the research one intends to take. Sufficient detail is required so the department can determine if the project is viable, what specific changes need to be made, and finally, how best to support each individual research candidate during their project.

Literature Review

This activity is designed to facilitate timely engagement with one's chosen research area. Candidates will perform a systematic review of the literature including associated issues, debates and methodology relevant to their proposed research. The Literature Review will be performed under the advisement of the candidate's supervisor.

MRes Thesis

This activity requires candidates to complete a significant individual research project of their own design in order to demonstrate individual research capability to conduct a major (PhD) research project. Candidates will prepare a thesis equivalent to 15,000-20,000 words.

PhD Research Proposal

This final activity is designed to indicate the proposed path to a suitable PhD (3 year) project. Each candidate is expected to submit a PhD Research Proposal, which mirrors the document that the Faculty requires of its applicants for direct entry into the PhD Program.

More information about Year 2

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Further Information

Seminars

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Contact Details

Telephone: (02) 9850 9599
Fax : (02) 9850 6059
Email : cogsci@mq.edu.au
Web : www.cogsci.mq.edu.au