Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Linguistics Applied Linguistics - TEFL
Header image Applied Linguistics - TEFL

Applied Linguistics - TEFL

Can you learn a new language the same way you learned your mother tongue? How does our brain cope with multiple languages? Is there a teaching pedagogy that is the most effective?

This Master's track focuses on research into second or foreign language learning and teaching. You study the learning process and the use of new languages and the track allows you to focus your research on your language of choice: English as a second language, Dutch, French, German, Swedish, Chinese, etc. The skills and knowledge you acquire in this track are highly valued in areas of language teaching and testing, educational publishing, language policy making, and linguistic research.

You will approach second language acquisition from many angles, including linguistics, (social and cognitive) psychology, social interaction, and language teaching and assessment. The dynamic aspects of language developmenthow a wide range of factors (e.g. a learner's age, motivation, the amount of input) affect the learning processreceives particular attention. As such, our MA track trains you to become an all-round expert on second language development.

While this is not a teacher training programme, there is ample opportunity to discuss teaching-related issues and it is possible in some cases to do a language teaching internship.

Read more about the Department of Applied Linguistics.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Linguistics
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60815
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Applied Linguistics is a truly international programme that welcomes students from all over the world.
  • Classes are taught entirely in English.
  • Students are encouraged to use their own language (learning and teaching) experiences as the basis for their individual linguistic enquiries and research.
  • Our programme is small, which means that students benefit from small, intimate classes and close collaborative relationships with the other students as well as instructors.
  • It is possible to switch to the Research Master programme 'Language and Cognition' after this programme.
  • Following up this 1-year programme with the 1-year LVHO programme will award you with a teaching qualification and may be a great alternative to the regular 2-year educational master programme, giving you a firm research-based foundation for being a teacher.
Programme

The Master's track Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen is a unique track designed to teach all students about the important theories and methodologies within the fields of second language learning, development, and teaching in the first semester.

The programme encompasses various fields of study, because learning and using a second language may be approached from many different angles. Students will explore and discuss the factors that relate to second language development, including cognition, psychology, social interaction, language teaching, and culture. In addition to theoretical and teaching paradigms, students will also take classes in statistics and research methodology essential for conducting applied linguistics research.

The second semester is meant for you to specialize in your preferred field. During this specialization, you will also write a Master's thesis on a topic of choice and take a course and/or do an internship that fits your interests. For the internship, some students decide to gain work experience doing research on creating language tests. Yet others might prefer to work in publishing or choose to gain research experience in one of the labs affiliated with the University of Groningen. It's sometimes also possible to combine the internship with thesis research, for example by examining the effects of different teaching methods during a teaching internship.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Essential Statistics (5 EC)
Teaching Methodology/2nd Language Dev. (10 EC)
Theory of 2nd Language Development (10 EC)
Research Methodology Language Development (5 EC)
Computer-Assisted Language Learning (5 EC, optional)
Computer-Assisted Language Learning (10 EC, optional)
Master's Thesis in Applied Linguistics (20 EC)
MA Work Placement in Applied Linguistics (5 EC, optional)
MA Work Placement in Applied Linguistics (10 EC, optional)
Programme options
Master's Placement (specialization)

This Master's track includes an optional work placement for which you are awarded ECTS credit points.

It is your responsibility to find a placement yourself, but the Office for Student Affairs can offer help with this where necessary.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
LinguisticsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Dutch Language and CultureAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

English Language and CultureAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

European Languages and CulturesAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Minorities & MultilingualismAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
European Languages and CulturesUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
English Language and CultureUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Dutch Language and CultureUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Information ScienceUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

American StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

LinguisticsUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Communication and Information StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Minorities & MultilingualismUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Classics (part-time)University of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Students with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Groningen in:

  • Linguistics
  • Minorities and Multilingualism
  • Dutch Language and Culture
  • English Language and Culture
  • European Languages and Cultures

are directly admissible to this Master's track. This also applies to students who have earned these Bachelor's degrees from other Dutch research universities, with one addition: Students with a BA in English Language and Culture, Dutch Language and Culture, European Languages and Cultures or any other foreign language have to have specialized in linguistics during their BA.

Students with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Groningen in:

  • American Studies
  • Communication & Information Sciences
  • International Relations and International Organization
  • Middle-Eastern Studies
  • Greek and Latin Language and Culture/ Classics
  • Information Science

with a Faculty Minor (30 ECTS) in Linguistics, are also admissible to this Master's track.

language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 100 (with a minimum of 25 on writing skills), or IELTS 7 (with a minimum of 6.5 on all items). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185.

This does not apply if you completed an English-taught bachelor programme at the University of Groningen. In this case, you do not need to show a certificate for English.

other admission requirements

Students who are not eligible for direct admission can apply for this MA programme and may then be offered a pre-master programme ranging from 30 to 60 ECTS. This pre-master programme is tailored to your background and is an excellent preparation for the MA programme in Applied Linguistics. Note that you cannot apply directly for a pre-master programme, as this is only decided on by the Admissions Board for the MA programme to which you apply.

Registration procedure

Note: it's only possible to a very limited extent to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Students with a Bachelor's degree of a research university in Linguistics, with a specialization in linguistics, or with a sufficient number of linguistics courses and research components are eligible for admission to this Master's track.

language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 100 (with a minimum of 25 on writing skills), or IELTS 7 (with a minimum of 6.5 on all items). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185.

This does not apply if you completed an English-taught bachelor programme at the University of Groningen. In this case, you do not need to show a certificate for English.

other admission requirements

To assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements, we will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies. This evaluation is carried out by our Admissions Office and the Admissions Board.

Students who are not eligible for direct admission can apply for this MA programme and may then be offered a pre-master programme ranging from 30 to 60 ECTS. This pre-master programme is tailormade to your background and is an excellent preparation for the MA programme in Applied Linguistics. Note that you cannot apply directly for a pre-master programme, as this is only decided on by the Admissions Board for the MA programme to which you apply.

General information about the pre-master programme can be found here.
Checklist needed for your application

Registration procedure

Note: it's only possible to a very limited extent to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 16000full-time
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 18700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Upon graduation, students will obtain an MA degree in Linguistics with a specialization in Applied Linguistics.

Due to the varied options in the second semester, there is no one particular job our students tend to end up in. Some of our graduates end up in research positions, for example at a university or a research institute. Others become educational specialists, go back to teaching or continue with a teaching degree in their chosen language. Some also end up at teacher training institutes or work at language policy institutes (e.g. at provincial, national or international level). We also have quite a few graduates who have found positions in material development or language testing (e.g., Noordhoff Publishing Company, Diataal, or the Dutch CITO).

Despite the differences between our graduates and where they end up, it should be noted that many of the skills our students acquire are transferable. Our graduated students are specialized in teaching languages and language development, possess excellent analytical and writing skills (especially in English), and have obtained the capacity to analyze and solve problems. Therefore, our students are a great asset to a variety of companies and institutes and almost all of our students find a job within a few months after graduation.

Job examples

  • Material developer
  • Publisher
  • Teaching specialist
  • Communication specialist
  • Curriculum developer
  • Educational policy maker/ adviser
  • Educational specialist
  • Language policy maker/ adviser
  • Language researcher/ linguist
  • Language teaching professional
  • Language testing expert
  • Language tutor
Research

Research in Applied Linguistics focuses on the process of learning and using a second language. It covers various fields of study because learning and using a second language can be approached from many different angles, including cognition, psychology, social interaction, language teaching and culture.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

I not only learn about the theory, but also I am equipped with the practical experience.

When I was an undergraduate in 2010, studying abroad was nothing more than a mere dream. Five years later, this dream became reality! I thanked God that after so much effort, I had finally been able to obtain a scholarship from LPDP (Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education). Shortly after, I was accepted in the one-year Applied Linguistics MA program in Groningen. This degree was really everything I hoped for as I aspire to become an English teacher in Indonesia.

