Cognitive Science and Language (CCiL) is an interuniversity and interdisciplinary PhD on Cognitive Science as a means of overcoming the barriers that have existed until recently among the different areas of cognitive science. The doctorate is the natural continuations of the Interuniversity Masters Degree in Cognitive Science and language, but it also admits students from other Masters degrees from different backgrounds who want to carry out quality research in one of the lines available on this programme.

CCiL offers interdisciplinary training in one of the three areas of cognitive science: psychology, linguistics and philosophy.

The programme is especially centred on the perception and acquisition of language, phonological, syntactical and semantic speech processing, the relationship between semantics and cognition, the logical structure of language and the epistemic and conceptual bases of its study, computational analysis of language and the relationship between the different areas of cognitive science.

This PhD programme includes major specialists in the respective areas and the best lecturers and researchers in the university in which they teach as well as the continual participation of prestigious International specialists as gusts lecturers. All of this makes the CCiL a postgraduate programme that offers a level of scientific quality on a par with the best European programmes, and one which is especially recognised in the area of interdisciplinary cognitive science studies, as seen by the number of students that come to the programme from abroad and the consolidated prestige among universities in the same academic field.

Candidate profile

This PhD programme is aimed at people who are interested and have a good basic training in one of the lines of research of the programme related to the areas of philosophy, language and psychology, with preference given to students who can show interdisciplinary experience such as that gained from taking the Masters degree in Cognitive Science and Language related to this PhD programme.

The programme may also be of interest to professionals or graduates in other areas related to language. Specifically the programme aims to satisfy the demand of the following groups of students or professionals:

  1. Students who have taken a Masters degree related to one of the areas of research of the  programme (60 credits related to subjects and methodologies directly linked to research n the area of cognitive sciences and language). Students presenting a particularly appropriate profile are those who have taken interuniversity Masters degrees (UB, UAB, UPF, URV & UdG) in Cognitive Science and Language. But students will also be considered who have successfully completed a Masters degree related to one of the lines of research of the PhD programme. These include all students from Social Science and Humanities, Health Science or Education (e.g. language teachers, translators, speech therapists, educational psychologists, etc.) This includes students who have taken a Masters degree related to philosophical aspects (such as the interuniversity Masters degree in Analytical Philosophy), linguists and language teachers (with a Masters degree related to the teaching of languages to native speakers and foreigners, applied linguistics and translation) and psychology (such as the Masters degrees related to cognitive psychology and the relationship between behaviour and cognition).

  2. Also admissible on a prior offer from the Academic Committee are students with other official qualifications in areas related to those commented in the previous section as long as the students can accredit having training in research methods and one of the lines of research of the PhD programme, as well as a good level of English.

Professional opportunities

Research, teaching and clinical practice in areas related to the lines of research worked on. Research and teaching in related areas (Health science and neuroscience, language pathologies, language acquisition, forensic linguistics).

Objectives and justification

The objectives of this programme are those of cognitive science, or as it is currently known cognitive neuroscience. This programme has been one of the pioneers in introducing this as an academic discipline.

Current research into the psychological, computational, linguistic and philosophical aspects of natural language constitutes a broadly established tradition and therefore the objective of this programme is to train specialists in techniques and theories in each of the areas of research.

The main underlying idea of cognitive science is that an adequate comprehension of linguistic phenomena can only be achieved thanks to individual contributions of the interacting disciplines so that research in any of the areas necessarily benefits from the contributions of the others.

The priority lines of research for the PhD programme are as follows:

  • Philosophy: "Philosophy of the mind and cognitive sciences” and “Analytical philosophy”;
  • Linguistics: "Theoretical and applied linguistics” and “Linguistics and cognition”;
  • Psychology, "Processing, representation and acquisition of language” and “Cognition, perception, action”

The names of some of the guest lecturers invited to take part in conferences and seminars, among which are some of the most prestigious in the different areas of cognitive science, give an idea of the range of areas that are covered and the relationships that the programme has with other prestigious centres: Kathleen Akins (Simon Fraser University); José Luis Bermúdez (Stirling University); Ned Block (New York University); Susan Carey (Harvard University); Sabine Iatridou, Michael Kenstowicz, David Pesetsky, (MIT); David Chalmers (Arizona); Gennaro Chierchia (Milano); Martin Davies (Australian National University);  Almerindo Ojeda (OC Davis); Brenda Rapp (Johns Hopkins);  Ernesto Sosa (Brown University);  Alexander Duncan Oliver (University of Cambridge), Yosef Grodzinsky (Tel Aviv U.); Juan Uriagereka (U. Maryland); Marina Nespor (SISSA-Trieste); Jacques Mehler (SISSA-Trieste); Marc van Oostendorp (Meertens Institut-Amsterdam).


Research infrastructure

Apart from the material resources that the UAB makes available to PhD programmes for carrying out their training and research activities, PhD students on this programme have access to specific research infrastructures belonging to the following units:  


Jaume Mateu Fontanals


Composition of the academic tribunal for the PhD programme

The Academic Committee of the PhD programme is formed by:

  • Three researchers from the University of Barcelona
  • Three researchers from the Universtat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Three researchers from the University Rovira i Virgili

The internal procedures of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (admissions, approval of the research plan, assignment of tutor and/or director of thesis, assignment of review committees, etc.) Dr. Anna Gavarró Algueró coordinates a committee made up of Dr. Anna Gavarró Algueró, Olga Fernández Prat, Maria Lluïsa Hernanz and Sergi Balari Ravera.



UISAD, Integrated Unit of Administrative Support - Departments of Catalan and Spanish
Building B
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona)
Tel. +34 93 581 12 16
Contact: Melina Rodríguez Marín



Joint PhD
Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:

English, Catalan and Spanish

Organising universities and institutions:
University of Barcelona
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Rovira i Virgili University

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Catalan Studies
Department of Philosophy
Department of Spanish Studies
Arts and Humanities

Need more information? Contact the programme manager filling in this form: *Required fields

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