Englisches Seminar

M.A. English Linguistics


The M.A. program English Linguistics provides a full understanding of current linguistics and a thorough training in the empirical methods used in linguistic research. The combination of empirical research with theoretical modeling is an internationally renowned hallmark of linguistics in Tübingen.

Details Profile

There is a long tradition of Linguistics in Tübingen, but there are more linguists now working on a wider variety of aspects of linguistics than ever before. In part, this is due to the exceptional success of Tübingen linguists in attracting research funding over the last 20 years. The course structure of the M.A. program English Linguistics reflects this depth and interdisciplinarity. In addition to core areas of phonetics, morphology, syntax, and semantics, the program offers specializations in second language acquisition, information structure, language processing, experimental syntax, formal semantics, psycholinguistics, and historical linguistics. While there is an emphasis on the description and processing of the English language, perspectives are always enriched by cross-linguistic comparison and interdisciplinary approaches ranging from experimentation to literary studies. For this reason, students can combine courses offered in English Linguistics with selected M.A. courses offered by the other Linguistics departments.

An important aspect of the M.A. program is the degree of choice in independent studies. From the very beginning, students are encouraged to design and conduct their own research projects. Supervised by staff, they can contribute to the ongoing research of the English department, and joint publications with staff are often the result. The acquired empirical skills provide students with excellent qualifications for further study in Linguistics at doctoral level.

In recent international and national ratings, Linguistics in Tübingen fared very well. For example, in the QS World University Ranking, Linguistics is in the worlds’ top 100.


The English Linguistics M.A. qualifies students for various career options. Students can pursue an academic career by applying for a Ph.D. program in Linguistics or Cognitive Science, or they can use their linguistic and analytical skills for a non-academic career in fields related to language and communication. M.A. holders are able to work on linguistic topics at an academic level, they have learned to abstract and synthesize information, to evaluate explanations critically, and are competent in the planning and execution of research and project work. With these abilities they are qualified for positions, among others, in publishing, language technology and teaching, translation agencies, and journalism.

Program Description


Module 1: Descriptive Linguistics

12 CP

Module 2: Linguistic Methodology

12 CP

Module 3: Applied Linguistics

12 CP

Module 4: Theoretical Linguistics

12 CP

Module 5: Interdisciplinary Extension

12 CP

Module 6: Research I

12 CP

Module 7: Research II + Academic Writing

6 CP

Module 8: Professional Experience

12 CP

Module 9: Thesis and Exam

30 CP



The core teaching of the M.A. program consists of the modules Descriptive Linguistics, Linguistic Methodology, Applied Linguistics, and Theoretical Linguistics. Students are introduced to current theoretical and empirical issues in class and deepen their knowledge in workgroups. The module Interdisciplinary Extensions adds expertise in forms of courses taken in other departments with which English Linguistics collaborates. In the module Practice, students can do a non-academic internship or get experience in academic teaching. Students benefit from the support of a structured program. For example, M.A. theses are written in three steps: students prepare and present their research question in the module Research I; they conduct an empirical study in the module Research II; they interpret and write up their results in the module Thesis and Exam.

English Linguistics @ Tübingen

Linguistic departments in Tübingen co-operate in Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche) since the 1990s. The current Collaborative Research Center 833 on the construction of meaning investigates how meaning arises in context, during linguistic processing, how it develops over time and how it varies across languages. The Research Training Group 1808 (DFG Graduiertenkolleg) on the topic of ambiguity in production and perception, offers interdisciplinary dissertation projects in linguistics, literary studies, psychology, law, theology, and rhetoric.

The University of Tübingen

Innovative. Interdisciplinary. International. Since 1477. These have been the University of Tübingen’s guiding principles in both research and teaching ever since it was founded. The University is one of Germany’s oldest and most respected, and offers excellent conditions for a course of study with an individual focus. Tübingen not only provides an optimal environment for learning and teaching, it also offers a wide range of other activities via the University Sport Center, the Language Learning Center, the interdisciplinary Studium Generale forum, and a modern University Library. The University’s motto speaks for itself: attempto – I dare!

The town of Tübingen

Tübingen does not have a university, Tübingen is a university: young, creative, open, and innovative. The beautiful, historic old town and its picturesque location on the Neckar River enhance the high quality of life and provide excellent opportunities for outdoor activities.

Further Information

English Linguistics
Collaborative Research Center 833
Research Training Group 1808

Application for the M.A. English Linguistics

Applications for Master’s degrees at the University of Tübingen can be submitted for the winter semester or the summer semester.
If you are a citizen of a European Union country, the application deadline is September 30 for the winter term and March 31 for the summer term.

If you are not a citizen of a European Union country, the application deadline is July 15 for the following winter semester and January 15 for the following summer semester.
As of the Summer Term 2012, admissions will be processed through an online platform:


The following documents must be attached to the application for admission:

Using the online platform, please finish your application and send a print-out, including all of the above-mentioned documents, to the Admission’s Office of the University of Tübingen:

Universität Tübingen
Zentrale Verwaltung
Wilhelmstr. 11
72074 Tübingen

For additional information on the application process please visit the homepage of the "Studentensekretariat".

Please note:
International Students should contact the Academic Advisory Office for International Students for further details on the application process from abroad (‘Beratungs- und Zulassungsstelle für internationale Studierende’). For further information please visit: [BEZIS]

Module Handbook

The Module Handbook, which contains important information on the structure of the M.A. program in English Linguistics at the University of Tübingen, can be found on the homepage of the Registrar's Office (Prüfungsamt).

Study and Examination Regulations

The study and examination regulations for all Master’s programs at the Faculty of Philosophy (‘Philosophische Fakultät’) at the University of Tübingen, including the M.A. English Linguistics, can be found on the webpage Master Programmes.