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The Programme

The programme and its requirements

The Leiden University Research Master’s programme in Linguistics provides intensive and comprehensive training covering the entire range of present-day linguistic research. Students need to earn 120 EC in total, including a thesis of 30 EC.

The basic programme consists of:

  • 40 EC of compulsory components

  • 50 EC of electives

  • 30 EC thesis

Compulsory Compontents (40 EC)
All the compulsory components are taught at research master level. This means they equal level 600 according to the programme structure at Leiden University.**

Students have to take two compulsory core courses, each worth 10 EC (20 EC in total). The core courses cover the broad theoretical and methodological aspects of diversity in linguistics. Besides the core courses, students have to take two topics courses, each worth 5 EC (10 EC in total). These short, current-research-oriented courses change every year. Students are advised to take Topics B as preparation for their thesis. Lastly, students must attend courses at a research school to obtain the remaining 10 credits of the compulsory package. The recommended research school to do so is LOT, the Netherlands National Graduate School of Linguistics.

Electives (50 EC)
The remaining credits can be obtained in several ways. It is required that at least 20 of the 50 EC are completed with courses at research master's level (600). This can be done by taking courses that are only open to research master’s students. Those courses are always taught at level 600. If you take a 10 EC course of the regular master’s (level 500), you could upgrade the level by meeting an extra requirement (see also the extra requirement tab). This can be done twice in order to complete 20 EC of credits on a research master’s level.

The ways to obtain elective credits are as follows. Students can:

  • take more courses offered in the programme of the research master’s in Linguistics; more topics courses or the elective Corpus lexicography.

  • choose courses from among the courses offered by the specialisations ‘Linguistics’ and ‘Modern Languages’ within the master’s programme in Linguistics. Those courses are taught on level 500, so if necessary an extra requirement can be met. (NB: Course admission requirements must be met);

  • take extra courses offered within LOT Summer/Winter Schools;

  • select other linguistic courses within other Master's programmes in Leiden. You may search for such courses in this e-Prospectus, on the web pages and timetables of various departments. Such courses need to have at least the 500 level and are subject to prior approval by the Board of Examiners of Linguistics.

  • organize tutorials with an LUCL professor. Tutorials are small-scale classes worth 5 or 10 EC (subject to prior approval by the Board of Examiners). Please discuss the possibilities with the expert lecturers and consult the Coordinator of Studies.

  • take some courses at another university in the Netherlands or abroad. Approval from the Board of Examiners is required in advance. The usual limit is a maximum of 15 EC at another Dutch university and maximum 30 EC abroad.

  • take courses at Research Schools in the Humanities. Such courses are subject to prior approval by the Board of Examiners of Linguistics.

  • do an internship (10 or 20 EC). For more information, please contact the Humanities Career Service and the Coordinator of Studies.

First year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Obligatory courses

Core: Research Methods in Linguistics 10
Core: Samples of Linguistic Structure 10

Topics in Linguistics

Select two courses:

Topics in Lingiustics A: Africanisms in the Americas 5
Topics in Linguistics B: Academic Skills for Linguists 5
Topics in Linguistics C: Language contact and Prehistory 5
Topics in Linguistics D: Experimental Pragmatics 5
Topics in Linguistics E: Introduction to descriptive statistics and programming in R for Linguists 5

LOT School: select 10 EC

Select 10 EC’: Both the first and the second year can be used to obtain the research school credit

LOT Summer School/Winter School 10

Electives: Select courses from any of the track courses in the MA Linguistics (see tab Electives) and/or select the following course

Corpus Lexicography 10
Research School courses in the humanities 10

Second year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Thesis and Courses

In the second year students write their Linguistics (research) Thesis and they choose from the following courses or from any of the track courses in Linguistics MA (see tab Electives)

Linguistics (research) Thesis 30

Topics in Linguistics

Topics in Lingiustics A: Africanisms in the Americas 5
Topics in Linguistics B: Academic Skills for Linguists 5
Topics in Linguistics C: Language contact and Prehistory 5
Topics in Linguistics D: Methods in Sociolinguistics 5
Topics in Linguistics E: Introduction to descriptive statistics and programming in R for Linguists 5

LOT School: select 10 EC

Select 10 EC’: Both the first and the second year can be used to obtain the research school credit

LOT Summer School/Winter School 10

Electives: Select courses from any of the track courses in the MA Linguistics (see tab Electives) and/or select the following course

Corpus Lexicography 10
Research School courses in the humanities 10

Electives

Students can choose from courses of the following tracks of the MA Linguistics:

MA Linguistics: Linguistics MA LInguistics: Modern Languages

The ways to obtain elective credits are as follows. Students can:

  • take more courses offered in the programme of the research master’s in Linguistics; more topics courses or the elective Corpus lexicography.

