Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesLinguisticsApplied Linguistics
Header image Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics

Can you learn a second language the same way you learned your mother tongue? What is the best way to test the language proficiency level of students? Find out in this master's track.

This one-year master's track focuses on research into foreign language learning and teaching. You will study the process of learning and the use of second languages. The track allows you to focus your research on your language of choice, for instance Dutch as a second language, but also English, French, German, Swedish, Chinese, or any other language.

You will approach second language acquisition from many different angles, including (cognitive) psychology, social interaction and language teaching. You will be introduced to the field of linguistics, language acquisition and language teaching theory.

The master's track focuses especially on dynamic aspects of language development, which explains how the process of second language development is affected by the dynamic interaction of a wide range of factors. You will learn about the social, psychological and cultural processes that interact in using a language or that may cause the use of a second language to grow or decline. You will explore didactic applications of recent research and theoretical developments, and learn about computer assisted language learning. Although this is not a teacher training programme, there is ample opportunity to discuss issues related to teaching and to do a language teaching internship.

Read more about the Department of Applied Linguistics.

Facts & Figures
MA in Linguistics
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
February, September
Why study this programme in Groningen?

The master's track Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen is a unique track focussing on the processes involved in second language learning, as well as teaching theories. The programme encompasses various fields of study, as 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 the research practices and methodology essential for conducting applied linguistics research. These classes will act as the foundation from which students will be able to conduct their own applied linguistics research in the form of the MA thesis in Semester 2. The master's track Applied Linguistics is a truly international programme, welcoming students from all over the world. The classes are taught entirely in English, and students are encouraged to use their own language 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.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Essential Statistics (5 EC)
Research Methodology Language Development (5 EC)
Teaching Methodology/2nd Language Dev. (10 EC)
Theory of 2nd Language Development (10 EC)
Computer Assisted Language Learning (10 EC, optional)
Master's Thesis in Applied Linguistics (20 EC)
MA Work Placement in Applied Linguistics (10 EC, optional)
Programme options
Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.

It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.

More information about this option

Master's placement (specialization)

During this Master's track, you can follow a placement for ECTS credit points.

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

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1

previous education

BA in modern languages, linguistics or education.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
English Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Specialisation in linguistics is required.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1

previous education

BA in modern languages, linguistics or education.

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, and the grades that you have obtained. This evaluation is carried out by our Admissions Office and the Admissions Board.

Sample of academic writing: a thesis or a research paper that was written in English, preferably on a topic related to linguistics.

Warning: it has come to our attention that some applicants hire companies to prepare their CV, motivation letter and reference letters. We encourage you to write your own personal motivation letter. We cannot be held accountable for the consequences (e.g. the difficulty of following and finishing the MA programme) of admission on the basis of non-authentic papers.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202001 February 2020
15 August 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
non-EU/EEA students15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After completing this track, you can pursue a career in research, or work in the field of language teaching and educational publishing projects. Our MA Applied Linguistics prepares current and future language teachers to be innovators in the profession. You are also equipped to take positions that deal with issues of language policy.

Job examples

  • Applied Linguist
    • language research
    • language education
    • language policy
    • language testing
    • curriculum development
    • publishing

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
Master's WeekBroerstraat 5More information


If you want to know more about the programme Applied Linguistics, please contact:

						Testimonial of Anna Pochinok

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

    – Anna Pochinok
    Read more

    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.

						Testimonial of Virag Magashazi

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

    – Virag Magashazi
    Read more

    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 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!

						Testimonial of Muzakki Bashori

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

    – Muzakki Bashori
    Read more

    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).

						Testimonial of Ana Jimenez Tirado

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

    – Ana Jimenez Tirado
    Read more

    I ended up choosing the MA in 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 RUG appealed to me as it balances theory and practice incredibly well. Simultaneously, I was looking for a program 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 whilst 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 program, 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, 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.

						Testimonial of Judith Selder

    A perfect master for me: a combination of theory and practical implications

    – Judith Selder
    Read more

    Applied Linguistics is the perfect master for me, because it combines theory in the field of applied linguistics with more practical implications such as teaching methodology. The information I received during the master events I visited matched exactly with the content of the master, so it definitely matches my expectations. If I had to give a summary of the master it would be: theory, application of theory, challenging, and international.

    Of course, studying at master level takes some time.

    We have about 12 contact hours and besides that there is quite a lot of self-study involved as well. We have the opportunity to go on an internship in the second semester. Although this may seem like a lot, it really does not feel that way. I believe that if you think something is fun and interesting, putting in the work is no problem at all.

    Read more about Judith Selder and why she chose to study Applied Linguistics in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Judith an e-mail!


University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's track 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


TW!ST is the study association for students of Linguistics in Groningen.
Since it started in 2005, TW!ST has been encouraging students to get to know each other both in and outside the lecture halls. The association organizes trips to language research institutes, symposiums and lectures, and other activities including an introduction camp, drinks and dinner parties and a gala. We also provide our members with study material at discount prices.
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.