Universiteit Leiden

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Modern Languages (MA)

English Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics at Leiden University focuses on English language usage and linguistics around the world, including in countries where English is spoken as a second language or as part of a mixed language.

English Language and Linguistics at Leiden University is part of the MA Linguistics specialisation Modern Languages.

Study the English language in its various forms

During your studies you will delve deeply into the English language in its various forms. You will learn about the different cultural and historical circumstances in which the language has developed, and continues to develop. A comparative and global approach to learning incorporates theoretical comparisons with other languages –linguistically, culturally, historically, psychologically, and sociologically.

Choose from specialised topics

You will be able to choose from a wide range of specialised courses and research topics, both theoretical and applied and often related to ongoing research projects. You will also apply various aspects of linguistic theory to the description of the facts of English, with a particular emphasis on the earlier stages of the language, such as Old and Middle English, as well as Early and Late Modern English.

Study programme

For an overview of the English Language and Linguistics study programme, please check the Prospectus.

Admission requirements

To see if you are eligible for this master’s programme, please check the Modern Languages Admission Requirements.

Apply now

Have you already made your choice? You can apply directly via the Modern Languages Application pages.  

Please note: you cannot apply separately for the specialisation ‘English Language and Linguistics’, as it is part of the ‘Modern Languages’ specialisation. When you start your application you will first need to select ‘MA Linguistics’ (CROHO code: 60815). When asked for a specialisation, select ‘Modern Languages’. Studielink will automatically direct you to uSis (Leiden University’s online application portal) within 2 or 3 working days.


Do you have questions about studying English Language and Linguistics at Leiden University? Get in touch with our study advisor.

Inge Hindriks

Graduated in English Linguistics (MA Linguistics)

Inge Hindriks

“During my bachelor’s programme in English Language and Culture, I became interested in second language learning and teaching and I wanted to specialise myself in this field of interest. The master’s programme in English Linguistics offered relevant courses with regard to my interests and provided me with an opportunity to learn from and work with excellent researchers that are specialised in this field.”

Freedom of Choice                              

“The programme is very flexible in the sense that you have a lot of freedom in choosing courses you’d like to follow. As a student you’re also able to choose courses on linguistic subjects from different tracks or master’s programmes, which gives you the opportunity to customise your personal schedule based on your specific interest(s).”


“Currently, I’m a trainee at Eerst de Klas, which means that I teach English at a secondary school three days a week. During the rest of the week I follow an intensive master teacher training programme and I take part in a leadership programme designed by the most innovative and leading organisations in the Netherlands. During my Leiden master’s programme I’ve learned a lot about second language teaching and learning which I can put into practice every day.”

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