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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Voice Technology
Header image Voice Technology

Voice Technology

This one year master's in Voice Technology will give you the expertise you need to contribute to the cutting edge in voice synthesis and speech recognition.

This interdisciplinary programme is suitable for students coming from the social sciences, computer sciences, and the humanities. The main requirement is interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn new things. Speech technologies have permeated life so much that we hardly even notice their presence. Whenever you dictate a message on your smartphone, ask Alexa the weather, or learn a language using an app, you are using voice technologies. And with new Internet-of-Things applications on the horizon, smart spaces and the presence of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Home are poised to grow even further.
This programme, developed in consultation with partners from Silicon Valley, local start-ups and universities worldwide, will ensure you acquire expertise in voice synthesis and speech recognition and have the requisite mastery of programming, machine learning, and speech sounds. You will work in teams to make your own synthetic voices, speech recognizers, and more. You’ll even make your own voice tech demo as a final project. People with scientific expertise in the domain of voice technology are in short supply. We aim to fix that!


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Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Voice Technology
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60472
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Campus Fryslân
Why study this programme in Leeuwarden?

The Voice Technology MSc. is the only graduate programme dedicated to voice synthesis and speech recognition. This is an interdisciplinary programme in which students from diverse backgrounds collaborate with each other and industrial partners. You will develop speech recognizers, make synthetic voices, and execute empirical experiments. Your thesis project also includes making a demonstrator to showcase your expertise.

Leeuwarden is a city of innovation, home to many start-ups and established companies, including serious game and tech businesses which could collaborate on voice technology applications. Additionally, there are several other universities, colleges, research institutes, and language-related NGOs. Voice technology is even recognized by the province as a crucial domain of regional interest, indicating strong political support for this master's programme.

Leeuwarden is a medium-sized vibrant student city and the capital of the province of Fryslân. It is a highly cultural city, recently named the European Capital of Culture. It offers many festivals, bars, cinemas, museums, theatres, and parks. Leeuwarden, like all of Fryslân, is multilingual with many locals speaking the Frisian language alongside Dutch, English and others. It is, then, an interesting test-bed for voice technology developments involving less-resourced languages, multilingualism and code switching.

Affordable housing and accommodation are easily found. The inter-city high-speed trains provide easy connection to the nearby city of Groningen and many other cities, from The Hague to Amsterdam.

Programme

The curriculum is aligned across four blocks.

1: The courses in this block lay the foundations for the MSc. Voice Technology with essential content needed for the rest of the programme. This includes an introductory course into voice technology (in which you will develop your first application). Students also learn Python programming for voice technology and become familiar with the scientific study of speech sounds.

2: This block provides subject-specific courses on voice technology. The knowledge and skills learned in the 1st block are used together with Machine Learning within the courses Speech Recognition I and Speech Synthesis I, both of which start from the humble beginnings of voice technology, and give students an inside, hands-on view on some of the first attempts to automatically recognize and synthesize voice up to current systems.

3: Speech recognition and synthesis are taken to a higher level in Speech Recognition II and Speech Synthesis II as students learn about state-of-the art systems and real-world challenges, augmented with guest lectures given by industrial partners. The Thesis Design course educates students on experimental protocol and research ethics and guides them through the development of a pilot study and prototype demonstrator.

4: Students combine knowledge and skills from the previous blocks and use them in their Thesis Project. Building on the pilot study and prototype developed in the last block, students write their thesis and polish their prototype to create a demonstrator suitable for their thesis defense. They also prepare to present results at the end of the year.

Periods
Courses1234
Introduction to Voice Technology (5 EC)
Programming (5 EC)
Speech Sounds (5 EC)
Machine Learning (5 EC)
Speech Recognition I (5 EC)
Speech Synthesis I (5 EC)
Speech Recognition II (5 EC)
Speech Synthesis II (5 EC)
Thesis Design (5 EC)
Thesis Project (15 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is unaccommodated
Entry requirements

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
LinguisticsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Computing ScienceAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Sufficient English language proficiency is required.

