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Curriculum of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence

First year

In the first general year of your Bachelor's program, you are introduced to all of the interesting focus areas that form the essential basis for your future program in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence. This will help you to choose your minor in the third year.

Some of the first-year courses are such as: Basics of Al, Logic, Methodology for CSAI, Academic English, Formal Analysis A and the ones listed below:

Basic Programming (CSI)

The course Basic Programming is a combination of plenary lectures and practical sessions offering an introduction to programming. You need no background to participate. This course will teach you for example to program small games or to create small visual interactive graphics including all fundamentals of programming such as variables, conditionals, loops, functions, objects and arrays. You will learn to understand a Java-based programming language (Processing). Programming will be approached within the context of visual media and creative coding.

The lectures are supported by video lessons and exercises and a companion website to the course book:

Introduction to Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science is the study of how minds work. During this course you will learn to discuss the philosophical perspectives, the methodologies, and the major findings of various sub-fields and how they can be integrated to understand how humans, animals and machines ‘think’. Sub-fields are such as: philosophy, psychology, computer science, neuroscience, biology, linguistics, and anthropology, and more recently integrated disciplines such as economics, education, mathematics, and engineering.

You will learn how to integrate information from these sub-disciplines to understand better how the minds work. Furthermore, you will identify the connection between how minds work, the bodies they inhabit and the respective social context.

Data Visualization

Data visualization deals with the presentation of data in a visual format (pictorial or graphical). It enables decision makers to (1) quickly understand information, (2) identify relationships and patterns, (3) pinpoint emerging trends, and (4) to communicate the story to others.

This course is particularly focused on how effective data visualizations can be generated automatically to facilitate organizing the current trend of a growing data volume. At the end of the course you will be able to recognize patterns in data and to design and implement 2D data visualizations.

Fundamentals of Information Sciences for CSAI

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an inherent part of our current society. For example, writing a novel, coordinating a large organization, predicting traffic jams, or measuring heart rate are all tasks that are performed with the help of ICT. To be able to work efficiently on a computer and understand how occurring problems can be resolved, basic knowledge of ICT is required.

In this course a range of ICT tools and their technical aspects are discussed. In the end of this course you will for example be able to use annotation methods like HTML or XML or how to characterize basic programming concepts and how to use them to design and analyze simple algorithms.

Language, Cognition & Computation

What is meaning? How do we assign meaning to words? How do children learn the meaning of words? Can computers interpret words as well as humans can? The goal of this course is to provide an overview of theories of meaning from different perspectives, such as linguistic, psychological and computational views.

This course provides an interdisciplinary perspective to meaning. We will investigate how language is processed in the mind of the user and whether computers can simulate this process. We will look at computational theories of extracting meaning from language and ask ourselves whether the human brain uses similar algorithms.

Second year

In the second year you will follow courses like: Data Structures and Algorithms, Statistics for CSAI, Formal Analysis B, Games for Artificial Intelligence and a Research Workshop preparing for your Bachelor thesis in the third year. Other courses are explained in more detail below:

Human Computer Interaction

How are new media technologies such as wearables, virtual realities, and social robots designed to be engaging, motivating and affective for their user? In this research seminar you will discuss the state-of-the-art in human-computer interaction research. Questions answered include: What is the utility of aesthetics in a mobile phone device?; What makes an interactive robot social?

Throughout the course you will also gain experience with design techniques by developing a research project. The knowledge and skills you obtain during this course are advantageous from a labor market perspective. These skills are a theoretical basis for many new media design jobs, such as interaction design, where creating innovative content, new media, and services is often grounded in scientific knowledge about perception, cognition, emotion and motivation.

Psychology of Language

Every day, we engage in countless transactions that involve language in some way.  We have acquired tens of thousands of words. Speaking fluently, we combine hundreds of words per minute into sentences to communicate almost anything.

This course answer questions on how humans use language. In this course you will for example learn to explain the psychology of language for science, communication, business and society also from historical context. 

The Visual Language of Comics

How do our brains understand drawings and visual communication? This course explores the structure of visual languages which are structured in the same way as language. Therefore, methods of the linguistic and cognitive sciences can be used to study and understand these graphic systems.

Not only will this class make connections between a range of graphic communicative systems (drawings, comics, emoji) and spoken and signed languages, but you will also learn to understand a diverse range of linguistic principles and cognitive science research.

Cognitive Modelling

After attending this course, you will be able to characterize the basics of cognitive models, explain their utility and to develop, implement and evaluate such models. The course offers a review of standard cognitive models that provide insights into the mechanisms behind natural and cognitive phenomena, with a focus on how to model these in simulations and robots.

The course is organized around three main topics: I. Cognitive agents and robots (agent models, models of reactive behavior, learning models, cognitive robots), II. Modelling language development (models of language learning, language evolution, child language acquisition) and III. (social robotics, socially assistive robots, human-robot interactions).

In addition, you will work on a project in which you develop a cognitive model and implement this on the Aisoy1 robots.

Ethics and Philosophy of Science

Artificial intelligence is an extraordinarily and fast-moving field with huge implications for human society. This course gives you the tools to step back from the buzz and think about risks as well as benefits this new technology may bring.

We will discuss questions like: are we morally responsible for the ways in which technical tools we develop affect our society and lives? How does the possibility to act at a distance, e.g. with the use of drones, change our individual relation to our actions? During this course, you will discuss ethical challenges related to technological developments and learn how to evaluate them in an academically responsible and solution-oriented way.

Third year

During the third year of your studies you will be able to choose your minor. In the second half of the third year, you will write your Bachelor thesis. Besides the course Advanced Programming you will attend the courses which are listed below:

Data Science for Humanities

This course provides an introduction to Data Science for those who are interested in analyzing quantitative data in communications and humanities research. Like this, the course provides the basis for highly relevant skills currently sought after by companies dealing with large data sets. You will learn to understand basic terminology, main methods and tools in the field of Data Science.

The course is organized as a combination of plenary meetings and practical sessions. In the lectures, we discuss theories and research literature. During the practical sessions, we practice setting up a data mining flow in different programming environments (no prior knowledge of programming required).

Web Science

Web science is the interdisciplinary study of the World Wide Web and its impact on society. This course will consider existing and emerging technologies, and examine what impact they have on society.

For example, search engine technology is increasingly influential tool used by people for gathering information about e.g. who to vote for. Can we trust these search engines? In this course, you will gain a familiarity with web science with a particular focus on the foundations of network science and impact on the study of human behavior.


The minor consists of 18 ECTS points (3 courses) in the first semester of the third year and of 12 ECTS points (two courses) in the second semester of the third year.

Courses can be chosen from the fields of:

  • Cultural Studies
  • Business Communications and Digital Media
  • Intercultural communication
  • Studies of multicultural society
  • Text and Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Religion in Society and Culture

Free minor

It is possible to design a free minor. The free minor has to be approved in advance by the Examination Board.

All Bachelor's programs

Financial matters

Admission and application