The Institute of Cognition and Culture (ICC) is one of the world's first centres for research in the cognitive science of culture. This is a burgeoning interdisciplinary field in which scholars seek to explain patterns of cultural stability and variation utilising theories and methods of the cognitive and evolutionary sciences.
We offer a unique programme of Doctoral research that is based on the recognition of a need to cross traditional disciplinary divisions in the scientific study of cultural phenomena. Our training in a wide range of research methods and theoretical approaches equips students for rigorous scientific investigation, enabling them to generate significant discoveries that are of relevance to potentially many diverse fields of academic scholarship on cognition and culture.
This is a burgeoning interdisciplinary field in which you'll seek to explain cultural patterns using the cognitive and evolutionary sciences. We recognise the need to cross traditional disciplinary divisions in the scientific study of cultural phenomena, covering topics including religious beliefs and ritual actions, secularism and atheism, social cognition and agency.
Our world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. Learn more about our expertise and click here to find a PhD supervisor and explore research areas.
Our PhD at the Institute of Cognition and Culture (ICC) aims to create a new breed of scholars capable of (i) grasping the discoveries of multiple disciplines - in particular, those connected to the cognitive and evolutionary sciences, (ii) formulating and testing hypotheses through rigorous methodological means, (iii) applying these methods cross-culturally, often in collaboration with other researchers, and (iv) building a well-integrated body of knowledge on a specific topic. The students we seek for this endeavour should demonstrate great analytical skills, creativity and motivation, and a deep interest in the field of cognition and culture.
A flourishing programme of events, seminars, and research groups complements our postgraduate courses and doctoral supervision.
About the Programme
The Ph.D. programme at the ICC runs for 3 years. In the first year of training, students prepare their research proposals in consultation with their supervisors and receive group training on a wide range of methods as well as individual orientation on issues specific to their project. This phase culminates with the assessment of the proposed research. If successful, the student 'differentiates' (i.e. advances to the status of Ph.D. candidate). The second year comprises the research and data-collection component of the postgraduate training, where students systematically test the hypotheses defined in their proposals. This normally entails two phases. In the first, PhD candidates conduct a research study (or series of studies) within the laboratory facilities of the ICC. In the second, students apply their methodology to a distinct cultural context that is identified as being able to address and refine core features of the PhD candidate's theoretical model. In the final year of postgraduate training, analysis of research findings is carried out in consultation with supervisors and other staff members, leading to the production of a thesis of up to 80,000 words.
The postgraduate community within the School is lively, energetic and diverse and, contribute enormously to the research culture of the school. It includes many of our own graduates, as well as graduates of British and Irish universities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, and UCD, and international institutions such as Princeton, Georgetown and Minzu University Beijing.