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Language and Cognition

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.

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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).

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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


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

  • Testimonial van

    PhD at the University of Amsterdam

    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.

  • Testimonial van

    Research Master's Student Patty Huijbers About Her Research Assistants Programme

  • Testimonial van

    I decided to take the academic path

    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.

  • Testimonial van

    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

    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.

  • Testimonial van

    Participating in the Research Assistants Programme

    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.

  • Testimonial van 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

    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!

    – Master Ambassador Lisanne de Jong
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