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MA Linguistics

Orientation Session

Dr. Ivan Kapitonov will offer an Orientation Session in English for the one-subject MA Linguistik/cs and the two-subject MA Linguistics and Phonetics programs on Monday, March 18, 2024, at 11am Click on the zoom-icon icon to register for the meeting. You'll receive Zoom details on the day of the orientation session.

Ms. Strick and Ms. Mislimi will offer a Faculty-wide welcome session for the first year MA students on March 7th, at 10am. See here for details: Erstsemesterberatungen Master.

The MA Linguistics is addressed only to international students. English skills (at least C1) are required, German skills are not required. German speaking students must enroll in the MA Linguistik.

The MA program in Linguistics has been open for international students since the winter term of 2018/19. The program is organized by the CCLS in close cooperation with the participating linguistics departments. International students can choose from eight different profiles (African Linguistics, General Linguistics, English Linguistics, Historical-Comparative Linguistics, Phonetics, Sign Language Linguistics, and Slavic Linguistics) that can be studied without a German certificate. However, if you are interested in learning the local language, you might want to attend the German language courses offered by the University of Cologne: preparatory courses or courses for enrolled students.

Since the MA Linguistics is a new program, this website is still being updated and further information will be supplied here soon.

Please note that the application procedure differs for international students. For more information visit the website for international applications of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Further questions may be directed to your councellors at ma-ling-contactSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de.

MA Linguistics

This website portrays the Cologne Single-Subject Master of Arts program in Linguistics. It is aimed at international students who obtained their first degree outside of Germany (those who hold a Bachelor's degree from Germany can apply for the MA Linguistik program). English skills (at least on the Common European Framework reference level C1) are required, German skills are not required. Hence, all courses are offered in English. The program is organized by the CCLS in close cooperation with the participating linguistics departments.
The following sections provide:

  1. A general overview on the program's curriculum, goals and prerequisites.
  2. The structure of the program, including a brief description of the modules.
  3. Information on the application procedure for international students.

1. General overview

  • Linguistics is an empirical subject.
    Students of the MA Linguistics program will be instructed in the advantages and disadvantages of the three principal methods of data collection, that is speaker interviews (elicitation, questionnaires), experiments, and corpora of natural language utterances (spontaneous speech, texts). They will both learn to evaluate their relevance for theoretical claims and implement surveys of their own.
  • Research in Linguistics is hypothesis-driven; and theories and models include non-linguistic aspects of human cognition and social interaction.
    Students receive thorough training in the most important theoretical concepts and models as well as their relevance for the understanding of human language, cognition, and society.
  • The job market is calling on applicants to have two diverging requirements: be specialized and versatile at the same time.
    The combination of Profile Modules and Advanced Modules allows to train students in all available fields, providing the extraordinary opportunity to acquire broad and varied methodical and theoretical competences. Hence, the Linguistics program addresses the requirement of prospective employers, both in the academic as well as the non-academic job market.

2. Structure and modules

Semester 1st semester 2nd semester 3rd semester 4th semester

(84 CP)
AM 1 Empirical Methods (12 CP) Thesis (30 CP)
AM 2 Theories and Models (15 CP)
SM 1 (15 CP)
  • 1A: Profile Module General Linguistics
  • 1B: Profile Module English Linguistics
  • 1F: Profile Module Historical-Comparative Linguistics
  • 1H: Profile Module Phonetics
  • 1K: Profile Module Slavic Linguistics
  • 1N: Profile Module Sign Language Linguistics
  • 1O: Profile Module African Studies
  • 1P: Profile Module Discourse Studies
CM (12 CP)
  • 1: Complementary Studies
  • 2: Research in Practice
  • 3: Artificial Intelligence

(36 CP)
Option 1 SM 2 (12 CP)
AM 3-5 (12 CP)
AM 3-5 (12 CP)
Option 2 AM 3 (12 CP)
AM 4 (12 CP)
AM 5 (12 CP)
Option 3 SM 2 (12 CP)
AM 3-5 (12 CP)
CM 1-3 (12 CP)
Option 4 AM 3-5 (12 CP)
AM 3-5 (12 CP)
CM 1-3 (12 CP)


Advanced Modules | AM 3-5

AM 3-5 (12 CP)
  • AM 3: Linguistic Evidence
  • AM 4: Language and Grammar Theory
  • AM 5: Language Structures

Advanced Modules are intended to expand students’ knowledge and skills in their cognitive and functional dimensions. AMs 3, 4 and 5 are Elective Modules allowing students to cultivate their own interests and develop a profile.

SM 2

Specialization Module | SM 2 (12 CP)
  • 2A: Research Project/Colloquium
  • 2B: Research Project/Laboratory Work
  • 2C: Research Project/Directed Reading

Specialization Module 2 consists of the execution of a student’s own research project under supervision and serves as preparation for the thesis. The module is offered in three different types from which students may choose, after consultation with their advisor. The type of Research Module (Specialization Module 2) is chosen depending on the student’s choice of profile, their prior knowledge, and the planned research project.


Complementary Modules | CM (12 CP)
  • 1: Complementary Studies
  • 2: Research in Practice
  • 3: Artificial Intelligence

The Complementary Modules enable interdisciplinary studies, extending students’ competences beyond their core field and developing key skills. They also allow students to gain experience in aspects of scientific practice beyond the University of Cologne’s teaching and their study program. Courses taken during a semester abroad can also be credited in the Complementary Modules, in case no other module immediately offers itself.

One CM is mandatory; no more than two may be studied.

3. Application procedure