  • choose courses from among the courses offered by the specialisations ‘Linguistics’ and ‘Modern Languages’ within the master’s programme in Linguistics. Those courses are taught on level 500, so if necessary an extra requirement can be met. (NB: Course admission requirements must be met);

  • take extra courses offered within LOT Summer/Winter Schools;

  • select other linguistic courses within other Master's programmes in Leiden. You may search for such courses in this e-Prospectus, on the web pages and timetables of various departments. Such courses need to have at least the 500 level and are subject to prior approval by the Board of Examiners of Linguistics.

  • organize tutorials with an LUCL professor. Tutorials are small-scale classes worth 5 or 10 EC (subject to prior approval by the Board of Examiners). Please discuss the possibilities with the expert lecturers and consult the Coordinator of Studies.

  • take some courses at another university in the Netherlands or abroad. Approval from the Board of Examiners is required in advance. The usual limit is a maximum of 15 EC at another Dutch university and maximum 30 EC abroad.

  • do an internship (10 or 20 EC). For more information, please contact the Humanities Career Service and the Coordinator of Studies.

It is required that at least 20 of the 50 EC of electives are completed with courses at research master's level (600). This can be done by taking courses that are only open to research master’s students. Those courses are always taught at level 600. If you take a 10 EC course of the regular master’s (level 500), you could upgrade the level by meeting an extra requirement (see also the extra requirement tab). This can be done twice in order to complete 20 EC of credits on a research master’s level.

Extra Requirement

Extra requirement research master Linguistics

Introduction

Since the academic year 2014-2015 there has been an extra requirement for research master students in Linguistics. The goal of this extra requirement is twofold: (i) To distinguish the programme of the research master from the programme of the regular (one-year) master. (ii) To train the research master students in academic skills, more particularly writing an academic paper that could be published in an academic journal.

What is the extra requirement?

The extra requirement is meant to bring a regular master’s course to a research master’s level. With the extra requirement, students can complete a course on level 600 when it is actually taught on level 500. The extra requirement can be met in courses of 10 EC from the regular (one year) Master's Linguistics Programme within Leiden, or from other regular (one year) Master's programmes at the Faculty of Humanities in Leiden that offer linguistics courses (Russian Studies, Asian Studies, etc.).

The assignment to meet the extra requirement is as follows:
The student writes a final paper in the form of an academic article meant for an academic journal (including the number of pages/words that is customary within the field). The form of the article will be determined by the lecturer of the class, who will use the format of an academic article of his/her own linguistic subdiscipline.

A possible structure could be:

  • Title

  • Abstract

  • Key words

  • Introduction (with research question)

  • Literature review (or: Background, Theoretical framework)

  • Methods/methodology

  • Results

  • Conclusion

  • References

What is the procedure?

  • The student is responsible for choosing the ‘upgraded’ course(s) during the course of his/her study. Only 10 EC courses for which a final paper have to be written can be used to meet an extra requirement.

  • The weight of the final paper must be 70%.

  • Courses where there is no final paper but another type of examination (for example a written exam or an oral exam) are not eligible for an ‘upgrade’.

  • In normal cases the student follows these two courses in the first year of the programme.

  • At the beginning of the class the student lets the lecturer know that he/she/they want to follow the course with an extra requirement.

  • The lecturer will let the student know how the extra requirement should be interpreted for the course in question (for example the format of an academic article).

  • In grading the paper, the lecturer takes into account whether the extra requirement has been met and in what way.

  • After the paper is graded, the lecturer notifies the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats (osz-oa-reuvensplaats@hum.leidenuniv.nl) about whether the student has passed the exam and about the grade (for this, the office uses is a separate uSis-code).

Eligible courses

The extra requirement can only be met in 10 EC courses for which a final paper have to be written. 5 EC courses are not eligible for an extra requirement. The weight of the final paper must be 70%.

The one year master’s programme in Linguistics offers several 10 EC courses that are split into two components. It concerns:

  • Advanced Syntax 1 & 2

  • Advanced Phonology 1 & 2

  • Advanced Morphology 1 & 2

These courses can only be concluded with an extra requirement if:

  • both 5 EC courses are taken. The student enrolls in usis for both courses;

  • the assessment of the individual parts is replaced by one paper that concludes both courses;

  • the final grade is registered in usis for both courses (1 & 2).

