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Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Colloquium Capita Selecta I 5
Language courses in Indo-European Linguistics
Classical Armenian 5
Auxiliary subjects in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics

Second semester

Colloquium Capita Selecta II 5
Auxiliary subjects in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics
MA Thesis Comparative Indo-European Linguistics 20

More info

Objectives Programme Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation



The programme’s main objective is to prepare students for an academic career, within or outside the university. In the process, students develop into independent, creative and critical scholars in the field of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics and Historical Linguistics.The programme aims to raise students to a level of knowledge and skills that allows them to proceed to PhD research. Alternatively, graduates qualify for positions outside the university that require an academic level of thinking.



The MA Programme in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics is flexible. The programme’s component parts are determined for each student individually. Generally speaking, at least 30 ects are spent on language courses and auxiliary subjects. Students will have to elaborate on one or more related languages for the language or language group in which they wish to specialise.

For instance, for the study of Celtic, some knowledge of Old Irish, Welsh, Breton, Gallic and Celtiberic are indispensable. In case the Leiden Department cannot offer the required expertise for the individual curricula, students may take language courses at sister institutions in the Netherlands or abroad. For the supporting courses, students can choose from the many courses offered as part of the Research Master’s programme in Linguistics. See: Linguistics

An example of such a course is the Master’s Class ‘Approaches to Diversity’, in which four major linguistic research traditions are compared. Another example is the Master’s Class ‘Samples of Linguistic Structure II: Typology’, in which phonological, syntactic, lexicological and grammatical characteristics of various languages are analysed by experts in the languages in question.

Starting the programme in February

Leiden University offers the possibility to start MA programmes in February. If you choose to do so, please get in touch with the Board of Examiners. Prof. Dr. A. Lubotsky and Dr. M. de Vaan a.s.a.p. to make special arrangements about your programme.

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students need to have successfully completed the 60 ects programme and have completed their final thesis as a component of that programme. The thesis for the Comparative Indo-European Linguistcs master’s programme carries 20 ects, and as a rule contains a maximum of 17,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. The thesis is based on individual and original research. The thesis is supervised by a lecturer affiliated with the Department of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics who possesses expertise in the relevant field. Also see: