MA in Language and Cognition

General

Program Description

How is language stored in the brain? How do we acquire a foreign language? How can we explain patterns of language use in terms of underlying structures, and also the role of language in society?

Language and Cognition is a selective two-year Research Master's program that prepares you for entry into a related Ph.D. program, or other research positions. The program offers a unique combination of neuro- and psycholinguistics, theoretical linguistics, developmental linguistics, computational linguistics, discourse analysis, and communication studies. The key focus of the Research Master's program is on the cognitive aspects and processes underlying human language and interaction, which is the focus area of excellent, multidisciplinary research carried out in the Centre for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and the Groningen Research School for Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN).

The program is meant for talented students from all over the world who aspire to do research in the field of Linguistics. After finishing the degree, you will have acquired essential research skills and fundamental knowledge of linguistic analysis, language development, and language processing.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • The program is linked to the excellent, multidisciplinary research carried out at the Centre for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and the Groningen Research School for Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN)
  • Our lecturers are internationally recognized as experts in their fields
  • A research internship (20 ECTS) in the first semester of the second year which offers you the opportunity to work with big names in your field of interest
  • Research Assistantships

Program

Year 1

Courses

  • Basic Statistics (5 EC)
  • Corpus Linguistics (5 EC)
  • Discourse Analysis (10 EC, optional)
  • Language Development (10 EC, optional)
  • Linguistic Analysis (10 EC)
  • Research Training 1 (5 EC, optional)
  • Research Training 2 (5 EC, optional)
  • Debates in Linguistics (10 EC, optional)
  • Designing your Research Project (10 EC)
  • Language, Brain, and Cognition (10 EC, optional)
  • Methodology and Statistics for Linguistic Research (10 EC, optional)
  • Seminar/Summer School/Winter School 1 (5 EC)

Year 2

Courses

  • Research Master Placement Linguistics (20 EC)
  • Seminar/Summer School/Winter School 2 (5 EC)
  • Research Master Thesis Linguistics (30 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended

Students have followed their internship/courses at the following locations:

  • Sociolinguistics Research Lab (SLRL), University of Victoria (BC, Canada)
  • Brain and Cognition Lab, University of California (UCSD) (San Diego, USA)
  • University of North Carolina (USA)
  • Bilingualism & Language Development (BiLD) lab, State College, Penn State University (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • CUNY Graduate Center (New York, USA)
  • Laboratory for developmental studies, Harvard University (Boston, USA)
  • Digital Pebble Ltd, University of Bristol (UK)
  • University of York (UK)
  • University of Southampton (UK)
  • Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Centre Language and Education (Leuven, Belgium)
  • Laboratoire des Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (Paris, France)
  • Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany)
  • Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Leipzig, Germany)
  • Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (Berlin, Germany)
  • Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Grade list

Excellent academic record.

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. If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

Previous education

BA degree in:

  • A modern European language and culture study
  • Communication- and Information Science
  • Humanities Computing/Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Other related fields
Reference letter

Two letters of recommendation from relevant experts.

Other admission requirements

Furthermore, the selection procedure is also based on an evaluation of degree certificates, individual results, and the thesis or paper.

International diploma

Specific requirements More 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.

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
Other admission requirements

Excellent academic record, letter of motivation, two letters of recommendation and transcript, thesis or paper. Sufficient knowledge, insight, and skills in disciplines relevant to the course.

To assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific program 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 student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 October 2020

01 June 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 June 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2021

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 June 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 13500 full-time

Job prospects

After graduation, you are well prepared for a career in research. In fact, this track is an ideal stepping stone to a Ph.D. position at a university. You can conduct research in Linguistics, such as Neuro- or Clinical Linguistics, Language Development or Theoretical Linguistics. Other options are Speech Technology, and Communication and Computer Linguistics.

During the research master's program in Linguistics, you will acquire a wide-ranging set of skills useful in a wide range of domains. These include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Writing skills
  • Methodological skills
  • Statistical skills
  • Corpus analysis
  • Experimental design
  • Working in a team

Job examples

  • Applied researcher
  • Information specialist at a public organization (e.g. the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police Academy, or the Centraal Administratiekantoor)
  • Science journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Project leader
  • The educational specialist at a publisher
  • Lecturer in secondary education
  • A research-oriented career in Linguistics

Research

The program 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 Ph.D. 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 organizes the national graduate courses and offers a Winter School in January and a Summer School in June/July in 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.

EMLAR/conferences

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).

Student/research-assistant

The university offers student assistant positions to a limited number of students. This paid position can have a duration of up to a whole year and is usually for one day per week. The activities can be very diverse: teaching and educational support or assisting in a study or other projects. A researcher will usually ask you for these positions.

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
Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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