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Multilingualism

We live in a world where multilingualism is the norm and monolingualism the exception. How do we deal with the challenges that this brings with it for the individual, for society and for institutions?

There's no doubt that multilingualism has important implications for communication, identity, social and cultural integration, development and education.

With its world-leading expertise in the fields of cognition, society and language the University of Groningen now offers a one-year Master's track in Multilingualism in co-operation with University Campus Fryslan (UCF) and NHL University of Applied Sciences.

The Multilingualism Master's track is unique in combining teaching of many societal, individual, educational, cultural and historical aspects of multilingualism with a practical, research-driven approach.

Students learn to deal with day-to-day issues such as helping companies overcome communication problems, design language policies or give schools advice on how best to teach children with foreign language backgrounds. They receive a MA degree in Linguistics.

The challenging Master's track in Multilingualism is situated in the picturesque town of Leeuwarden, capital of the officially multilingual province Fryslân in the Netherlands. Frisian is the second official language of the country. This setting allows students immediate access to a multilingual laboratory.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Linguistics
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60815
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Not taught in Groningen but in the wonderful city of Leeuwarden (nomination European Cultural Capital 2018)
  • Easy access to multilingual communities for research
  • Excellent combination of knowledge of multilingualism and practical research skills
  • Truly international environment
  • Career perspectives for enterprising minds
Programme
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Essential Statistics (5 EC)
The Multilingual Community (5 EC)
Language Planning and Policy (5 EC)
Minority Languages: The Case of Frisian (5 EC)
The Multilingual Mind (5 EC)
The Multilingual School (5 EC)
Internship (10 EC, optional)
Language and Cultural History (10 EC, optional)
Ma Thesis Multilingualism (20 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)

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. Click the link above to find examples of placements completed by other Master's students.

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 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

previous education

Students who have a bachelor's degree from a university in the Netherlands are eligible for enrolment if they have completed modules in linguistics as part of their degree.

These students can enrol in Studielink.nl and then get in touch with us to receive an admission letter. This admission letter must be taken to the Student Desk of the Faculty of Arts (http://www.rug.nl/let/organization/diensten-en-voorzieningen/bureau-studentzaken/) where a Declaration of Admissions to Final Exams (VTAE) must be filled in to complete the enrolment.

Students from other backgrounds (such as other Arts degrees, or degrees in the Social Sciences or Law) are also very welcome to apply to the programme. Please get in touch with the programme coordinator to determine whether you need to complete a pre-master programme before enrolling.

reference letter

We may ask students for a reference letter to determine whether they fit the profile of the MA.

written request

We may ask students for a motivational letter to determine whether they fit the profile of the MA.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
German Language and CultureAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
European Languages and CulturesAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
English Language and CultureAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
French Language and CultureAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
M Friese Taal en CultuurAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Dutch Language and CultureAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Taal- en CultuurstudiesAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
LinguisticsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Vergelijkende Indo-Europese TaalwetenschapAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Minorities & MultilingualismUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
entry test

Applicants may be asked to sit an entry test if they do not have a background in linguistics

language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components).

previous education

A Bachelor diploma in the field of:

  • Language and Culture Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Other Arts degrees (admission interview required)
  • Social sciences (admission interview required)

Students who have a bachelor's degree from a university in the Netherlands are eligible for enrolment if they have completed modules in linguistics as part of their degree.

These students can enrol in Studielink.nl and then get in touch with us to receive an admission letter. This admission letter must be taken to the Student Desk of the Faculty of Arts (http://www.rug.nl/let/organization/diensten-en-voorzieningen/bureau-studentzaken/) where a Declaration of Admissions to Final Exams (VTAE) must be filled in to complete the enrolment.

Students from other backgrounds (such as other Arts degrees, or degrees in the Social Sciences or Law) are also very welcome to apply to the programme. Please get in touch with the programme coordinator to determine whether you need to complete a pre-master programme before enrolling.

written requestNo further information
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.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 201901 September 2019
15 January 202001 February 2020
15 August 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
Tuition Fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2018-2019€ 2060full-time
non-EU/EEA2018-2019€ 11500full-time
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time
After your studies

Job prospects

With your MA-degree you could become a policy consultant, or an advisor to national and international governmental organizations and NGOs. You could also become an expert on how to deal with multilingualism in education, or on how to approach language planning for governments.

Upon graduation students hold a (60 ECTS) MA degree in Linguistics with a track in Multilingualism from the University of Groningen. A student's career after that depends on the kind of person they are. The field of multilingualism is open for enterprising minds. Being one of the main challenges in a globalizing world multilingualism creates many issues, situations and problems that can be solved only by experts.

Linguistics is a field of science that is becoming increasingly important to other fields. Language is central to the study of human behaviour and activities. A degree in Linguistics can therefore also see you into a career in related fields such psychology, sociology, computer science or education sciences. Many of the skills you are taught in an MA in Linguistics are transferable. You will probably find that your analytical competence, ability to write, as well as your capacity to solve problems will significantly improve after studying towards an MA degree.

We advice our students to complete an internship in the field of their interest. In term one of the MA a career class is organised with more information.

