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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Linguistics - Research Language and Cognition - Research
Header image Language and Cognition

Language and Cognition

How is language stored in the brain? How do we acquire a foreign language? How can we explain patterns of language use in terms of underlying structures, and also the role of language in society?

The Language and Cognition program offers training in linguistics which reflects the areas of expertise among linguists at the University of Groningen. In addition to required courses, which cover core areas of the discipline, students may choose from courses in neuro- and psycholinguistics, theoretical linguistics, developmental linguistics, computational linguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and communication studies. These are the focus areas of excellent, multidisciplinary research carried out in the Centre for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and the Groningen Research School for Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN).

The program is meant for talented students from all over the world who aspire to do research in the field of Linguistics. After finishing the degree, you will have acquired essential research skills and fundamental knowledge of linguistic analysis, language development, and language processing. This program is a selective admission two-year Research Master's program that prepares you for entry into a related PhD program, or other research positions.

Are you curious if you are eligible for the Research Master's program? Check the entry requirements. While admission for the second semester is possible, we advise most students to begin in the fall so that they can follow the course sequence with their cohort.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Linguistics (research)
Course type
Research master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60817
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?

Why choose us?

  • The program is research-focused, reflecting the specializations of the staff in the Centre for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and the Groningen Research School for Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN)
  • Our lecturers are internationally recognised as experts in their fields
  • A Research Training module offers you the opportunity for hands-on research experience in your first year of study
  • A research internship (25 ECTS) in the second year can be used to work w
Programme
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Other electives from Master's Programs (optional)
Basic Statistics (5 EC)
Corpus Linguistics (5 EC)
Discourse Analysis (10 EC, optional)
Language Development (10 EC, optional)
Linguistic Analysis (10 EC)
Writing: Context, Process, Text (10 EC, optional)
Research Training 1 (5 EC, optional)
Research Training 2 (5 EC, optional)
Debates in Linguistics (10 EC, optional)
Designing your Research Project (5 EC)
Designing your Research Project (10 EC)
Language, Brain and Cognition (10 EC, optional)
Methodology and Statistics for Linguistic Research (10 EC, optional)
Seminar/Summer School/Winter School 1 (5 EC)
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Research Master Placement Linguistics (20 EC)
Seminar/Summer School/Winter School 2 (5 EC)
Research Master Thesis Linguistics (30 EC)
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)

A placement is a fixed component of this Master's track.

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 recommended

Students have the opportunity to choose an internship location abroad or at the University of Groningen. Students have followed their internship/courses at the following locations:

  • Sociolinguistics Research Lab (SLRL), University of Victoria (BC, Canada)
  • Brain and Cognition Lab, University of California (UCSD) (San Diego, USA)
  • University of North Carolina (USA)
  • Bilingualism & Language Development (BiLD) lab, State College, Penn State University (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • CUNY Graduate Center (New York, USA)
  • Laboratory for developmental studies, Harvard University (Boston, USA)
  • Digital Pebble Ltd, University of Bristol (UK)
  • University of York (UK)
  • University of Southampton (UK)
  • Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Centre Language and Education (Leuven, Belgium)
  • Laboratoire des Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (Paris, France)
  • Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany)
  • Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Leipzig, Germany)
  • Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (Berlin, Germany)
  • Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki (Finland)
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade list

Excellent academic record.

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 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185. If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

previous education

BA degree in:

  • a modern European language and culture study
  • Communication- and Information Science
  • Humanities Computing/Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Speech and Hearing
  • other related fields
reference letter

Two letters of recommendation from relevant experts.

written request

A statement of motivation and a writing sample

other admission requirements

The selection procedure is also based on an evaluation of degree certificates, student motivation, the thesis or other writing sample, and fit for the RUG program. Students who have not yet completed their Bachelor can be given provisional admission.

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 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185.

previous education

A Bachelor diploma in the field of:

  • a modern European language and culture study
  • Communication- and Information Science
  • Humanities Computing/Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Speech and Hearing
other admission requirements

Excellent academic record, letter of motivation, two letters of recommendation and transcript, thesis or paper. Sufficient knowledge, insight and skills in disciplines relevant to the course.

