The master's degree programme General Linguistics offers the opportunity to acquire academic qualifications in linguistics. It is especially tailored for graduates with a focus on linguistics in their first degrees.
The goals of a qualification in General Linguistics
This text is an approximate translation of the German Qualifikationsziele, which are part of the requirements initiated by the Bologna Process. The German text is authoritative and should be consulted in case of any doubt.
1. Academic skill
- The programme provides you with in-depth knowledge of the science of language, broadly differentiating between language as a social phenomenon, and the internal dynamics of language structure. The programme thus primarily equips you with the prerequisite skills for research-based career options.
- The department in Bamberg pursues a focus on lesser-used and often endangered languages, coupling documentation of endangered cultural heritage with investigation of the social contexts of the speech communities. As part of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Bamberg, we offer a unique opportunity to combine knowledge of the languages of the extended Middle East with a training in modern linguistics.
- A large part of your work involves researching and critically engaging with the relevant scientific literature, and honing your skills in formulating and presenting your own academic texts in term papers and oral presentations.
- You will also have an opportunity to participate in on-going research projects with international cooperation partners, working with original data and becoming familiar with the procedures involved.
- Through research seminars and close supervision you will be guided through the steps towards developing and writing up your own research project for your MA-thesis.
- Depending on your topic, this can also involve acquiring specialized knowledge in linguistic theory, or hands-on skills in recording techniques, survey and questionnaire design, field work, corpus analyses, as well as software applications such as Praat, Elan, and statistic packages such as R.
2. Employability skills
- The MA-degree in linguistics is an excellent preparation for a number of occupational fields that deal with language. You will have developed strong analytical skills coupled with the ability to interpret and produce academic texts, which is foundational for work in publishing, policy development, or related fields.
- Knowledge of the diversity of human languages and the methodologies of language typology provide you with the ability to gather and interpret primary data, and are of benefit in all types of language processing applications.
- Through the practical language learning component of the programme, you will have acquired knowledge of new languages, or deepened existing knowledge in other languages, which opens up opportunities in the field of didactics in second-language learning contexts.
- Completing a full masters degree in English enhances your English language capabilities, particularly with regard to written and spoken academic English. This is a key qualification for the international job market, in particular for transitioning into the international research community.
3. Personal development and social responsibility
- An academic degree confers the ability to meaningfully engage with complex issues and to formulate critical arguments. An informed, data-driven approach is essential when contributing to the sensitive discourse surrounding language, idealogy, and power in contested regions such as the Islamic-dominated Middle East, a major research focus of the department.
- You will interact with students and instructors at the Institute from highly diverse cultural backgrounds, enhancing your intercultural competence and enabling you to foster team skills and sensitivities in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual workspace.
- The MA programme content combines knowledge from several disciplines, encouraging a more flexible and interdisciplinary approach to understanding complex, socially-embedded phenomena.
- The programme offers considerable freedom of choice in setting and pursuing individual research goals. Students will need to plan accordingly and manage their time and energy resources effectively, but also to exploit the possibilities open for collaborative work in group projects and joint presentations.