Job examples

  • Consultant
  • Teaching specialist
  • Researcher
  • Civil servant
  • Communication specialist
  • Publisher
  • Technical Writing
  • Copywriter
  • Translation expert
Research

De term 'wetenschappelijk onderwijs' zegt het al: aan een universiteit zijn onderwijs en onderzoek altijd nauw met elkaar verbonden. Alle hoogleraren en bijna alle docenten waarvan je college krijgt doen ook onderzoek in hun vakgebied. Het onderwijs dat je krijgt is dus deels gebaseerd op het lopende onderzoek aan de faculteit.

The Multilingualism Laboratory

The northern provinces carry a long tradition of research into multilingualism and especially the province of Fryslân does so. These regions have been a multilingual area for centuries, in which closely related endogenous languages and language varieties co-exist with exogenous varieties like English and German. Since the 1960s many immigrant languages, mainly belonging to different language families, were added to this repertoire. The standardisation and official recognition of Frisian as a national language have resulted in a rather extensive infrastructure of linguistic research, for instance on the fields of education and language policy. Thus, Fryslân and the other northern provinces of the Netherlands offer an excellent natural setting for conducting ground-breaking multidisciplinary research on multilingualism.

We believe that a multidisciplinary approach is the only answer to the many questions multilingualism confronts us with. That is why our research groups are encouraged to closely collaborate and inspire each other, fueling innovative solutions, recommendations, and policy advice. By combining approaches from different backgrounds, (fundamental) research on multilingualism becomes truly innovative, able to combine societal needs with scientific questions.

Research areas

The research on multilingualism is grouped around three areas, thereby innovatively combining cognitive, sociological and technological approaches to language in a natural setting:

Language, Culture and Society

Investigating the complex relationships of globalization, migration and expressions of linguistic and cultural identity in multilingual contexts to ensure an open, democratic and fair society.

Language, Cognition, and Variation

Investigation language processing in the individual’s mind in combination with language variation in a multilingual society, and its consequences for language change and language learning, with the intention to develop new techniques to facilitate language learning.

Language and Speech Technology

Developing language and speech technologies to support a diversity of natural, multilingual interactions between people and the devices that surround them. The aim is to be involved in R&D on projects relating to multilingual text analysis, multilingual language recognition/disambiguation, and more.

All the linguistic research carried out within the faculty is part of the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG)

Apply nowDownload brochureOpen days and eventsContact
Master's dayBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

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

  • 
								Testimonial of Sophie Gruhn

    In the future I would like to develop language tests and educational material for multilingual children

    – Sophie Gruhn
    Read more

    Multilingualism is a very recent development in our society and it is no longer exceptional to speak several languages. We need to make adaptations in the field of language policy and education, we need to better protect language minorities, and we need new research about language change and variation. These are just a few examples of the fields you can specialize in during this Master's track.

    I chose to do a Master’s track abroad because I wanted to seize the opportunity get to know another language and culture, as well as to improve my English. This all adds up to quite an advantage if you want to work in the field of multilingualism, especially if you live and study in a bilingual area as in Friesland.

    One of the course units I’m following this semester is Language Minorities: The Case of Frisian. This course unit is a bit different in that every week we have an excursion and some practical work to do. For example, we conducted a survey at the NHL in Leeuwarden and asked students about their attitudes towards Frisian, and another time we analysed the distribution of different languages in a street in Leeuwarden.

    One of the best things about the programme is that you can combine your thesis with a placement, which gives you the chance to make an initial connection with the companies you would like to work with after your studies.

    Close
  • 
								Testimonial of  Jurand Haveman

    “The program is unique in its kind.”

    – Jurand Haveman
    Read more

    This study focuses especially on multilingualism from a social perspective such as linguistic minorities, language change, contact linguistics and language policy and planning. Next to this, I chose this study as it focuses more on the practical sides. There are excursions to events and institutions that deal with multilingual settings and in these excursions you get to experience in which ways multiple languages are used.

    I chose to do this study as I think the program is unique in its kind. The program takes place in Leeuwarden, a bilingual province with multilingual practices. I think the master is challenging as it makes you think about multilingualism in different perspectives. I would say it is a full-time study as the pace of studying is quite high. I certainly study around 40 hours per week. However, I do not mind the workload that much as I really like the topics that we discuss in class. The program of the first semester is very fixed with the planned excursions and the weekly classes. The second semester will consist of your internship or another course at the RUG and your Master’s thesis.

    Close
  • 
								Testimonial of Master Ambassador Frank Hopwood

    I am particularly interested in linguistic ideologies and the role these play in the ethno-linguistic vitality of minoritized languages

    – Master Ambassador Frank Hopwood
    Read more

    I studied Minorities and Multilingualism at the University of Groningen (RUG), and, after enjoying an intellectually stimulating BA programme, I decided to continue with the MA Multilingualism, to round off my academic education. I am particularly interested in linguistic ideologies and the role these play in the ethno-linguistic vitality of minoritized languages, so this master's track was a perfect match for me.

    The team of outstanding academics give thought-provoking, intellectually challenging lectures that help students develop their knowledge of the subject matter and challenge widespread conceptions about Multilingualism.

    During the first semester of this master's track one has 12 hours of lectures a week, spread out in three days. The rest of the week one has to dedicate to either self-study or to the completion of different assignments. As both the reading materials and the assignments are engaging this a more than enjoyable activity. During the second semester one is expected to write the master's thesis and either do an internship or choose an extra course.

    Read more about Frank Hopwood and why he chose to study Multilingualism in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Frank an e-mail!

    Close

Study associations

Tw!st

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.
http://twistgroningen.nl/
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.