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Theoretical Linguistics - master


Duration:2 År
Credits (ECTS):120
Qualification:Master's of Philosophy in Linguistics
Admission requirements:Bachelor's Degree in a language or linguistics
Application deadline:Nordic applicants: 15 April, EU/EEA + Swiss applicants: 1 March, Non-EU/EEA applicants: 15 November
Application code:

Nordic applicants: 5060

EU/EEA + Swiss applicants: 7162
Non-EU/EEA applicants: 2025

Programme description

The Master's of Philosophy in Theoretical Linguistics covers graduate level studies in theoretical linguistics, and is to be seen as an extension of work at the Bachelor's level. The programme places special emphasis on the formal aspects of grammar, in particular syntax and phonology. The approach to these disciplines relies on comparative studies of many languages. Students will develop insight into the structure of language, comparative aspects of linguistic research, social and geographic variation, the historical development of languages and language acquisition. At the Master's level, students will develop special interests based on their coursework and will write either a Master's Thesis or two article-length papers.

The programme consists of the following components:

The two elective ten credit courses can come from any 3000-level course in language or linguistics offered by the groups for English and General Linguistics, Finnish/Kven, Nordic, Russian, Saami, and Spanish. Note that elective courses must be oriented to theory of language rather than practical language learning. By application, other courses may be accepted (e.g. courses in philosophy, psychology, mathematics, and so on), as long as their relevance to the degree can be documented.

Interdisciplinary courses
Several "interdisciplinary" courses are offered, and these courses are assigned a HIF-code in the university course catalogue. Not all of the HIF-courses, however, may be appropriate for incorporation into the programme. To find out which HIF-courses are accepted as part of the Master in Theoretical Linguistics, please contact the programme staff.

The following courses are compulsory in Semester 1: HIF-3010 Syntax I, and HIF-3022 Phonology I. In addition students are required to complete an elective course.

The following courses are compulsory in Semester 2: HIF-3011 Syntax II, and HIF-3021 Phonology II. In addition students are required to complete an elective course.

Master's Thesis
The degree includes 60 ECTS which must be earned either (i) by writing one Master's Thesis (60 ECTS) or (ii) by writing two papers (30 ECTS each). This work is normally done individually, but may be part of a research project being carried out at the Department of Language and Culture (ISK). The topic and supervisors for this work will be chosen in consultation with one of the academic staff. There is no other restriction on the subfield of linguistics that the thesis should deal with, but it is expected that the content be contextualized to reflect an understanding of the relevant issues from linguistic theory. This applies also to those opting to write two papers, but in this case the two papers cannot be in the same subfield.

Programme structure

10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
1. sem. (autumn) HIF-3010 Syntax I - 10 stp. HIF-3022 Phonology I - 10 stp.
2. sem. (spring) HIF-3011 Syntax II - 10 stp. HIF-3021 Phonology II - 10 stp.

Learning outcomes

After completing the Master's programme in Theoretical Linguistics the candidate will have the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge - the candidate has:

Skills - the candidate can:

General competence - the candidate is able to:

Teaching and assessment

Teaching takes the form of lectures and seminars. The Master's in Theoretical Linguistics is a demanding programme that requires the student to work throughout the term. The students are expected to spend 37.5 hours per week on their studies, including preparation for lectures and seminars, work on term papers and other assignments.

As a Master's student, you will be assigned a supervisor who will monitor your progress throughout your studies. The Master's Thesis will be assigned a grade (from A to F); the coursework will be graded on the same scale. For information about examinations, please see the individual course descriptions.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction and all syllabus material, and of exams is English.

Exchange possibilities

Exchange studies abroad will make you more attractive on the job market. Studies abroad will increase your learning outcomes, improve your language skills, give you unique adventures and international experience. Students taking the Master's in Theoretical Linguistics are encouraged to make use of one of our exchange agreements in the second semester.

For an updated overview of exchange universities, please take a look at UiT's webpage on student exchange.

The application deadlines are:

1 February (autumn semester)
1 September (spring semester)

Job prospectives

The programme is an excellent starting-point for further study at the PhD-level.

It also qualifies candidates for work in occupations that require specialized insight into language and/or experience with independent project work, for example programming, administration, industry or the media.

Access to further studies

On successful completion of the degree programme, students may be qualified for admission to a PhD in Linguistics.