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General information

Description study
Learning outcomes
Programme supervisor

Honours programme
Studying abroad
Facilities for arts students
Student participation council
Doing a PhD
Quality assurance

Description study

The master's programme in Linguistics is a one-year programme which offers you the opportunity to specialize in a particular area within linguistics. There are three specializations:

  1. Language Variation and Multilingualism
  2. Taal- en Spraakpathologie (Language and Speech Pathology)
  3. Nederlands als Tweede Taal: Docent en Expert

Programmes 2 and 3 are offered in Dutch and have a (more or less) fixed programme. The first programme is offered in English and allows a bit more freedom to create the profile of your desire.

Your study is rounded off with a master's thesis (20 credits). If you plan to participate in the one-year educational master's programme of Nijmegen Radboud Docenten Academie in order to acquire a teacher certificate (see https://www.ru.nl/opleidingen/master/eenjarige-educatieve-masters/educatieve-master-taal-cultuurwetenschappen-1-jaar/, you have to write your MA thesis in the target language (English, German, French or Spanish).

Learning outcomes

Graduates of the Master’s degree programme in Taalwetenschappen/Linguistics:

  1. have the knowledge and skills required to read, interpret and contextualise primary, current literature on linguistics and to report on it orally and/or in writing in a manner that satisfies the requirements of academic knowledge production within the Humanities
  2. are able to adopt a critical attitude towards the research questions, methodologies and analyses used in primary academic literature, and to report on them in an academically sound manner
  3. are able to use their linguistic knowledge and skills in an academic or societal project or for the benefit of a societal institution
  4. are able to formulate a linguistic question and use the appropriate theories and data to find an academically sound answer to this question
  5. are able to set up and conduct tasks in a targeted way, both individually and as a member of a group, to recognise deficiencies in their own actions and knowledge and to take measures in order to repair these deficiencies.

Specific learning outcomes for Language Variation and Multilingualism:

  1. has knowledge of fundamental and applied academic research in the area of language variation and/or multilingualism and their interaction.
  2. Has knowledge of discussions taking place in society about language variation and/or multilingualism and is able to make an informed contribution.

Specific learning outcomes for Taal- en Spraakpathologie (TSP):

Graduates of the Master’s degree programme in Taalwetenschappen/Linguistics, Taal- en Spraakpathologie specialisation:

  1. have knowledge of fundamental and applied academic research on the nature, diagnostics and treatment of speech, language or hearing problems in children and adults
  2. have the knowledge and skills needed to gather and assess experimental evidence, diagnostic evidence, evidence on patient preferences or treatment evidence in order to be able to act in an ‘evidence-based’ manner.

Specific learning outcomes for Nederlands als Tweede Taal: Docent en Expert:

Graduates of the Master’s degree programme in Taalwetenschappen/Linguistics, Nederlands als Tweede Taal: Docent en Expert specialisation:

  1. have knowledge of fundamental and applied academic research in the field of teaching Dutch as a second language (language subskills, language development, cognitive processes, learning strategies) and the application of such research in teaching practice (selection of learning material, textbook development, instruction)
  2. have the knowledge and skills needed to develop tests (instruments, functions, psychometric criteria) and elementary skills to be used in their own NT2 teaching practice
  3. have the required knowledge and skills in A competencies (subject-specific didactics), B competencies (pedagogical and didactic competences) and C competences (chosen specialisation) from the competence profile set out by the Stichting Beroepskwaliteit Leraren [foundation for the professional quality of teachers] and the Beroepsvereniging NT2 [professional association of teachers of Dutch as a second language] (https://bvnt2.org/)
  4. have the knowledge and skills needed to analyse societal wishes with regard to NT2 teaching, translate them into suitable lessons and supervise the teachers who teach these lessons
  5. have knowledge of the ways in which various different types of language data are gathered, analysed, used and assessed for their reliability and validity, including data on language use, language acquisition, language learning and introspective data, gathered in spontaneous, semi-structured and/or structured contexts.

Programme supervisor

The programme supervisor of Linguistics is Olaf Koeneman, e-mail: olaf.koeneman@ru.nl .

