Introduction to the Cognitive Sciences

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The purpose of this course is to give students at the bachelor's program in cognitive science a broad understanding of the field of cognitive science from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course discusses models of cognition that are based on empirical studies of human behaviour and computer models of artificial intelligence. We will look at different theories of knowledge representation, reasoning, learning and comprehension, and explore how natural language, perception, and consciousness relate to thinking. Furthermore, we look at how cognitive science has its roots in various subjects such as computer science, mathematics, information science, linguistics, psychology and philosophy, and explore the relationship between formal- and psychological models of explanation.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • has an overview of how knowledge from computing, mathematics, linguistics, psychology and philosophy can combine to give us an understanding of thinking.
  • understands how the other courses in the program contribute to cognitive science, and has a basis for specialization in the master degree.


The student

  • can reflect critically on issues that are central to cognitive science.

Level of Study

Bachelor level

Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
Open to all students at the University of Bergen and to international exchange students.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, seminars, tutoring. (Normally two hours of lectures and two hours of group instruction per week for 10 weeks.)
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Mandatory participation: Students must participate in class exercises. Attendance in seminar lab groups is mandatory (at least 80%).

Approved compulsory requirements are valid for the two following semesters.

Forms of Assessment
  • 3 hour written examination (50%)
  • Semester assignment, individual (50%)
  • The exam assignment will be given in the language of instruction in the course.

    The exam answer must be submitted in the same language as the exam assignment.

    Grading Scale
    The grading system has a descending scale from A to E for passes and F for fail.
    Assessment Semester

    Assessment in teaching semester.

    Retake exam

    School exam:

    A retake exam is arranged for students with valid absence according to § 5-5. If there is a retake exam, this will be available for students with the follow results/absences:

    • Medical certificate/valid absence
    • Interruption during the exam
    • Fail/failed

    If you have the right to take a retake exam and a retake exam is arranged for students with valid absences, you can sign up yourself in Studentweb after January 15/August 1.

    Individual assignments:

    Students with valid absence as defined in the UiB regulations § 5-5 can apply for an extended submission deadline to The application must be submitted before the deadline for submission has expired.

    Course Evaluation
    All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.