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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 Maja Curcic

    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.

    – Maja Curcic
  • Testimonial van Patty Huijbers

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

    – Patty Huijbers
  • Testimonial van Julija Danu

    I decided to take the academic path

    I moved to Groningen from the Baltic States in 2012, to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in English Language and Culture with a minor in Media and Journalism. I have always been passionate about languages, research, writing and editing, so the choice to move abroad for the sake of higher education was not a particularly hard one. After my experiences in both fields of Linguistics and Journalism, I decided to take the academic path, so a Research Master in Linguistics seemed a perfect fit. Of course I wasn’t still entirely sure whether I will be able to do it and whether I will get accepted in the programme at all, as it is quite selective, but high motivation and a good grade for my thesis got me there. My main interests within Linguistics are focused around sociolinguistics and forensic linguistics, so at first I was upset with the lack of courses offered in these areas. However, the choice of courses offered at the faculty is quite impressive, and those diverse courses have helped me to get more insight in different research methods that I now will be able to use in my fields of interest, such as discourse analysis, corpus-based studies and eye-tracking. I guess what I am really trying to say is that whatever your research interests are, you can find a way to integrate them within this degree, and you can learn a lot from what our department has to offer. This degree is nothing less but challenging, but if you are an aspiring researcher who is passionate about Linguistics like me- it is most definitely worth it

    – Julija Danu
  • Testimonial van Marco Dieterich

    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

    Ciao Friend, 

    My name is Marco, I have been a Research Master student for almost one year now and I can tell you that my expectations have never been let down. 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. With a very small number of selected students being part of the master, teachers have the chance to follow each one very closely. The relationship with them often aims to symmetry, indeed they not only are our most severe judges, but they also are our biggest fan, defender and motivator. Here everyone is not only asked to do its best, but is given the chance for doing that. Over the time spent here I have realized that the most important thing we are taught is not how to access the knowledge, but how to deal with it in the most productive way once we have it. The master is about learning networking skills, seeing and seizing possibilities that other don’t, learning to sustain failure and rejection and keep going. For me being a student of the Research Master is like being part of a sport team playing at top level.

    – Marco Dieterich
  • Testimonial van Liset Rouweler

    Participating in the Research Assistants Programme

    In 2014 I was involved in the Research Assistants Programme (RAP). In this program, research master students get the chance to do their own research under supervision. One of the greatest experiences of RAP was getting the opportunity to visit a conference outside of the Netherlands. With a budget of up to 1000 euros, the possibilities were more or less endless for me. For my field of interest, the most interesting conferences were even found outside of Europe. For that reason, I eventually made the choice to go the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD). In November 2014 I took a plane to Boston to visit the conference on language development. It was a three day conference with researchers from all over the world. I went to different talks, poster sessions, lunches and dinners, and furthermore I talked to researchers you normally only read about in your papers. Also, in these days, I took the time to experience Boston itself for a bit. All in all, it was an experience to never forget, where I got an extra insight of how your life can be when you are involved in research.

    – Liset Rouweler
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