Leiden University is particularly well equipped for the study of human languages in all their diversity. There is no other academic institution in the Netherlands or in the neighbouring countries where as many distinct languages are taught and studied, from modern, well-known languages, such as English, French and Italian, to more exotic ones such as African languages, Native American languages, and Indonesian.
Besides this broad range of languages, a further characteristic of the Leiden Linguistics programme is the diversity of theoretical approaches and perspectives in how language is studied.
Within the master’s you can on the one hand focus on describing languages, or, alternatively, you can study language from a theoretical perspective. The faculty hosts expertise with a strong tradition in a number of approaches to language variation and language change, for example with respect to syntax, phonology, semantics, historical linguistics and language and communication. You can also focus on the more practical aspects of language, such as translation or text analysis from a communicative perspective.
Within the specialisations there are a wide range of possibilities to create your own unique master’s programme, adapting the content to reflect your own specific fields of interest. In this context you can make use of the expertise of the researchers at Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL). This institute has a high and long-standing international reputation, with many researchers who have been awarded prestigious grants and academic prizes. Teaching at LUCL is in small-scale groups which means that students benefit from a high level of personal attention.