About the Programme
Modern linguistics deals with all aspects of human language, from their grammatical structure and its interaction with culture to the methods via which they are taught.
The Linguistics master offers ten specialisations.
- Chinese Linguistics: offers an outstanding opportunity to concentrate on the different aspects of the languages of China, especially their sounds and syntax.
- Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: is a unique programme – the only course of its kind in The Netherlands that focuses on the study and comparison of a wide range of interrelated languages in Europe and Asia.
- English Language and Linguistics: covers theoretical, applied, historical and socio-historical linguistics, building on the current linguistic research being conducted at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL).
- French Language and Linguistics: offers in-depth courses in a wide array of topics covering theoretical and applied linguistics, including language acquisition, syntax, and semantics.
- German Language and Linguistics: provides you with a high level of fluency in German in a unique programme that encourages you to explore your own ideas and research plans.
- Italian Language and Linguistics: examines the Italian language from typological, historical and sociolinguistic perspectives.
- Language and Communication: explores the various aspects of language in its function as the ultimate communication tool for human beings.
- Language Diversity of Africa, Asia and Native America: focuses on the linguistic structures of a wide variety of languages spoken in these regions.
- Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics: concentrates on the complexity of natural languages, ranging from their syntactic structure to how humans process and produce language.
- Translation in Theory and Practice (Dutch/English): is best characterised by linguistic and cultural mediation.
All specialisations are offered in Full-time. English Language and Linguistics, French Language and Linguistics, and Translation in Theory and Practice are offered in Part-time as well.
The programme consists of 60 EC, to be completed in one year.
The structure of the master’s programme in Linguistics enables you to acquire academic knowledge and skills and train you in the use of scientific methods in general and to your chosen specialisation.
The general programme structure of the Linguistics programme is as follows:
- Courses from your specialisation 30 EC
- Optional Course 10 EC
- MA Thesis 20 EC
For a more detailed programme structure, please check the specialisation of your interest.
- Internship options
- Peer feedback and assessment
- Essays, reports and final thesis
- Oral presentations
For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.
"Studying linguistics always involves critical assessment: do the data confirm my hypothesis, what kind of data are necessary to distinguish between competing theories, what is the best way to set up an experiment that will provide informative data? How solid are the arguments presented in the existing literature? It really sharpens the mind!"
Claudio Di Felice
Researcher and University Lecturer
“The learning dynamics within this MA will help you build your curriculum, developing in you the language and editorial skills that employers are looking for, as well as the strong analytical skills needed for a career in research.”
“Many of our master’s students discover the quality of our programmes only after they join us. In the Netherlands, self-promotion is not a big part of our culture, yet Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty ranks alongside the most prestigious universities in the world, and is the established leader in continental Europe. What can our students expect from this programme? An education on par with the world’s best, with teaching by top researchers.”
Alumni: close-knit global community
“Your graduation from a master’s programme marks a new chapter in your relationship with Leiden University. Our alumni community is highly active in terms of network-building and development. They are valued by the university, and we support them with personal and professional development and free use of our facilities such as the Leiden University Library. This close-knit global community offers life-long support for all our former students in terms of reaching goals, maintaining friendships and expanding networks.”
Research: encouraging you to think beyond your own discipline
“Some of the most high-profile humanities research produced today is conducted at Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty. These faculty members are among a handful worldwide who can lay claim to such a depth and breadth of academic expertise. One example is our centre of excellence on Native American cultures, languages and history – a research group that is one of the best in the world. At Leiden, we can offer students expertise in most niche areas of interest. Our faculty members often work together across disciplines, and encourage students to think beyond the limits of their own discipline, which is where the future of innovative research lies.”
Careers: opportunities to develop your talent
“Decisions made during your studies have a big impact on your future. We offer you many opportunities to develop your talents both within and outside of the classroom, including internships, study trips abroad, student committees, and minors. These opportunities help define your objectives for after your studies, and equip you with additional skills and experience.”