Linguistics (research MA), M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition Fee
    10500 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
    1906 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
  • English (take IELTS)


The Research Master's programme Linguistics gives students the opportunity to specialise in a wide range of linguistic sub-disciplines.

In addition, the Research Master's in Linguistics devotes serious attention to methodological issues, and aims at theory formation through the analysis of large data sets. All courses are taught in English or, in the case of language-specific courses, in the given language. The University of Amsterdam is home to specialists in all the important sub-areas of linguistics. The rMA in Linguistics is coordinated by the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC). The programme capitalises on this potential by covering a variety of areas, including: research in Creole studies, discourse analysis, functional grammar, generative grammar, language and speech development and pathology, language typology, language variation and change, phonetics, second language acquisition, semantics and sign linguistics. The University is rich in terms of the languages and language families covered in linguistic research and teaching. Linguistics seminars are taught on Arabic, Dutch (including Dutch as a Second Language), English, French, German, Greek (Classical and modern), Italian, Latin, Scandinavian, Slavonic and Spanish.


Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

Programme Structure

Linguistics is a Research programme, which means that it prepares participants for entry into a related PhD programme. The programme allows students to specialise in any of a wide range of linguistic sub-disciplines and puts a sharp focus on methodological issues.

Programme outline

The two-year Research programme in Linguistics yields 120 ECTS credits: 30 credits for core courses, 30 credits for electives, 30 credits for tutorials and 30 credits for a Master's thesis.

The specific number of credits a student is required to obtain through coursework is determined by the admissions committee and is based on the student's previous qualifications. Fulfilment of all the requirements will take two years. Students with a related Master's degree should be able to complete the programme in one year (70 ECTS credits: two core courses, one seminar, one tutorial and a Master's thesis).

There programme can be adapted to the needs of the individual student. Students can choose from the following areas of specialisation:

  • Arabic Linguistics
  • Dutch Linguistics
  • Dutch as a Second Language
  • English Linguistics
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Formal Semantics
  • French Linguistics
  • Frisian Linguistics
  • Functional Grammar
  • German Linguistics
  • Greek Linguistics (Classical and modern)
  • History of Linguistics
  • Italian Linguistics
  • Language Philosophy
  • Language and Speech Development and Pathology
  • Language Technology
  • Language Variation and Change
  • Latin Linguistics
  • Romanian Linguistics
  • Scandinavian Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Sign Linguistics
  • Slavonic Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics and Creole Studies
  • Spanish Linguistics
  • Speech Communication and Speech Technology
  • Theoretical Linguistics

Current Issues

The Current Issues sessions constitute a weekly meeting point for all students. In these sessions new developments in linguistics are discussed on the basis of recent articles. Special attention is paid to the ideas presented in the articles, the way the articles are structured, the data on which they are based and the methodology. The sessions also facilitate training and evaluation of participants' presentation and discussion skills.

Further options

UvA linguists work in close collaboration with their colleagues at the University of Leiden. Students from the Research programme can substitute courses offered in the advanced programme in Linguistics at the University of Leiden for one or more seminars or tutorials with, subject to the programme director's approval (no additional costs are involved). The programme also accommodates participation (at moderate additional costs) in the winter and summer schools offered by the Dutch National Graduate School for Linguistics (LOT).


The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of two academic staff members involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser(s). The final text should be between 20,000 and 25,000 words.

Degree requirements

Students who successfully complete this programme receive a Master's degree in Linguistics and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a research programme. Once students are admitted to the research programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their research programme. The examination committee determines which courses qualify for transfer.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade B2):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Grade average: - A/3.6 (American system) * 2.1 HONS (an upper second class honours degree in the British system) * B (ECTS-system)/ 7.5 (Dutch system)

Previous education: The Research Master's in Linguistics is open to all students with a Bachelor's diploma from the UvA, or a recognised equivalent from another accredited university in: * Linguistics * Dutch Studies Although a background in Linguistics is recommended and preferred, students with a BA in other disciplines, especially in the Sciences or in Psychology, are encouraged to apply as well. In this case, a personal interview may be part of the selection process, to establish your capacity to successfully participate in the programme. You will be considered for admission to the Master's programme if you have a Bachelor's degree in one of the aforementioned fields of study and can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight and skills: * Excellent research skills at Bachelor's level. You are able to conduct research independently (i.e. collecting material, applying theory, and writing a thesis). * Strong academic interest and a desire to contribute eagerly and critically to the academic and interdisciplinary environment of our Graduate School, demonstrated in a convincing motivation letter in which you explain why you think you can successfully finish this specific program.

Written request: Students can apply from November by filling out the digital application form and uploading the necessary documents via the website of the Graduate School of Humanities (

Tuition Fee

  • International

    10500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 10500 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    1906 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1906 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.

Living costs for Amsterdam

1,000 - 1,500 EUR/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Scholarships / Grants:

The University of Amsterdam:
The University of Amsterdam provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships for excellent students from outside the European Economic Area. The Amsterdam Merit Scholarships have specifically been designed to offer talented, ambitious and dedicated students the opportunity to pursue a Mast
For additional information: Website

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.