Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of how natural language is used and processed in real-life situations. Whenever we use language – whether it’s written, spoken or signed – we’re communicating. How does this work, and how and why does miscommunication occur? How does language fit together and how do we learn to understand each other? The research Master’s programme in Linguistics and Communication Sciences offers a multidisciplinary perspective on how the fields of linguistics and communication studies complement one another. This approach is unique in the Netherlands. This research Master’s programme focuses strongly on empirical research. You’ll study real language in real-life situations and use your observations to develop possible theories. Later, you’ll test these theories against everyday reality. In this way, you’ll discover the richness of both language and communication and be well prepared to conduct original research on language-related issues. This programme is initially intended to prepare its students for a career in research, in particular for PhD positions although other career options in the field are also open to you.

Programme outline

The Master’s programme in Linguistics and Communication Sciences is taught at the Faculty of Arts. It has a course load of 120 EC* (two years). The structure is as follows:

  • Foundations of Language and Communication
  • Corpus and Experimental Methods
  • Research Orientation
  • Specialisation courses (2x6 EC)
  • Skills/methods elective
  • Lab Rotation I
  • Term Paper
  • Specialisation courses (2x6 EC)
  • Skills/methods elective(s) (2x3 EC or 1x6 EC)
  • Lab Rotation II
  • Grant Proposal Writing
  • Valorisation A
  • Start Master’s thesis
  • Specialisation course
  • Skills/methods elective
  • Valorisation B

Career prospects

This research Master’s aims to train students to become skilled empirical linguists with a deep understanding of language and communication. By the end of the programme you’ll:

  • Have acquired empirical research skills at an advanced level, including a thorough understanding of approaches and techniques that support corpus-based, experimental, and computational research;
  • Be able to describe and apply general knowledge on the historical roots and modern developments within the fields of Linguistics and Communication Studies, and are capable of relating these fields to each other;
  • Have become a specialist in a certain area within the fields of linguistics and communication studies: the start of your professional profile;
  • Be able to engage in the social debates regarding linguistics and communication issues.
  • Have acquired English academic writing skills and have practised writing a publishable scholarly article and a proposal for a PhD project;
  • Have started to build up a professional (inter)national network.

Admission Requirements

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies, in Linguistics, in a modern language or a related area.

Your average grade during the second and third years of your BA studies has to have been at least a 7.5 and your Bachelor’s thesis had to have received a grade of at least 8.0. (Grades in the Netherlands are out of 10. For more information see Conversion of international grades). Your Bachelor's thesis or a dedicated research proposal will also need to demonstrate that you’re sufficiently talented for scientific research.

2. Proficiency in English

In order to take part in this programme, you need to be fluent in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* need one of the following:

  • A TOEFL score of >100
  • An IELTS score of >7.0
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

3.Strong motivation

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Last updated January 31, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
2,083 EUR
€2,083 for EEA / € 9,124 for non-EEA students
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