What is a Master in Linguistics?

part of Humanities

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, its structure, and the nature of human communication. Linguistics degrees focus on teaching aspects like grammar, syntax, phonetics, dialects, properties that are common to all languages (or groups of languages), and on the evolution of languages throughout time. The term linguist can refer both to people who speak multiple languages (polyglots) and to people who study Linguistics.

The Linguistics discipline has multiple branches: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, etc. In addition to these subdisciplines, there are other topics you can expect to study during a Bachelor's or Master's in Linguistics, such as: language and cognition, historical linguistics, comparative linguistics, communication disorders, and others.

Many professional linguists tend to specialise in one branch of Linguistics and find work in various fields. Some choose to work in the academic environment, conducting research and working with students. Others find jobs in the tech industry, helping big companies with text and speech recognition, natural languages processing, and so on. Linguists can also work for the government or teach one or more foreign languages.

Relevant skills for a successful linguist include communication, analytical, and research skills, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. Professional linguists also have excellent project management and organisation competences.

After graduation, Linguistics students find work as Linguistics professors, foreign language teachers, psycholinguists, sociolinguists, diplomats, text-to-speech developers, machine translation professionals, language rights advocates, etc.

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Check out our list of Master's degrees in Linguistics. Keep in mind you can also study an online Masters in Linguistics.