English on VWO level or students with a full bachelor's degree where the only language of instruction is English. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 with a minimum of 21 for all items, IELTS: a minimum score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 on all items, or Cambridge English; C1 advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180, or a certificate from the University of Groningen Language Centre; Minimum section score C1 (writing) and three B2's allowed.

Registration procedure

Students apply the following steps:

1) Via the apply now button you will enter the step by step guide. First you fill in your personal details and upload a transcript of records. Soon after your submission, we'll contact you to set up a (virtual) meeting. In this meeting, you will have a chance to ask questions, and receive advice on the admissions procedure

2) Upload all the required documents. You'll receive a link from us to do so. Based on this the Admissions Board will make a decision.

Accepted students are requested to complete one or two MOOCs, depending on their background, in programming or linguistics.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Sufficient English language proficiency is required.

With a minimum TOEFL score of 90 with a minimum of 21 for all items, IELTS: a minimum score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 on all items, or Cambridge English; C1 advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180, or a certificate from the University of Groningen Language Centre; Minimum section score C1 (writing) and three B2's allowed.

Exceptions can be made for native speakers of English or students with a diploma of a fully English taught Bachelor's programme from a university. This decision is up to the Admission Officer.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
C1 Advanced (formerly CAE)C1
C2 Proficiency (formerly CPE)C2
IELTS overall band6.5
IELTS listening6
IELTS reading6
IELTS writing6
IELTS speaking6
TOEFL internet based90

Registration procedure

Students apply the following steps:

1) Via the apply now button you will enter the step by step guide. First you fill in your personal details and upload a transcript of records. Soon after your submission, we'll contact you to set up a (virtual) meeting. In this meeting, you will have a chance to ask questions, and receive advice on the admissions procedure

2) Upload all the required documents. You'll receive a link from us to do so. Based on this the Admissions Board will make a decision.

Accepted students are requested to complete one or two MOOCs, depending on their background, in programming or linguistics.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2021-2022€ 2168full-time
non-EU/EEA2021-2022€ 15900full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Throughout the programme we invite several guest speakers from industry. That way students will get a good impression of the various possibilities ranging from developing speech recognizer, synthetic voices, automatic detection of pathologies from speech, the use of voice technology in robotica and/or dialogue systems, etc. The voice technology industry is a fast-growing market which provides lots of opportunities for graduates.

Job examples

  • Voice Forensic Specialist
  • Speech Analyst
  • Research Engineer
  • Entrepreneur
  • PhD Researcher
  • Speech Scientist
Research

Research

The MSc. Voice Technology is aligned with research activities at the faculty. Most notably this includes the “Culture, Language and Technology” research flagship. This flagship consists of an international, multidisciplinary team of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers working on topics as diverse as voice-based disease recognition, multilingualism and the brain, voice synthesis for under-resourced languages, multilingual ethnography, and more..

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Webinar & Q&AMore information

Contact

  • Admission Office Ug
    Email: cf.msc.admission rug.nl
    Telephone: +31 (0)50 363 8976
  • Voice Technology Team MSc
    Email: cf-vt rug.nl
    Telephone: +31(0)58-205 5000

Study associations

Nobis Cura Futuri

Nobis Cura Futuri is the Study Association and the official embodiment of the international student community at Campus Fryslân.
Founded in 2020, we aim to provide plenty of fun, social and academic events (think of Pub crawls, talent shows, travels, guest-speaker evenings). All in the spirit of Nobis Cura Futuri: “The Care of the Future is Ours”, meaning we strive to provide activities that are aimed at making the most of your student life by adhering to our values of responsibility, diversity, sustainability and development. 
https://www.rug.nl/cf/studeren-bij-cf/nobis-cura-futuri
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Student profile

The Voice Technology MSc attracts students interested in topics like A.I., computer science, human/machine interaction, linguistics, and/or digital humanities. Our students are curiosity-driven, collaborative, creative people passionate about science & tech. Many will pursue a career at a tech company or start-up, others are entrepreneurs or doctoral candidates. The programme appeals most to students interested in a hands-on, highly engaged, interdisciplinary programme on voice technologies.