MA in Linguistics - Linguistics (Specialisation)


What will I learn?

The Linguistics specialisation is a one-year programme within the master's degree in Linguistics at Leiden University. In the course of the programme you will be able to focus on a specific thematic or disciplinary route, reflecting the linguistics expertise present at Leiden University. In addition, you may be given the possibility to design a thematic or disciplinary route according to your own specific interest.

Why study Linguistics?

In the Linguistics specialisation you can explore the full breadth and depth of linguistics and language use. Courses on a broad array of topics can be combined along thematic or disciplinary lines that interest you most. This allows you to focus on, for example, core theoretical areas (syntax, semantics, phonology), forensic and phonetic speech science, pragmatics and communication, language documentation in remote areas, language acquisition, or Indo-European linguistics.

Linguistics at Leiden University

  • Benefit from the unique environment for the study of linguistics at Leiden, which boasts expertise in an exceptional range of subject areas and theoretical approaches.
  • Choose one of the ready-made thematic or disciplinary routes through the programme, or potentially create one according to your individual interests.
  • Benefit from Leiden’s excellent research facilities, including the Experimental Linguistics Labs: the Phonetics Lab, the EEG Lab, the Eye-tracking Lab and the Babylab.
  • Become part of the linguistics community at Leiden University by participating in events such as the MA Linguistics colloquium, Linguistic Movie Nights, or by becoming involved in the T.W.I.S.T. study association for BA and MA linguistics students in Leiden.

Linguistics: the right master’s programme for you?

The Linguistics specialisation within the master’s programme in Linguistics is aimed at students who have an analytical mind and are fascinated by the human capacity for language, by the structure of languages, whether Western, non-Western, ancient or modern, or by the ways in which language can be used to inform, influence and mislead.

Linguistics Degree

Linguistics at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited master’s degree in Linguistics, with a specialisation in Linguistics and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Career prospects

As a graduate of the MA Linguistics, with a specialisation in Linguistics, you will have developed a range of analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied to many careers, in growing areas like speech technology, artificial intelligence, education, language documentation, language policy, intercultural communication, and management consulting.

Skills and competence acquired

A Linguistics master's degree from Leiden University is an excellent preparation for a wide variety of jobs. Our students graduate with valuable practical and theoretical skills, including strong skills in the interpretation of texts and the analysis and solution of conceptual problems, and the ability to independently conduct high-quality scientific research.


According to our survey, our graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in a range of professions. Examples include:

  • Editor at a publishing company
  • Translator
  • Author of educational materials
  • Project manager at a translation agency
  • Teacher
  • Consular officer at a ministry of foreign affairs
  • PhD candidate
  • Content manager/editor
  • Advisor at an institute focusing on linguistic research and language teaching

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1 Year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (15,53,899) per year
Application deadline

Expected April 2024

More details

Start date

Expected September 2024


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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