Universiteit Leiden

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Modern Languages (MA)

In the one-year Modern Languages programme you will focus on one of five languages, or a combination thereof: Chinese, English, French, German or Italian Linguistics. The programme equips you with unique skills relevant to a career in academia, teaching, writing and communications.

Focus on Chinese, English, French, German or Italian Linguistics

Linguistics deals both with the search for general properties common to all languages and the study of particular languages. Chinese, English, French, German and Italian are among the most widely spoken and best-studied languages in the world.

The Modern Languages programme provides you with a solid foundation in the languages of the world’s most influential societies. You will look at how these languages can vary by place, by situation and by social group (sociolinguistics, dialectology); how they evolve over time (historical linguistics); how people acquire or learn them (language acquisition); and how people use them in context (pragmatics).

Learn more about the study programme

Why study Modern Languages at Leiden University?

  • Focus on the language or languages of your interest: Chinese, English, French, German, or Italian.
  • Learn about second language learning and bilingualism, or dive deeper into your language of specialisation by combining linguistics with literary studies on your language of choice.
  • Choose one of the ready-made thematic routes or create your own programme to match your specific interests.
  • Gain professional experience by doing an individual research project with a staff member, or an internship as part of your programme.
  • Become part of the linguistics community at Leiden University by attending events such as Linguistics seminars or by becoming involved in the T.W.I.S.T.  study association for BA and MA linguistics students in Leiden.

More reasons to choose Modern Languages at Leiden University

Modern Languages: the right master’s programme for you?

The Modern Languages programme is aimed at students who are interested in Chinese Linguistics, English Linguistics, French Linguistics, German Linguistics or Italian Linguistics. You might also be interested in second language learning, or in combining linguistics with literary studies of your language of choice. These options are an excellent preparation for a subsequent educational master.

Admission and Application

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

Check the entry requirements

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 29 Education
  • 17 Research
  • 12 Communication and marketing
  • 6 Business services
  • 5 IT
  • 5 Government and semi-government organisations
  • 5 Publishing
  • 3 Wholesale and retail
  • 3 Information management
  • 2 Non profit
  • 13 Other

The graph above is based on alumni data from the MA in Linguistics 2016-2020.

Find out more about the career prospects


After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited master’s degree in Linguistics, with a specialization in Modern Languages and the title Master of Arts (MA).

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