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.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 13500full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After graduation, you are well prepared for a career in research. In fact, this track is an ideal stepping stone to a PhD position at a university. You can conduct research in Linguistics, such as Neuro- or Clinical Linguistics, Language Development or Theoretical Linguistics. Other options are Speech Technology, and Communication and Computer Linguistics.

During the Research Master's programme in Linguistics you will acquire a wide-ranging set of skills useful in a wide range of domains. These include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Writing skills
  • Methodological skills
  • Statistical skills
  • Corpus analysis
  • Experimental design
  • Working in a team

Job examples

  • Applied researcher
  • Information specialist at a public organization (e.g. the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police Academy, or the Centraal Administratiekantoor)
  • Science journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Project leader
  • Educational specialist at a publisher
  • Lecturer in secondary education
  • Research oriented career in Linguistics
Research

The programme in Language and Cognition is tied to the Groningen Research Institute in Linguistics (CLCG) and is also affiliated with the Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics (LOT) and Research School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN).

Publishing your own work

Students are encouraged to present their work at conferences and submit it for publication, often co-authoring with instructors who guide them through the process of research, compiling and reporting results, and academic writing. Having published during your studies is a big plus when applying for a PhD position. Every year at least four students of the Research Master publish their work somewhere.

LOT Research School

LOT is an acronym of Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap (National Graduate School of Linguistics). The research by the LOT institutes covers all major areas of linguistics as well as a wide range of methodological tools and theoretical frameworks. LOT organises the national graduate courses and offers a Winter School in January and a Summer School in June/July on various locations throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. As a Language and Cognition student you will attend at least two Summer or Winter schools (the cost of which is paid for by the university) and complete assignments about the courses in order to obtain 10 ECTS.

More info

EMLAR/conferences

For students interested in language acquisition, it is possible to get LOT credits for attending the EMLAR (Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research) conference.

More info

Other conferences

Language and Cognition students are encouraged to attend national and international conferences. The TABU DAG is an international linguistics conference organized at the University of Groningen and provides one opportunity for students to hear presentations or give their own!

Student/research-assistent

The university offers student assistant positions to a limited number of students. This paid position can have a duration up to a whole year and is usually for one day per week. The activities can be very diverse: teaching and educational support or assisting in a study or other projects. A researcher will usually ask you for these positions.

Research institute CLCG

The Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) is a research institute within the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. It is the institutional home for all the linguistic research carried out within the faculty. Within the CLCG there are four different research groups:


Computational Linguistics

Discourse and Communication

Neurolinguistics and Language Development

Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics

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Master's day University of GroningenBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Language and Cognition, please contact:

  • 
						Testimonial of Marja Curcic

    PhD at the University of Amsterdam

    – Marja Curcic
    Read more

    While I was in the third year of my Bachelor's degree programme in English Linguistics in Serbia, two of my classmates did a 1-year exchange at the University of Groningen. They were so enthusiastic about everything to do with Linguistics in Groningen: the programme, the lecturers, the new things they learned.

    That’s why I chose the Research Master’s in Linguistics at the University of Groningen following my Bachelor’s programme. It sounded like a great opportunity to get into the field of linguistic research. And I have never regretted my decision. In the two years of the programme I learned all the research skills that I was going to need for my PhD, from critical thinking to writing research papers. I conducted a number of small, practical research projects, so the programme felt very interesting and dynamic, and the lecturers were always incredibly enthusiastic and ready to help. Not only was the programme itself good, I also very much enjoyed living in Groningen, a small but beautiful and vibrant student city. I am currently studying for a PhD at the University of Amsterdam, conducting research on language learning in adults. My MA programme and the lecturers involved in it were ideal preparation for my PhD research; I rely on many research skills that I acquired in Groningen, such as critical thinking, designing experiments, analysing data from experiments and writing academic papers. I’m really grateful for all the programme taught me. Thanks to this solid foundation, a PhD doesn’t feel like a difficult undertaking. I would very much like to continue doing research in my future career, but I would also like to combine it with more applied work, such as developing new language teaching methods and materials.

