Linguistics (research)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 2.03 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 11.2 k / Year(s)  
66 place StudyQA ranking:4058 Duration:24 months

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The Research Master's programme Linguistics gives students the opportunity to specialise in a wide range of linguistic sub-disciplines.

In addition, the Research Master's in Linguistics devotes serious attention to methodological issues, and aims at theory formation through the analysis of large data sets. All courses are taught in English or, in the case of language-specific courses, in the given language. The University of Amsterdam is home to specialists in all the important sub-areas of linguistics. The rMA in Linguistics is coordinated by the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC). The programme capitalises on this potential by covering a variety of areas, including: research in Creole studies, discourse analysis, functional grammar, generative grammar, language and speech development and pathology, language typology, language variation and change, phonetics, second language acquisition, semantics and sign linguistics. The University is rich in terms of the languages and language families covered in linguistic research and teaching. Linguistics seminars are taught on Arabic, Dutch (including Dutch as a Second Language), English, French, German, Greek (Classical and modern), Italian, Latin, Scandinavian, Slavonic and Spanish.

Linguistics is a Research programme, which means that it prepares participants for entry into a related PhD programme. The programme allows students to specialise in any of a wide range of linguistic sub-disciplines and puts a sharp focus on methodological issues.

Programme outline

The two-year Research programme in Linguistics yields 120 ECTS credits: 30 credits for core courses, 30 credits for electives, 30 credits for tutorials and 30 credits for a Master's thesis.

The specific number of credits a student is required to obtain through coursework is determined by the admissions committee and is based on the student's previous qualifications. Fulfilment of all the requirements will take two years. Students with a related Master's degree should be able to complete the programme in one year (70 ECTS credits: two core courses, one seminar, one tutorial and a Master's thesis).

There programme can be adapted to the needs of the individual student. Students can choose from the following areas of specialisation:

  • Arabic Linguistics
  • Dutch Linguistics
  • Dutch as a Second Language
  • English Linguistics
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Formal Semantics
  • French Linguistics
  • Frisian Linguistics
  • Functional Grammar
  • German Linguistics
  • Greek Linguistics (Classical and modern)
  • History of Linguistics
  • Italian Linguistics
  • Language Philosophy
  • Language and Speech Development and Pathology
  • Language Technology
  • Language Variation and Change
  • Latin Linguistics
  • Romanian Linguistics
  • Scandinavian Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Sign Linguistics
  • Slavonic Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics and Creole Studies
  • Spanish Linguistics
  • Speech Communication and Speech Technology
  • Theoretical Linguistics

Current Issues

The Current Issues sessions constitute a weekly meeting point for all students. In these sessions new developments in linguistics are discussed on the basis of recent articles. Special attention is paid to the ideas presented in the articles, the way the articles are structured, the data on which they are based and the methodology. The sessions also facilitate training and evaluation of participants' presentation and discussion skills.

Further options

UvA linguists work in close collaboration with their colleagues at the University of Leiden. Students from the Research programme can substitute courses offered in the advanced programme in Linguistics at the University of Leiden for one or more seminars or tutorials with, subject to the programme director's approval (no additional costs are involved). The programme also accommodates participation (at moderate additional costs) in the winter and summer schools offered by the Dutch National Graduate School for Linguistics (LOT).


The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of two academic staff members involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser(s). The final text should be between 20,000 and 25,000 words.

Degree requirements

Students who successfully complete this programme receive a Master's degree in Linguistics and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a research programme. Once students are admitted to the research programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their research programme. The examination committee determines which courses qualify for transfer.

Previous education: The Research Master’s in Linguistics is open to all students with a Bachelor’s diploma from the UvA, or a recognised equivalent from another accredited university in: - Linguistics - Dutch Studies The level of the Bachelor's diploma from a foreign higher education institution must be equal to three years of Dutch university education (to be judged by the Examinations Board). Prospective students with Bachelor’s degrees (university) other than those mentioned above can nonetheless apply for admission to the programme. The Examinations Board will in such cases take a look at the content of the prospective student’s Bachelor programme, his/her study results and general motivation. Linguistics is a research programme, which means that it is meant for students with strong academic interests. This is the principle reason why the UvA follows a selection process. During the process, the university’s selections committee scrutinises the content of a student’s Bachelor programme, his/her study results (for research programmes an average grade of 7.5 is mandatory), Bachelor's thesis and general motivation. Written request: Students can apply from 1 December until 1 April by filling out the digital application form and uploading the necessary documents via the website of the Graduate School of Humanities ( Grade average: - A/3.8 (American system) - 2.1 HONS (an upper second class honours degree in the British system) - B (ECTS-system)/ 7.5 (Dutch system) Additional language requirements:Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: A2Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: B1IELTS overall band: 7IELTS listening: 7IELTS reading: 7IELTS writing: 7IELTS speaking: 7TOEFL internet based: 100 English Language Requirements IELTS band: 7 CAE score: (read more) Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever. 80 (Grade A) TOEFL iBT® test: 100

Scholarships / Grants:

The University of Amsterdam:
The University of Amsterdam provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships for excellent students from outside the European Economic Area. The Amsterdam Merit Scholarships have specifically been designed to offer talented, ambitious and dedicated students the opportunity to pursue a Mast
For additional information: Website


Accredited by: NVAO in: The Netherlands

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