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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Linguistics Multilingualism
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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?

Important information for prospective students starting a MA programme in September 2020

Interested? Join our Online Master Day!

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 NHL University of Applied Sciences. The Multilingualism Master's track is situated Leeuwarden, at Campus Fryslân.
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 (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, Narrative and Values (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)

This Master's track includes an optional work placement for which you are awarded ECTS credit points.

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 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 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 a maximum of 1 component). 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

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/onze-faculteit/organisatie/diensten-en-voorzieningen/bsz) 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.

Registration procedure

Note: it's not possible to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Duitse Taal en CultuurAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
European Languages and CulturesAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Engelse Taal en CultuurAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Franse Taal en CultuurAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
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

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202101 February 2021
15 August 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022

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: 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 a maximum of 1 component). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185. For more information on the LCET, refer to site of the language center: https://www.rug.nl/language-centre/testing-unit/english-lcet/

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.

Registration procedure

Note: it's not possible to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202101 February 2021
15 August 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 13500full-time

Practical information for:

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

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 nowBrochureEventsContact
Online Master's WeekMore information

Contact

  • 
						Testimonial of Alexandros Balatsoukas

    Amongst scholars, it is commonly said that this University promotes multicultural environments, interdisciplinarity and creative ideas and researches.

    – Alexandros Balatsoukas
    Read more

    I was born in the bright city of Athens in 1993. Before my studies in Groningen, I obtained a bachelor's in Spanish Studies and a research master's degree in Intercultural Education. Since 2011, I volunteer as a teacher to migrants, people with disabilities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I have also participated in numerous research programmes. I am also head coach of a student basketball team at the University.

    Currently, I am pursuing a master's degree in Multilingualism and Leadership. I will graduate in August 2019.

    Read more about why Alexandros chose to study Multilingualism and Leadership in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Alexandros an e-mail!

    Close
  • 
						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 Sibrecht Veenstra

    The program offers a wide variety of courses combining policy, society, culture, education and history

    – Sibrecht Veenstra
    Read more

    Hi! My name is Sibrecht Veenstra and I am a master student of Multilingualism. Living in the multilingual province of Friesland (the Netherlands) for all my life and speaking the minority language Frisian as my mother tongue has started my fascination for the multilingual community. I did my bachelor's at the University of Groningen in European Languages and Cultures with a major in Politics and Society and a minor in Applied Linguistics.

    Why Multilingualism?

    During my bachelor’s I developed a further interest in the social and political practices within a multilingual society. After spending my semester abroad in the Basque Country in Spain and experiencing the presence of the Basque minority language in daily life I was sure I wanted to do this master’s. The program offers a wide variety of courses combining policy, society, culture, education and history. The courses are very practical and research-driven and allow you, to a certain extent, to focus on your own field of interest. After the busy but very interesting first semester, you can decide to do an additional course or to do an internship in your field of interest. This master’s program is relatively small, but as we have a large variety of nationalities within the group, students can learn about each other’s experiences with the multilingual society, resulting in very interesting discussions and perspectives.

    Close

University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts .

Research Master

Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of Linguistics.

Read more

Study associations

Tw!st

TW!ST is the study association for the students of Linguistics at the University of Groningen. By organizing both study related and non-study related activities, TW!ST aims to unite its students in a different way than only in a study related setting. Study related activities include company visits, symposia, and other lectures. Non-study related activities include activities such as socials, an annual gala and pub quizzes.
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.