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  • 
						Testimonial of

    I decided to take the academic path

    Read more

    Originally living in the Baltic countries, I moved to Groningen in 2012 to pursue a BA degree in English Language and Culture with a minor in Media and Journalism. Languages, research, and writing and editing have always been passions of mine, which made the move towards higher education in this field very easy. Following the experiences in languages and journalism, I opted for the academic choice and chose to do a MA in Language and Cognition. Sociolinguistics and forensic linguistics are my field of interest and I was impressed with how much courses the faculty offered in this regard. These modules taught me skills such as discourse analysis, corpus-based studies, and eye-tracking, all of which I found intriguing. No matter what your personal field of interest is, this degree allows you to directly incorporate it into your academic scope. The degree is certainly challenging but the effort is worth it if you are an aspiring researcher and genuinely passionate about linguistics.

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  • 
						Testimonial of

    I was looking for a highly internationalized and motivating environment where I could develop my theoretical and practical skills, and in Groningen I found it all

    Read more

    After being a research master student for over a year now, I can state that my expectations have not been disappointed. I found in Groningen precisely what I was looking for: a highly internationalized, motivating, and engaging environment. Since the master program has fairly few students, I have been able to get to know my fellow classmates very well. The relationship to them is pivotal as we all are each other’s biggest fans, defenders, motivators, but also judges. Groningen provides everyone with an environment in which they can play to their strengths. An aspect I have realized since moving here is that the most important thing is not the access to knowledge, but what to do with it once it is acquired. This master is about networking skills, seeing and seizing possibilities that others do not, and also learning to cope with rejection and failure but to keep going regardless. For me, being a student of this research master is like being part of a top-class sport team.

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  • 
						Testimonial of

    Participating in the Research Assistants Programme

    Read more

    In 2014, I was involved in the Research Assistants Program (RAP), in which research master students get to do their own research under a given supervisor. Partaking in the RAP allowed me to attend conferences abroad, for instance the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), a three-day conference with researchers from all over the world. I attended various panels, poster sessions, and was involved with people who are at the forefront of research in this field. I also had the chance to see Boston. It was generally an experience that highlighted how interesting it can be to be involved in research, both academically and socially.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Nora Jamoulle

    Language and Cognition was, to me, the perfect program as it balances the theoretical aspect of linguistics and the cognitive one

    – Nora Jamoulle
    Read more

    Hi, my name is Nora and I am from Belgium! I am a research master student of Language and Cognition at the University of Groningen. My main interests are music, language/speech disorders and learning disabilities. Next to my studies I have been involved in the Speech Lab Groningen led by Martijn Wieling. In my free time, I love to travel, cook, learning new languages and I am also a singer-songwriter.

    Why Language and Cognition?

    I first pursued a bachelor in Literature and Modern languages and then a master in Linguistics. During the latter, I discovered the field of neuro-psycholinguistics and decided to explore the relationship between music, languages and the brain. After a couple of internships, I knew I wanted to apply for a master in research to be able to gain more knowledge in this domain. Language and Cognition was, to me, the perfect program as it balances the theoretical aspect of linguistics and the cognitive one. The possibility to choose my own courses and tailor a program to my needs convinced me to apply for this program. Additionally, the system of papers and presentations based on topic chosen by the student made me realize I could focus on what I truly wanted to learn. The research internship also seemed like an incredible opportunity I did not want to pass on.

    Read more about Nora Jamoulle and why she chose to study Language and Cognition in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Nora an e-mail!

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Teachers

Visit our staff page and meet our teachers.

Holland Scholarship

Are you an international student from a non EU/EEA member state starting a Research Master's programme or Erasmus Mundus Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the Holland Scholarship, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more on the Holland Scholarship.

Master’s degree programme in Linguistics

The Faculty of Arts also offers a one year master’s degree programme in Linguistics.

Read more

Study associations

Synthesis

Synthesis is the new study association for all Research Master students from the Faculty of Arts. Synthesis is both a social network and a platform for the academic development of young scholars. Given our shared interest in academic research, Synthesis organizes a variety of seminars, lectures and workshops about academic skills or career strategy with interesting speakers from different fields.
Synthesis also aims to create and maintain an active Research Master community by organizing social activities such as drinks, dinners and fun trips. Join our Facebook group for more information.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/468316950175210/
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 program 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.