Each specialization has its own coordinator:

Language Variation and Multilingualism: Olaf Koeneman olaf.koeneman@ru.nl
Taal- en Spraakpathologie (TSP): Esther Janse esther.janse@ru.nl
Nederlands als Tweede Taal: Docent en Expert:
Marianne Starren marianne.starren@ru.nl


Masterlanguage is a curriculum of courses offered annually, on a semester basis, to Dutch master level university students in one of the languages Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and classical Greek and Latin. The goal of Masterlanguage is, by a nation-wide combination of forces, to safeguard continued expertise in the study of these languages at university level.

Participating universities are those of Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, Radboud Nijmegen and Utrecht. Each of these universities contributes to Masterlanguage's courses and teaching staff, the latter jointly recruited from a pool of nationally and internationally outstanding and highly experienced Dutch university teacher-researchers.

Masterlanguage is not a separate national master programme: it is a curriculum of courses for which participating students sign up while being enrolled in their own local masterprogramme, based on information provided at the masterlanguage website, in national workshops and meetings, and at local master information events. In this way the local programmes ‘facilitate' for their language students taking part in Masterlanguage. Courses offered nationally in, for instance, English language and literature will form a natural and interesting addition to a student's local language-specific programme or trajectory.

See for further information: https://www.ru.nl/courseguides/arts/shared-documents/masterlanguage-courses/


For day-to-day information about the programme, visit the Linguistics Programme Space website on Brightspace (You will gain automatic access to this once you have registered). This contains practical information for students, including guidelines for writing theses and following internships, announcements about special events and notifications of lecturers' absences, as well as a discussion board for you to exchange information with your fellow students outside of particular courses.

Honours programme

Since 2002, the Radboud Honours Academy offers a special supplementary programme for highly motivated Bachelor's students wishing to extend their knowledge into disciplines other than their own. There are three honours programmes for Master's students: Project Impact, Beyond the Frontiers and Honours Incompany. Each year, 150 students from Radboud University Nijmegen will have the opportunity to follow one of these programmes.

Studying abroad

The Faculty of Arts encourages students to spend at least one semester of their studies abroad. In the modern foreign languages and communication and information sciences programmes, a stay abroad is even considered a standard part of the students' education. Needless to say, the options are more restricted for students in the one-year MA programme. You may opt to follow courses, conduct research, or carry out an internship at a foreign university. Your stay abroad and the results achieved will count as part of your studies in Nijmegen, provided you have made prior written arrangements with the Examination board of the study programme in which you are enrolled.

Studying abroad will be worth your while in more ways than one. It will improve your language proficiency, make you more independent, and enhance your career prospects.

See for more information on studying abroad and available scholarships and grants the websites of the International Office: https://www.ru.nl/radboudinternational/english/ en https://www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/io/

The following grants and scholarships are available for studies/internships abroad:

  • ERASMUS programme (European Union and associated countries) for studies and internships;
  • IRS (anywhere in the world, provided RUN has a collaboration agreement with the foreign university concerned), this grant is managed by SNUF; for studies and internships;
  • ISEP (US) for studies only;
  • Cultural Agreements with approximately 40 countries for studies and internships;On https://www.ru.nl/letteren/facultyofarts/io/ you will find links to the websites of foreign partner universities and information on the application procedure and conditions.
  • Finally, there are also grants and scholarships which allow students to continue their studies or research abroad after graduation. Examples: VSB Fund grants, NATO grants, grants through Cultural Agreements, the Japan Prize Winners Programme, College of Europe in Bruges, European University Institute Florence, and Interuniversity Art History Institute Florence. See the Radboud International website (https://www.ru.nl/radboudinternational/english/) for up-to-date information on grants and scholarships.

Facilities for arts students

The Erasmus Study Centre (ESC) of the Faculty of Arts is an education and study centre that houses all kinds of facilities for teachers and students, including a network of multimedia computers. The computers are regularly replaced by new models and are equipped with a DVD player, sound card, USB ports and headset connections. For more information, see https://www.ru.nl/letteren/stip/ondersteuning-faciliteiten/faciliteiten/erasmus-studiecentrum/.

