Modelling for neuronal and cognitive systems (Mod4NeuCog MSc Program)


Mod4NeuCog is a 2-year master's program on the modeling of neuronal and cognitive systems, which is designed to train the interdisciplinary researchers of tomorrow. Through its innovative mentoring approach, Mod4NeuCog aims to encourage students to develop their natural curiosity and independence. The goal is to train active researchers at the crossroads of applied mathematics and cognitive sciences.

At the end of the program, students will have acquired sufficient basic knowledge in mathematics, statistics, computer science, biology and cognitive science to model neurocognitive systems. They will also have specialized in a particular field of interest through research projects hosted at UCA laboratories.

The fields of specialization include medicine, mathematics, linguistics, physics, experimental economics, psychology, computer science, neurophysiology or chemistry of olfaction.

The Mod4NeuCog MSc is part of the NeuroMod Institute. Learn more about us by watching this video!

Structure and key information

Mod4NeuCog is designed to progressively stimulate autonomy and initiative through highly interactive courses, projects and internships that require students to be more independent at each stage, in order to encourage them to develop their personal and professional skills.

Hence the following structure:

  • Bootcamp: A highly interactive and intensive refresher module during the first few weeks of study.
  • 1st semester: Core and elective courses, including modeling, biology and cognitive sciences.
  • 2nd semester: Mini-project, prospective research and innovation, computational modeling and simulation.
  • 3rd semester: Long internship in a local laboratory or partner institution, elective courses, scientific communication.
  • 4th semester: Long internship abroad (international), Python online module.

For more information look at our course catalogue and partner institutions.

The program is conducted in English and is based next to one of the biggest tech campuses in Europe, Sophia Antipolis.

The admission requirements are a bachelor-level degree in any of the following fields: Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Cognitive Science or Social Science. Evidence of sufficient mathematical background is also required, depending on the type of bachelor's degree.

After successful completion, students will be awarded the degree of MSc (Master of Science) from Université Côte d'Azur (UCA).MSc logo






The general teaching approach in the Mod4NeuCog program is based on the maker/hacker philosophy (learning by doing). Students will conduct independent “mini-projects”, as well as personal initiative projects which are based on group work. The projects are guided by following objectives:

  • Direct application of knowledge acquired in cognitive sciences and neurosciences.
  • Creation of a model.
  • Practical implementation (hardware, software/simulation, etc.).

The personal initiative project (optional) is developed by students in the OpenNeuroLab, where they can freely explore and share knowledge by experimenting with other students (alongside researchers, industrial developers, artists, etc.). This process stimulates creativity and openness to collaborative work. Our approach tries to break from traditional teaching by replacing, in part, formal lectures with interactive lessons and increased experimentation. For instance, students are asked to solve problems by developing multiple original solutions, following the approach of Minsky, or to choose their own research topics.

As part of their independent project, students have a small budget to spend at their discretion (for example, on a 3D printer, on books, to invite a lead researcher in the field, or to participate in an international competition).

For more information click on following links:



The second year consists of two internships.

The first internship (at a Université Côte d'Azur based lab) starts in September and ends in January. We offer to organize the first (paid) internships within our large network of partner institutions.

The second internship is preferably abroad or outside of academia, but exceptions may be possible, especially in the case of visa requirements.

The Mod4NeuCog staff assist students in finding their internships. One or both of the internships can be a continuation of the mini-project or the personal initiative project.

International collaborations

Mod4NeuCog provides opportunities for finding international internships through its many collaborations with foreign institutions, such as:


Sao Paulo
ridc.png RIDC NeuroMat The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) is a center of mathematics whose mission is to develop the new mathematics needed to construct a Theory of the Brain accounting for the experimental data gathered by neuroscience research. Hosted by the University of São Paulo, the RIDC NeuroMat was established in 2013. It has an interdisciplinary team, bringing together researchers in mathematics, computer science, statistics, neuroscience, biology, physics and communication, among other disciplines.


