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General Linguistics

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The one-year Master's programme in General Linguistics has a typological focus: you will explore how the systems of the languages of the world can vary and to what extent this variation is constrained.

Become a broad and focused linguist

In the Master's in General Linguistics, you will first come to understand how human language works by comparing as many language systems as possible, including spoken languages from all continents, sign languages, child language, and language as used by people with a developmental or acquired disorder. You will then have the opportunity to specialise in one of four linguistic sub-areas: phonetics & phonology, syntax & semantics, language acquisition & disorders, or sign linguistics.

A world-class programme

The Linguistics programme at the University of Amsterdam ranks among the leading institutions in the world. The programme was ranked highest in continental Europe and 17th in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2017.

Choose your degree of specialisation

The General Linguistics programme offers you the freedom to specialise in your area of interest. If you take as many courses as possible in your sub-area of interest and also write your term paper and thesis in that area, you will be able to spend approximately two-thirds of your time on your area of specialisation. You can also opt for a broader programme by writing your term paper in a different area than your specialisation and writing your thesis on a subject that crosses the boundaries of the four linguistic sub-areas.

Student profile

As a student in the Master’s programme in General Linguistics you are expected to have the following knowledge, insight and skills:

  • You are able to conduct research independently and know how to formulate consistent and functional research questions, collect material, apply linguistics theories, and write a thesis.
  • You are familiar with the basic theoretical notions in syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonology.
  • You are interested in analysing language data.
  • You have a strong interest in the typology of languages and one of our specialisations: phonetics and phonology, syntax and semantics, sign linguistics or language acquisition and disorders.

General Linguistics in part-time mode

This programme is also offered in part-time study mode, in which case it takes 2 years. You can obtain a maximum of 30 ECTS per year (12-18 ECTS per semester). As a part-time student you will follow the programme together with full-time students. You will prepare your study plan for the part-time programme in consultation with the Master’s programme coordinator (See: Contact).

Degree certificate

General Linguistics is an accredited degree programme of Linguistics. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Linguistics and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MA Linguistics
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time, part-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 60815