Radboud in'to Languages is an independent language and communication centre associated with the Faculty of Arts of Radboud University Nijmegen. Radboud in'to Languages provides services to students, junior researchers, university staff members, university medical centre staff members, and to many other clients. Its services includes language courses, translation services and various communication courses (e.g. for those who wish to improve their presentation skills or writing skills). For more information, see www.ru.nl/radboudintolanguages

The University Library (UB) is located at Erasmuslaan 36 and is accessible to everyone. The basement houses the book collection of the Faculty of Arts, which includes books on General and Comparative Literature, Literary and Cultural Studies, General Linguistics, Business Communication Studies, Dialectology, German Language and Literature, English Language and Literature, Phonetics, French Language and Literature, Dutch Language and Literature, Spanish Language and Literature, Applied Linguistics, History, Intellectual Relations, Classical Languages and Archaeology, Art History, Musicology, and Languages and Cultures of the Middle East.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8:30-22:00, Friday: 8:30-20:00, Saturday: 9:00-17:00, and Sunday: 10:00-17:00.

Please note: during these hours, the check-out desks may not always be open and requests for books from closed access stack-rooms may not always be processed.

For more information, see www.ru.nl/ubn

OSIRIS (https://portal.ru.nl/ comprises a range of internet services for Radboud University students. OSIRIS enables you to manage your own e-mail account ending on @student.ru.nl. You can also publish web pages and make use of free internet access. OSIRIS also allows you to change your own address details, sign up for courses and interim exams, and look up your exam results. If you have any questions or problems with OSIRIS, please contact the Student Information Desk or send an e-mail to balie@dsz.ru.nl.

Another service is Brightspace (http://brightspace.ru.nl/), where teachers can post specific information about courses such as timetables and assignments. When you enroll for a course, it will automatically be added to your Brightspace account.

Student participation council

Each year in spring, there are student elections in which students elect the student members for the programme committee, the Faculty Student Council and the University Student Council. These bodies offer students the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process at the university. You can make a difference by casting your vote and/or standing for a seat one of the councils. You will receive the ballot papers by post, and you can also vote online. . For more information, see: https://www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/stip/facilities-support/facilities/faculty-student-council-arts-fsca/

Doing a PhD

Students who have obtained their Master's degree and would like to pursue an academic career may opt for doing a PhD. This entails writing a PhD thesis under the supervision of a professor, with the aim of obtaining a doctoral degree. A PhD thesis is an academic treatise on a particular topic in the form of a book or a collection of articles. You can conduct the required research in your own spare time, but there are also opportunities to do so as an employee of the university. Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of paid PhD projects available. Graduates may also choose to apply for a PhD vacancy at another university. The research of an appointed PhD student is embedded in the research programme of a research institute.

In the first two years, PhD students spend about 25% of their time on following a training programme consisting of a general part and a discipline-specific part. You can obtain more information on this topic at the following website address http://www.ru.nl/gsh/

Quality assurance

Radboud University places much value on quality in education. Staff and students are expected to make every effort to produce the best possible result. There are two types of quality assurance: internal and external quality assurance. Internal quality assurance involves the entire range of activities aimed at preserving and improving the quality of education at a faculty or department. External quality assurance is guaranteed by the external review system in which the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) grants a quality mark to study programmes that meet certain criteria. External experts assess the quality of the study programmes once every six years. Their findings determine to a large extent whether or not a study programme is accredited.

Internal quality assurance at the Faculty of Arts covers four areas: course design & planning, teaching, student support & guidance, and organisation & coordination of education. At the faculty level, the quality control and improvement processes are coordinated by the Director of Education (together with one of the education policy offers). At the department level, the quality assurance coordinator and the programme committee play a key role. The quality assurance coordinator - usually the Chair of the programme committee - manages the activities that are undertaken within the framework of internal and external quality assurance and makes sure everything goes according to plan. The programme committee is the body that makes recommendations with regard to the aforementioned four areas and proposes actions for improvement. This committee provides solicited and unsolicited advice to the Faculty Board, the Director and the Course Coordinator on course design & planning and teaching.

Further information on quality assurance can be found in the Vade Mecum on Quality Assurance in Education, which can be downloaded at the faculty's website: https://www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/education/accreditations/.

The department and the faculty make every effort to offer students high-quality study programmes. It is expected from students that they, in return, keep themselves informed. In other words, students should take note of the contents of the study guide and other information provided by the department, the faculty and the university (in writing and/or on the website). Furthermore, teachers may assume that students enrolled in a full-time programme will spend an average of 40 hours a week on their studies. If a subject is worth 5 credits, this is equivalent to a study load of 140 hours (5 x 28 hours), which includes the time spent on preparing for classes, reading books, making assignments and writing papers, and studying for interim exams.