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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Linguistics Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics
Header image Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics

Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics

How is language constructed and which aspects can be distinguished and studied? How are these aspects realized in different language families and specific languages?

THE PROGRAMME HAS THE FOLLOWING SPECIALIZATIONS: The Human Language System (THLS) and Language Development and Variation (LDV).

Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics is a one-year Master's track of the MA Linguistics which is based on the strengths of the Groningen Linguistics sections (English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish).
It gives students a broad and attractive, but coherent and cohesive, range of options, oriented along the following approaches:

  • Empirical investigation of the structure of the European languages, with focus on synchronic and diachronic variation
  • Theoretical study of syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonology/phonetics
  • Use of a variety of data (native speaker intuitions, corpus data, language acquisition data) and methods

The track focuses on language with all its complexities. The main focus is how to make sense of complex data in order to be able to study the structure, variation, change, and development of language, so as to obtain a better understanding of the human language faculty.
It covers the principal subfields of linguistic study (sound, structure, meaning), and offers plenty of opportunity for students to focus on a particular language or language family (working with specialists in different modern European languages) or to pursue their interests in general linguistics.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Linguistics
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60815
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Intensive supervision by high-quality researchers in many different languages as well as in theoretical linguistics
  • A challenging multidisciplinary approach
  • Unique combination of theoretical and descriptive linguistics in a multi-lingual setting
  • Area of study with excellent career opportunities, both in industry and academia
  • Excellent preparation for a PhD
Programme
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Language Comparison (10 EC)

LDV + THLS

Language Development (10 EC)

LDV

Language Variation in Europe: Crossing Borders (10 EC)

LDV

The Interpretation of Language (10 EC)

THLS

The Structure of Language (10 EC)

THLS

Architecture of the Language System (5 EC)

THLS

The Sound of Language (5 EC)

LDV + THLS

Master's Thesis Linguistics (20 EC)

LDV + THLS

Debates in Linguistics (5 EC)

LDV

Curriculum

In addition to the range of course units provided by this track itself, students can also follow Masterlanguage courses. Masterlanguage is a national programme that offers courses for students of i.a. German, English, French and Italian.

The courses are taught in the target language (except Greek and Latin) and are jointly organized by lecturers from Radboud University, the University of Groningen, Leiden University, Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam. More information about the courses, entry requirements and registration can be found on the Masterlanguage website: https://masterlanguage.nl/taal/engels/. You may follow Masterlanguage courses in consultation with the Board of Examiners of your Master's degree programme.

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.

More information about this option

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

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Classics (part-time)University of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

European Languages and CulturesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or minor in Linguistics

English Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or minor in Linguistics

LinguisticsUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Minorities & MultilingualismUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Communication and Information StudiesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Dutch Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or minor in Linguistics

Information ScienceUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

American StudiesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
LinguisticsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Duitse Taal en CultuurAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Engelse Taal en CultuurAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Minorities & MultilingualismAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Dutch Language and CultureAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Romaanse Talen en CulturenAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Scandinavische Talen en CulturenAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Slavische Talen en CulturenAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a specialization or premaster/minor in Linguistics

Information ScienceAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

With a premaster/minor in Linguistics

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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
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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185.

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. This evaluation is carried out by our Admissions Office and the Admissions Board.

Registration procedure

Note: it's only possible to a very limited extent to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202301 September 2023
15 August 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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
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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 185.

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. This evaluation is carried out by our Admissions Office and the Admissions Board.

Registration procedure

Note: it's only possible to a very limited extent to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202301 September 2023
15 August 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 14570full-time
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 16000full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

A Master's degree in Linguistics (Master's track Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics) is:

  • a solid foundation for future teachers, editors, communication experts, etc.
  • an excellent preparation for a social career related to the areas of theoretical linguistics, descriptive linguistics, language development, speech technology, communication and computer linguistics
  • a stepping stone to further study and training with a view to writing a successful PhD thesis.

Job examples

  • Editor
  • Communications expert
  • Linguistics researcher
Research
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Contact

University of Groningen Orange Tulip Scholarship/Talent Grant of Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, 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

ZaZa

Study association ZaZa is the study association for the study Dutch Language and Culture of the University of Groningen.
Study association ZaZa is the study association for the study Dutch Language and Culture of the University of Groningen. As a study association for Dutch Language and Culture, naming the association after our beloved alphabet seemed a perfect fit. After all, what are language and literature without letters? Take the first and the last letter of our alphabet, double them, add a touch of creativity and there it is, our name ZaZa. The goal of ZaZa is to bring together students with a passion for the Dutch language by organizing both study-related and non-study-related activities. That goal is pursued with the help of twelve active committees, two anniversary committees and one advisory committee.
http://www.zaza-nederlands.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.