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Bachelor
Sign Language Linguistics (Linguistics)
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Programme structure

In this programme you are introduced to the basic concepts of linguistics and how these can be applied to sign language linguistics, while learning Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). You will examine the key research traditions of linguistics as a whole and sign language linguistics in particular. Alongside the core programme, you will specialise by selecting a minor in one of your fields of interest. You can also decide to study abroad for a semester or do an internship.

The first year

The first year of the programme offers a broad, general overview of the entire discipline of Linguistics. You will take theoretical courses in which you learn all of the basic concepts that are relevant to a linguist. In the second block, you will follow an introduction to sign language linguistics, examining how linguistics concepts can be applied to the specific field. You will be trained in the transcription and glossing of sign languages, and take courses in Morphology and Sociolinguistics. You will study Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT), learning the language up to the level of an independent signer – approximately B1 of the European Frame of Reference. You will develop specific academic skills, such as academic writing and conducting independent research, as well as how to transcribe sign language data, record signers, segment signs, words and sentences into their component parts. At the end of the first year, you will conduct a small research project exploring the acquisition of a new language.

The second and third year

The second and third years of the programme build on the foundations laid in the first year, allowing you to specialise in the various aspects of sign language linguistics, while conducting your own linguistic experiments. You will study the phonology and morphology of sign languages, the semantics and pragmatics of language, the lexicon and syntax of sign languages, as well as varying linguistic theories. You will explore psycholinguistics in the context of sign languages. You will take courses such as Philosophy of Science and Second Language Acquisition.
In the third year of the programme, you can tailor your own curriculum by specialising in a minor related to linguistics, opting for a minor in a completely different field of study or choosing electives in a wide range of subjects. You also have the opportunity to use your elective credits to study abroad or do an internship for a semester. You will conclude the programme by writing a Bachelor’s thesis, your first major piece of independent research.

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Introduction to Linguistics
    Period 1
    6
  • Language Proficiency Sign Language of the Netherlands 1
    Period 1
    6
  • Introduction to Sign Linguistics
    Period 2
    6
  • Language Proficiency Sign Language of the Netherlands 2
    Period 2
    6
  • Transcription of Sign Languages
    Period 3
    6
  • Language Proficiency Sign Language of the Netherlands 3
    Period 4
    6
  • Morphology
    Period 4
    6
  • Language Proficiency Sign Language of the Netherlands 4
    Period 5
    6
  • Sociolinguistics
    Period 5
    6
  • First Year Group Project Linguistics
    Period 6
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Language Proficiency Sign Language of the Netherlands 5
    Period 1
    6
  • Philosophy of the Humanities (Language and Cognition)
    Period 1
    6
  • Phonology and Morphology of Sign Languages
    Period 2
    6
  • Psycholinguistics
    Period 2
    6
  • Syntax
    Period 3
    6
  • Language Proficiency Sign Language of the Netherlands 6
    Period 4
    6
  • Second Language Acquisition
    Period 4
    6
  • Lexicon and Syntax of Sign Languages
    Period 5
    6
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
    Period 5
    6
  • Linguistic Theories
    Period 6
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Psycholinguistics of Sign Languages
    Period 1
    6
  • Research Methods & Statistics
    Period 2
    6
  • Specialization Linguistics
    Period 4
    6
  • Free-choice electives
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    Period 4
    Period 5
    30
  • Bachelor's Thesis Linguistics
    Period 5
    Period 6
    12
Compulsory course
Elective
UvA Course Catalogue: Sign Language Linguistics
  • Minor and electives

    Next to your regular courses and your specialisation, you will also have 30 ECTS worth of space to fill by doing electives, a minor, an internship or by studying abroad.

    Electives

    In theory, any course can be taken as an elective, from courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities to those offered by other faculties or even other universities. Most programmes offer separate electives.

    Minor

    A minor is a cohesive teaching programme that consists of 30 ECTS. Doing a minor is not mandatory. However, it may be a good way to prepare for a Master’s programme or for a certain profession.

  • Internship and studying abroad

    The programme allows for you to do an internship and/or to study abroad for a period of time.

    Internship

    You can enrich your study programme as well as your CV by doing an internship. This will allow you to gain experience at an organisation in the field of Ancient Studies and gives you an impression of the job opportunities they offer.vStudents in sign language linguistics have previously found internships at:

    • Institutions that develop strategies and materials for the acquisition of sign languages;
    • The Dutch Sign Center (Nederlands Gebarencentrum); 
    • Hospitals with a clinical linguistics department.

    You can also opt to do a research-oriented internship with a teacher of the programme or another linguist at the UvA. This gives you an idea of what is like to be linguistics researcher.

    Studying abroad

    The UvA is closely involved with international programmes involved with cooperation and exchange within Europe, the United States and Canada. This gives you the opportunity to study abroad for a period of time.

  • Double Bachelor's and Honours programme

    Would you like to be challenged even more? You can choose to do two Bachelor’s degrees or follow the Honours programme.

    Double Bachelor’s in Humanities

    The Faculty of Humanities offers the possibility to obtain a degree from two different Bachelor's programmes. By means of exemptions you can obtain two degrees with a reduced effective workload. The double Bachelor's is intended for motivated students who are looking for an extra challenge and/or a broader perspective during their studies.

    Honours programme

    Highly-motivated students may qualify to take part in a selective Honours programme. This programme accounts for an additional 30 ECTS and will help familiarise you with various other aspects of academic research and prepare you for a subsequent Research Master's degree.

  • Learning and assessment

    Sign Language Linguistics is a three-year Bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS credits. An academic year accounts for 60 credits that are spread across two semesters, with each comprising two 8-week blocks and a 4-week block. As a Bachelor’s student, you are expected to spend an average of 42 hours a week on your studies.

    • In your first year, 12 to 15 of those hours will be spent attending lectures, while in your second and third years you will have approximately 8 to 10 hours of class.
    • The remaining time will be spent on self-study, preparing for lectures and seminars, completing coursework and assignments, as well as exams.
    • You will attend both lectures and small group seminars.
    • Lectures generally introduce the main topics of the course, discussing and explaining course readings and literature.
    • In the seminars, you will work closely with your fellow students, collaborating on assignments, presentations and talks.
    • You will be tested by means of written and oral exams, presentations, essays, reports and assignments.
    • Your final grade for a course is determined by the results you receive for each of these.

Accreditation and academic title

Sign Language Linguistics is an accredited degree programme in Linguistics. The quality of this programme has been positively accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that after successful completion of the programme you will receive a recognised Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and the title Bachelor of Arts (BA).