No. 01
University in the Netherlands
Shanghai Ranking 2021
Icon of International students
15 EC
within an ongoing research project
Our students share their experiences with the RMA programme

Cognitive faculties underlying human language

How do we acquire language? How is it processed in the brain? How do we use it? The very fact that we have and use languages is part of what makes us human. Many different languages are spoken in the world. In this programme, you get to reflect on their structures and what drives language variation and change.

Communicating by means of language is a crucial ingredient of success in modern society. You will learn the principles of first language acquisition, and what is special about learning more languages. The programme also satisfies your curiosity to know more about the way language is processed in the brain and how we use it. The key focus of the research Master’s programme in Linguistics is on the cognitive faculties underlying human language, and their interaction.

International community

This two-year research Master’s programme in Linguistics brings together students from all over the world who combine their unique talents and backgrounds with a shared interest in languages, and the way language is embedded in human cognition.

Theory driven empirical research

The programme offers a broad focus on:

  • theoretical linguistics (phonology, syntax, semantics)
  • psycholinguistics (language acquisition, language processing)
  • language use (discourse studies, bilingualism, phonetics, historical linguistics)
Babylab EEG

You will acquire a solid background in all three domains, and then choose a series of elective courses in order to specialise in one area. You will receive training in empirical, computational, and experimental methodology, and you will practice designing, planning, and carrying out a research project during your internship and thesis work. Read more about our teaching and research environment, including our teaching staff.

After graduation

  • You are equipped with a broad understanding of the field of linguistics, and in-depth knowledge of a particular linguistics subdiscipline.
  • You have learned to apply your knowledge to new topics and to reflect critically on existing knowledge and current research.
  • You have acquired the academic, communication and methodological skills that prepare you for carrying out your own research.
  • In your internship and thesis under the supervision of senior researchers of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, you have learned to formulate original research questions, and develop answers.
  • You have started building a network in linguistics through participation in lecture series, workshops and the national LOT schools that will give you a head start in your postgraduate career.

In your programme you will have the opportunity to actively work on your career development.

As a graduate of the research Master Linguistics, you will be highly eligible for a PhD position or for a position within a public or private organisation. Many alumni pursue academic careers, while others obtain traineeships in natural language resource firms, junior research positions in international organisations and research facilities, teaching positions in secondary schools and colleges, etc. Read more about possible career prospects.


Linguistics is a selective research Master’s programme. Do you want to know if you are eligible for this Master? Check the entry requirements.

Linguistics summer courses
Linguistics summer courses

Are you currently a Bachelor’s student enrolled in a different university or a different programme, and would you like to get a feeling for what linguistics in Utrecht is about? Join the linguistics classes at the Utrecht Summer School! Every summer, we offer a range of one week courses on topics like bilingualism, first and second language acquisition, language evolution, syntactic theory, psycholinguistics and statistics for experimental linguistics.

International students starting the RMA Linguistics are exempted from paying the Summer School course tuition fee for these courses. Please let the Linguistics Coordinator know that you are interested in this possibility, and inform her of the courses you would like to take. 

  • Profile picture Robert Grimm, Linguistics
    "This Master offers a two-year-long opportunity to absorb as much as possible about language and linguistics. In my book, that's time well spent!"
  • Profile picture Arnold Kochari, Linguistics
    "Our teachers were always active in research and discussed their projects with us. This gave me a feeling of being part of the research community."


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MA
  • Master's degree in: Linguistics (research)
  • Programme: Linguistics
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
2 years
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
Application deadline:
  • Dutch & EU/EEA students: 1 June
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April
Tuition fees:
Graduate school: