Sign Language Linguistics (Linguistics)

In the Bachelor’s in Sign Language Linguistics you will investigate sign languages, their structure, acquisition and use from the perspective of a linguist. To do so, you’ll also acquire at least one sign language yourself.

The world of Sign Language

Sign languages from all around the world demonstrate interesting similarities, but they are not mutually intelligible and differ from each other in significant ways. Interestingly, many of these differences reflect variation also attested in spoken languages. The acquisition of sign languages also shows interesting similarities and differences with the acquisition of spoken languages. The Bachelor's in Sign Language Linguistics teaches you general linguistic principles and methods and offers you a wide range of courses in sign languages that address these fascinating topics.

Is Sign Language Linguistics right for you?

Sign Language Linguistics is the ideal programme for you if:

  • You are broadly interested in language and sign language specifically.
  • You enjoy solving puzzles and problems that require a systematic approach.
  • You want to understand how sign languages resemble or differ from spoken languages as well as each other.
  • You’d like to learn a sign language yourself.
  • You would like to know how sign languages are acquired, and how they function in society.
Studying at the Bushuis

Why study Sign Language Linguistics at the UvA?

Sign Language Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam offers you:

  • The unique opportunity to study sign language linguistics: the University of Amsterdam is one of the few universities in the world to offer a fully-fledged programme with a focus on the structure, acquisition, and use of visual-gestural languages.
  • A chance to learn and study Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). If you have acquired another sign language elsewhere, you can bring your knowledge of it into the programme.
  • A broad programme: Sign Language Linguistics programme is a track of the Linguistics programme, which is a very broad programme that familiarises you with all subfield of linguistics.
  • A highly-regarded education: the University of Amsterdam has the best programme in Linguistics in Continental Europe according to QS World University Rankings by Subject.
  • Amsterdam has a thriving community of signers of NGT with many social activities.
  • After completing your Bachelor's, you can apply to one of the UvA's many Master's programmes.

Rankings and reputation

The University of Amsterdam offers a world-class education in Linguistics and the Arts and Humanities:

  • Our Linguistics programme is ranked 17th in the world and 1st in Continental Europe in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
  • UvA is ranked 32nd for the Arts and Humanities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017.
  • UvA is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), an exclusive network of renowned research universities.
  • UvA is a member of Universitas 21, a network of leading 21st century research-intensive universities in 13 countries.

Degree certificate

Sign Language Linguistics is an accredited degree programme in Linguistics. After completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Bachelor's degree and the title Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Want to know more?

Reread all of the information at your own convenience in our brochure and join us at one of our Bachelor's open days.

Degree programme
BA Linguistics
Full-time, part-time
180 ECTS, 36 months
Language of instruction
Starts in
CROHO code

Published by  Faculty of Humanities