Universiteit Leiden

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Linguistics (specialisation) (MA)

About the programme

Within the programme for the Linguistics specialisation you can choose one of the suggested thematic or disciplinary routes, or you may be given the possibility to design your own thematic or disciplinary route, according to your specific interests. The programme prepares you for a career in growing areas like speech technology, artificial intelligence, education, language documentation, language policy or intercultural communication, and management consulting.

Programme structure

The programme for the Linguistics specialisation comprises 60 EC, to be completed in one year. At the start of the programme you will either choose one of the ready-made thematic or disciplinary routes through the programme, or be given the possibility to create one according to your individual interests (pending approval by the Exam Committee).

We offer 7 pre-approved programmes, called Themes, which are centered around areas of expertise within our programme:

Free theme

Instead of choosing a pre-approved theme, you can also device a programme of 40 EC according to your own specific interest. However, be aware that such a programme needs approval by the Board of Examiners before the start of the year.

General programme structure

  • Core linguistics courses: 20 EC
  • Electives: 20 EC
  • MA thesis: 20 EC (including a 5 EC methods course )

In order to gain work experience or to explore the professional field, you can do an internship (10 ECTS credits) as part of your studies through the Career Service of the Humanities faculty. Within the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, there is a possibility to do an internship at one of the Experimental Linguistics Labs, or to exploring the world of scientific research together with an experienced researcher through an individual project.

The programme is concluded with a Master's thesis (20 EC), which reflects your thematic or disciplinary route.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Fieldwork
  • Internship
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays and reports
  • Oral presentations
  • MA thesis

Detailed programme

For a detailed programma, see the Prospectus. Please note that the Prospectus shows a provisional programme and list of courses.

Check the Prospectus or read the course guide.

Claartje Levelt


Claartje Levelt

"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!"

Join the Online Experience

If you are thinking about enrolling in this programme at Leiden University and want to find out if it is right for you, you can check our Online Experience. This is designed to give you a feel of what it is like to study the MA Linguistics (specialisation). It consists of a webinar with current students, recorded Master’s Open Day presentations, course structures an overview of all of our lecturers and some useful practical information.

Sign up now and join the online experience

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