Austin, Texas
mathneurolab.png MathNeuro Lab The MathNeuro laboratory in Austin develops novel analytical and algorithmic tools to address questions at the interface of Systems Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics: stochastic neural dynamics, information coding capabilities, and neural assemblies as transport networks.


dsin.png The Dynamical Systems Interdisciplinary Network The project network encompasses visual cognition, neuronal signalling and networks, renal and cardiovascular physiology, metabolomics, molecular dynamics and econometrics. By combining ideas from the many fields where an understanding of dynamical systems is essential, and by combining comprehensiveness with in-depth expertise, the network aims to create an internationally unique research centre, where pioneering methodology can be developed thanks to cross-disciplinary collaboration.


Bilbao (Basque Country)
bcam.png BCAM BCAM is an applied mathematics research center that was created with the support of the Basque Government and the University of the Basque Country. The center aims to strengthen the Basque science and technology system, by performing interdisciplinary research on the frontiers of mathematics, and training and attracting talented scientists.

United Kingdom

mnn.png UK Mathematical Neuroscience Network MNN aims to provide a UK focus for the use of mathematical approaches to problems in neuroscience. Mathematical neuroscience here means an area of neuroscience where mathematics is the primary tool for elucidating the fundamental mechanisms responsible for experimentally observed behavior. The Network allows and encourages more UK mathematicians to engage in fundamental neuroscience and at the same time tackle substantial mathematical challenges that are of broader scientific interest to the nonlinear and complex systems community. Importantly, it can draw attention to, and develop, those pieces of mathematical theory which are likely to be relevant to future studies of the brain.

Future Careers

Canva - Two Women in Front of Dry-erase Board.jpg

The Mod4NeuCog program provides a thorough introduction to a variety of computational and experimental methods, and also gives an overview of state-of-the-art research in neuroscience, cognitive science and machine learning. Our graduates have the necessary training to enter a high-quality PhD program or to work in private R&D industry positions in a wide range of areas including neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science and applied mathematics.

Mod4NeuCog’s strong links with research laboratories directly leads motivated students to great PhD opportunities.

Mod4NeuCog provides its students with an excellent opportunity to showcase their motivation and talent and to develop a network including some of the best researchers locally or abroad, paving the way for an academic career atUniversité Côte d'Azur and its associated laboratories.

How to apply?

Applications must be submitted online. The e-candidate platform is now open! 


The deadline for applications is the 15th of July 2020.

Requirements: bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics or any field related to neuroscience and cognitive science.

Evidence of proficiency in English (Toefl tests, IELTS, etc.). Native speakers and graduates from universities with instruction in English may be exempt.

Please also provide evidence of your capacity to follow mathematics courses at a rapid pace - we therefore recommend that applicants include syllabi of previously completed mathematics courses. Learn more about our minimum knowledge requirements here

Documents: most recent diploma, transcripts of records/grades, CV and a motivation letter explaining your interest in neuroscience and cognition.

A short essay is also required, describing a project that the applicant would like to develop. Please have this document ready in PDF format before filling out the application form. The exclusive purpose of the project description is to evaluate the applicant's capacity and genuine interest in the subject.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee is €4,000 per academic year plus a small additional fee for registration in the French system. Some students can benefit from a tuition waver and/or receive a student contract (work contract at the University), depending on the availability of funds. Please note however that the fees for EU-citizen can vary as they are calculated based on your income.

Funding opportunities can be found on the Campus France website.


International Students: Welcome!



Useful tips for your arrival in France, regarding visa applications, housing opportunities and practical information about the everyday life in Nice :


Visit the UCA website

Download our welcome guide here (pdf)





Learn more about us!

The NeuroMod institute organizes seminars and mini-courses on a monthly basis. They are intended for a large audience (students, faculty and researchers in different fields such as mathematics, computer sciences, biology, cognitive sciences, etc.). Each mini-course is recorded and released on the website.


Contact us

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Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire (EPU) les Lucioles

Msc Mod4NeuCog

1645 Route des Lucioles

FR-06410 BIOT