Bachelor Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence

Program and courses Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence BSc

Artificial Intelligence has become part of our daily lives. Our mobile phones are filled with it. And what to think of health care robots and serious games? And what do these Artificial Intelligence systems need to be capable of to communicate with their users or to function autonomously? And how do you ensure that this happens ethically?

To answer those questions, you will research how intelligent systems work and how they relate to the workings of the human brain. You also learn how to design and program artificial intelligence applications. Additionally, there is a focus on the social and ethical aspect of the use of intelligent systems in our daily lives. 

Video: short overview of this Bachelor's program (02:38)

Program structure and content

The curriculum of the international Bachelor’s program in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence builds up progressively. This means that courses are attuned to one another and that you deepen your knowledge in different themes, such as human cognition, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and computer programming, throughout the program. Therefore, you do not need to have any prior knowledge or programming experience: You learn everything in the program.*

In the first year you take introductory courses. In the second year you go into more depth by applying your knowledge and skills to themes such as Machine Learning and Human-Computer Interaction. You also gain experience in conducting research. In the third year you can, for example, choose a minor in the field of Data Science or Entrepreneurship. You also have the opportunity to go on an exchange semester. You will finish your program with a Bachelor’s thesis.

In case you already have experience with the aforementioned techniques (e.g., Machine Learning, computer programming), you have the opportunity to take on an additional challenge next to the general program.

Support program

During your studies you will take part in the Program for Academic Study Success (PASS). This program is designed to support you during your studies and to keep up with your progress. Students are divided in small groups and receive guidance from a mentor. Towards the end of your studies the accent of the mentorship shifts from study progress to job market orientation.

Year 1 Content

In the first year of the Bachelor’s program you and your fellow (international) students mainly take introductory courses introducing you to the fields of artificial intelligence and human cognition in addition to developing basic programming skills.

You take the following courses:

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 1 & 2
  • Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • Introduction to Logic 
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Language, Cognition and Computation
  • Knowledge Representation
  • Calculus

Additionally, you take several skills courses, such as Critical and Scientific Thinking and Statistics for CSAI and PASS CSAI (tutor program). 

Year 2 Content

In the second year you build upon the solid basis of the first year with in-depth courses

You take the following courses:

  • Autonomous Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Ethics of AI
  • Human-Computer Interaction for CSAI
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Linear Algebra
  • Multi-Agent Systems

You will also gain research experience in the Research Workshop: CSAI, by conducting research in our own Natural Language Technologies Lab or the Robotics & Avatars Lab.  

In the second year you continue to develop your academic skills by taking courses such as Statistics for CSAI.

Year 3 Content

In the third year you take your last in-depth courses, such as Computational Linguistics, Introduction to Deep Learning and Advanced Programming for CSAI. In the minor you have the opportunity to shape your own program.

The minor: choose your own elective courses

Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence students can choose between several, fixed minors. You can, for instance, expand or deepen your knowledge within themes like Entrepreneurship or Data Science. You can also choose from a range of elective courses - such as Programming with C/C++, Software Engineering for CSAI, Computer Vision, Language and Music Perception, AI for Nature and Environment, and Responsible Research Methods - and combine this with a research lab/internship ( 3 or 6 ECTS). Moreover, you can go on an exchange semester at a renowned university abroad without study delay.


You complete your program by writing a Bachelor’s thesis. You independently conduct scientific research in the field of Artificial Intelligence, in which you employ the knowledge, insight, and skills that you gained in the past years. You can use behavioral experiments, computational simulations, or a combination of both. 

For example: As part of their thesis, students measured social interactions during an event with the help of RFID-chips. Afterward, they created data models to record the dynamics of social networks.

Study abroad: going on exchange

We encourage all students to gain international experience. A popular and very exciting option is to go abroad on exchange. As an exchange student, you study at one of the many international partner universities of Tilburg University, typically for one semester.

The Study Abroad & Exchange Office of Tilburg University will be available to help you research the opportunities within your study program and a dedicated Study Abroad & Exchange Coordinator will be advising you before, during and after your exchange.

Most students will be eligible for a grant or scholarship to financially support them during their exchange experience. Additional grants for students with special needs or a difficult financial situation are also available.

More on studying abroad

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions

Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.

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Why Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence in Tilburg?

  • The program focuses on developing applications for Human-AI teaming and hybrid intelligence that are aimed at expanding human intellect (by combining human and machine intelligence) rather than replacing it.
  • Education is offered in a state-of-the-art environment with several labs, including Mind Labs, a Robot Lab, and a Virtual and Mixed Reality Lab.  
  • The program is built on a balanced mix of theory and practice and promotes ‘learning by doing’: during your studies, you are confronted with real-world problems and become acquainted with the application of AI in commercial and organizational settings, e.g. by participating in projects with external partners. 
  • Ethics and AI is an integrated part of the program, stimulating you to develop AI solutions that are ethical and sustainable.

Interested in the Bachelor's program in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application