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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesLinguistics - ResearchLanguage 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? Is it possible to forget your mother tongue? Which factors play a role in effective communication?

Language and Cognition is a selective two-year Research Master's program that prepares you for entry into a related PhD program, or other research positions. The program offers a unique combination of neuro- and psycholinguistics, theoretical linguistics, developmental linguistics, computational linguistics and communications science. The key focus of the Research Master's program is on the cognitive aspects and processes underlying human language – and their interaction, which is the focus area 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 doresearch in the field of Linguistics. After finishing the degree, you will have acquired essential research skills and fundamental knowledge of linguistics analysis, language development, and language processing. Are you curious if you are eligible for the Research Master's program? Check the entry requirements.

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 linked to the excellent, multidisciplinary research carried out at 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 internship (20 ECTS) in the first semester of the second year which offers you the opportunity to work with big names in your field of interest
  • Research Assistantships
Programme
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Basic Statistics (5 EC)
Corpus Linguistics (5 EC)
Experimental Pragmatics (10 EC, optional)
Language Development (10 EC, optional)
Linguistic Theory (10 EC)
Debates in Linguistics (10 EC, optional)
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.

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 Mobility Office can offer help with this where necessary. Click the link above to find examples of placements completed by other Master's students.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended

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. 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 requestNo further information
other admission requirements

Furthermore, the selection procedure is also based on an evaluation of degree certificates, individual results and the thesis or paper.

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

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 students15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
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 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

If you have an interesting topic that is good enough to be published somewhere, teachers are always more than willing to publish with you and help you every step of the way. Having publish 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 one Summer or Winter school (the cost of which is paid for by the university) and complete assignments about the courses in order to obtain 5 ECTS.

More info

EMLAR/conferences

Language and Cognition students are encouraged to visit conferences in order to follow national education. After attending such a conference and handing in assignments, students will obtain 5 ETCS. An example of such a conference that has been approved by the board of examiners is EMLAR (Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research).

More info

Research Assistans Programme

If you are a talented and motivated student who started in September with the research master's track Literary and Cultural Studies, you can apply for a paid position of one day a week at the university. Read more about the Research Assistants Programme positions

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 divers: teaching and educational support or assisting in a study or other projects. A researcher will usually ask you for these positions. This makes them different from the RAP. 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 divers: teaching and educational support or assisting in a study or other projects. A researcher will usually ask you for these positions. This makes them different from the RAP.

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

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Master's WeekBroerstraat 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.

    Close
  • 
						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 Master Ambassador Lisanne de Jong

    I chose this master's track because it offers me the opportunity to explore my own academic interests, while also providing me with the methodological skills essential for a career in research

    – Master Ambassador Lisanne de Jong
    Read more

    After finishing my BA in Linguistics and Psychology, I knew I wanted to continue studying the cognitive mechanisms underlying language. A couple of visits to open days of different Research Master programs in the Netherlands brought me to Groningen and to the ReMa Language & Cognition. I chose this master’s track because it offers me the opportunity to explore my own academic interests, while also providing me with the methodological skills essential for a career in research.

    During the first semester of your studies, you will follow a number of mandatory courses that make sure that all students, coming different disciplines, have a fundamental knowledge of linguistic theory and research methodology. Additionally, you are free to choose from a number of elective courses in subfields such as theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics or computational linguistics. This allows you to design your curriculum based on your own academic interests.

    Read more about Lisanne de Jong and why she chose to study Language and Cognition in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Lisanne 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.

Research Assistants Programme

Talented and motivated students who start in September in one of the five Research Master Programmes offered by the Faculty of Arts, may apply for a paid position of one day a week at the university.

Read more about the Research Assistants Programme positions.

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.