Universiteit Leiden

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Linguistics (research) (MA)

About the programme

The Research Master in Linguistics is a specialised research-based programme offered at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL). It is modelled on LUCL’s unique profile of studying language diversity by means of a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.

This 2-year Research Master will allow you to gain the necessary knowledge and advanced skills for analysing and conducting research in the fascinating and wide-ranging field of linguistics.

Discover how languages have evolved since prehistoric times. Learn about language contact between African languages, indigenous American and European languages. Gain an understanding of statistics and programming in R. Delve into computational and corpus linguistic aspects in the field of lexicography. Learn about the emerging field of experimental pragmatics and understand the many data collection methods used in sociolinguistics.

Programme structure

The 2-year programme consists of core courses, short topics courses, electives and an academic thesis.

During your studies you will take:

  • Two core courses: one will introduce you to the cutting-edge research of leading scholars in linguistic sub-disciplines present at Leiden University, and the research methods employed in them, while the other provides overviews of the structure of five non-European languages by experts working on languages all over the world.
  • Two short topics courses taught by experienced researchers on recent developments in the field.
  • Courses from Summer and Winter Schools of the Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics (LOT).
  • Electives from any of the specialisations within the Master's in Linguistics programme with a worth of 50 EC (of the 120 EC). You may also replace an elective course with an internship in a research project or at an organisation.
  • A thesis based on original research.

For a detailed programme, see the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Felix Ameka

Researcher and University Lecturer

Felix Ameka

"All students who choose Leiden's Linguistics (research) are passionate and curious about the enormous communicative and linguistic diversity in the world and benefit from the wide range of languages and linguistic approaches on offer in Leiden. Students critically reflect on the key role of the languages sciences in understanding human nature, and addressing contemporary socio-cultural challenges."

Claartje Levelt


Claartje Levelt

"We offer an exceptional range of subject areas and theoretical approaches, due to our affiliation with the Leiden University's Centre for Linguistics (LUCL). The Linguistics specialisation offers thematic programmes that you can choose from, which represent the different specialisations within the university's centre for linguistics and the programme. There are also a lot of experimental labs within the institute and programme. This way, you can as a MA student get hands-on experience with experimental research in several labs. You also have to possibility to do field work, such as individual projects or an internship."

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?

Check the entry requirements

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