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Sign Language Linguistics (Linguistics)


In the Bachelor’s in Sign Language Linguistics, you will explore sign languages, their structure, acquisition and use from the perspective of a linguist, while learning 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.

Learn more about the study programme
UvA Bachelor's programme in Sign Language Linguistics explained

Find out in 4 minutes what the Sign Language Linguistics programme is about and why you should study it at the University of Amsterdam.

Fully-fledged sign language Bachelor's

Unique programme

Ranked 1st in Continental Europe and 27th overall in QS World Rankings

Quality of the Linguistics programme

Around 10 first year students in this track

Personal focus

Broad and research oriented programme

Multidisciplinary perspective

Why study Sign Language Linguistics at the UvA?

  • A world-class education
    The programme is ranked highest in Continental Europe and 27th overall according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022. The UvA is ranked 58th in the 2023 QS World Rankings, the highest ranked university in the Netherlands and is one of two Dutch universities in the top 100. The UvA also ranks 60th on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022-2023.
  • 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 is a track of the Linguistics Bachelor's programme, which is a very broad programme that familiarises you with all subfields of linguistics.
  • The opportunity to study in a multilingual city
    Amsterdam has a thriving community of signers of NGT with many social activities.
Check the entry requirements
Copyright: Greetje van der Werf
People seem to expect that you can communicate all over the world by knowing a single, universal sign language, but just as every country has a spoken language, every country has its own sign language. Livia Faverey, student Read the interview

After graduation

A Bachelor’s degree in Sign Language Linguistics offers a wide range of career possibilities. You may apply for jobs in the field of sign language linguistics and deaf education, but also in other positions that require a critical, independent, and analytical mind in combination with good language skills. After your Bachelor’s, you choose to enrol in a related Master’s programme. Graduates have found positions in scientific research into the structure or acquisition of sign languages, advisory services in deaf education, developing course materials on sign languages and at deaf schools.

After your Bachelor's
Get a course leaflet

Would you like to have an overview of our programme? Request our brochure and receive it directly in your inbox.

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).

Explore your campus

Want to see where you will be studying? Explore the campus in our virtual map, or plan a visit and experience it yourself using the interactive app.

Facts & Figures
Degree programme
BA Linguistics
Regular study programme
180 ECTS, 36 months
Language of instruction
Starts in
CROHO code
University Quarter