Discuss the possibilities of this elaboration of the extra requirement with the relevant lecturer. The procedure as described in the paragraph "What is the procedure?’ remains in effect.

Exemption of the extra requirement

Exemption for the extra requirement does not apply. Students must complete 20 EC of their elective package on research master’s level. They can do so by taking courses on a research master’s level or by meeting one or two extra requirements.

More info

Objectives Programme Admission Structure Requirements for graduation

Objectives

The Leiden University research master’s programme in Linguistics provides intensive and comprehensive training covering the entire range of present-day linguistic research. The end of the 20th century witnessed a return of the interest in the diversity of human languages in virtually all existing approaches to linguistics. While descriptive, historical, and anthropological linguists have traditionally emphasised the variability of languages, scholars working in structuralist traditions aiming to uncover specific linguistic universal themes have also recognised the challenge posed by the immense variation between and within languages, and have started to develop theories and methods in attempts to meet it. Students in the Research Master’s Linguistics programme receive education and training that introduces them to and prepares them for innovative research at the front line of present-day linguistic investigation along the lines presented above.

Completion of a Research Master’s degree in Linguistics qualifies graduates for the pursuit of a PhD research project. At the same time, graduates will have acquired good credentials for working as a consultant or employee for an international or governmental agency, multinational business enterprise or non-governmental organisation. Because of the unique curriculum of the programme and the research experience accrued, graduates are an asset to any undertaking in the areas of sustainable development, investigative journalism, social engineering, education planning, and human resource management in a multicultural and multilingual context.

Programme

The Research Master in Linguistics is a specialised research-based programme offered at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL). This two-year programme is designed to prepare students for a career in research, for example as a PhD student. The programme is based on the expertise present within LUCL, specifically in the areas of language diversity and the languages of the world.

The students need to earn 120 EC in total. The programme consists of obligatory and elective courses, worth in total 90 EC. In the first year, all students of Linguistics (research) follow two core courses. The first core course is Research Methods in Linguistics.
In the core course Samples of Linguistic Structure, you get an overview of the grammar of typically four or five languages from different language families. This course gives you a broad overview of language variation – the focus point of linguistic research in Leiden. All students should take two Topics courses during their programme and are advised to take at least one, preferably two of these courses in their first year.

You can choose the remaining EC in the first year from a list of various courses on topics ranging from approaches to language variation and language change to more disciplinary courses in syntax, phonology, semantics and phonetics or courses about the linguistics of individual languages. In addition, numerous conferences, workshops and lecture series are organised by LUCL and all students are encouraged to attend. Students should also do 10 EC worth of courses from the LOT summer/winter schools.

In the third semester, you are encouraged to take further courses from this broad range, and are further expected to follow (at least) two or three short research seminars in which researchers talk about their current research. In the fourth and last semester you write a thesis under supervision of one of the LUCL Professors, who can also guide you towards a submission for a PhD Position, if this is what you wish.

Admission

  • A BA-degree with a relevant specialisation from a recognised university;

  • Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.5 (Dutch grading system) for the entire bachelor’s programme, and a grade for the bachelor’s thesis of an 8 or higher;

  • Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE); for the ‘speaking’ and ‘writing’ components a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL22 is required)

Selection takes place by considering not only the final mark for the Bachelor’s thesis and the level of command of the English language, but several other aspects as well. Important factors are motivation and eagerness to carry out scientific research, as should be demonstrated in the documents required for the admission procedure and/or interview with the candidate.

Structure

All students admitted to the programme participate in a common set of courses providing them with the necessary foundations for further training and research, through confrontation with research methods and results in different approaches to linguistic diversity, presented by specialists in the field. By choosing a particular composition of courses within this common framework, a student may opt for an established or personalised study track, also aimed at a specific type of career. Tracks may also be characterised by special emphasis on the combination of studied languages.

Requirements for Graduation

In order to graduate, students must have completed 90 EC worth of courses and have written a Research Master’s thesis. The thesis needs to be written under the supervision of a lecturer affiliated with the LUCL (Leiden University Centre for Linguistics) and evaluated by the supervisor and a second reader (selected by the supervisor). It must show that the student is capable of analysing existing literature in a critical manner, and of conducting independent research. Moreover, this process must be recorded in an academically sound report. A research master’s thesis is worth 30 EC. It should consist of max. 30,000 words.

Also see: Course and Examination Regulations (OER)

Career Preparation

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Leiden Elective Academic Periodical - Special Issue #2 "Nature" 10