Besides gaining a theoretical insight, I have also acquired practical experience in this field. These experiences and qualifications will undoubtedly benefit me in my career within teaching and education, particularly towards TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

Read more about Muzakki and his student life experience in Groningen.

Read more

In the future I would like to work in the field of TEFL materials development

I had had more than six years experience in the department of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) before I decided to further advance in my professional career. To do so, I wanted to acquire a more in-depth understanding of how languages are learned and which neuroscientific components and teaching methods are involved in the efficient and sustainable acquisition of a second language.

The degree of Applied Linguistics contains a lot of research and skills to be obtained. Despite being challenging, the study is interesting and keeps students as well as staff engaged with the topic at hand. I particularly enjoyed the modules concerning Statistics, Language Development, and Teaching Methodology. The advanced level of teaching in combination with being on the forefront of research in this field also results in great employment chances when entering the labour market.


With Groningen being a very international city, I made friends from all over the world, which was an incredibly enriching and inherently positive experience.
The good facilities at the university are another positive component whilst I also liked the applied teaching methods
and the supportive staff and academic surroundings. I aspire to continue working in the field of TEFL material development.
My time in Groningen has immensely contributed to obtaining the skill-set required for this work.

Read more

All of the teachers do their best to teach the students as much as they can

I was lucky enough to spend one semester at the Department of Applied Linguistics in Groningen, where I chose to follow the modules of Research Methodology, Teaching Methodology, and Theories of Second Language Development. Learning and comparing different theories of language learning, acquisition, and development enabled us to think critically about the discussed issues and also taught us how to conduct our own research.

The Applied Linguistics MA track in Groningen really excels due to the expertise of the instructors as well as the support provided to the students. All in all, the learning community is very inclusive and constructive. The classes taught me to think critically and also contributed towards the development of my academic English skills. There is also a strong emphasis on a very collaborative approach, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The semester I spent in Groningen benefited me massively as a
person as I was privileged enough to spend half a year in a very international environment, which enriched my academic skills as well as my general knowledge. The university and city of Groningen have been the perfect choice for me and I could only recommend studying there!

Read more

"The teachers are experts in the field and lectures and seminars are balanced in terms of theory, and individual and group assignments."

I ended up choosing the MA track Applied Linguistics due to my interest in language as such and particularly my interest for finding the best method of teaching and learning second languages.

The degree at UG appealed to me as it balances theory and practice incredibly well. Simultaneously, I was looking for a programme that was affordable and did not exceed the span of one year. I cannot say I have been disappointed: the instructors are experts in their field, and lectures and seminars are well-balanced in their emphasis on theory, and individual and group assignments. This keeps the seminars very engaging as there is always room for debate within the group. As with any MA programme, it is a lot of work. However, the studying certainly contributes to our academic development. A question I frequently hear is: “What is applied linguistics? Are you going to be a teacher?” The actual options are much broader: following the completion of The MA track, you will be an expert in teaching languages. This enables you, for instance, to work in a language centres, as an advisor as on how to acquire language, or as a researcher.

Read more

University of Groningen Orange Tulip Scholarship/Talent Grant of Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, India or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.

Research Master

Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of Linguistics.

Read more

Study associations

ZaZa

Study association ZaZa is the study association for the study Dutch Language and Culture and Linguistics at the University of Groningen.
As a study association for Dutch Language and Culture and Linguistics, naming the association after our beloved alphabet seemed a perfect fit. After all, what are language and literature without letters? Take the first and the last letter of our alphabet, double them, add a touch of creativity and there it is, our name ZaZa. The goal of ZaZa is to unite students with a passion for the Dutch language/literature and linguistics by organizing both events related and unrelated to our studies. That goal is pursued with the help of eleven active committees, two lustrum committees and two advisory committees.
http://www.zaza-nederlands.nl
Read more
Study support

If you have any questions or doubts about your studies, you can always contact the study advisor. He or she knows all the ins and outs of the programme and personal planning. Study advisors are impartial and everything that is discussed is treated confidentially. They can also help you find the right institutions and student desks for your problems.