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The science of language. You don’t learn all the languages in the world, but you learn to understand them.

About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  |  Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


The Master in Linguistics is the science of language. You don’t learn all the languages in the world, but you learn to understand them. As a Master’s degree student of Linguistics at the University of Aarhus, you deal with many different aspects of language and how it is used. You study topics such as the way languages change as dynamic systems over periods of time of longer (e.g. over hundreds or thousands of years) or shorter durations (e.g. over a person’s lifetime), applied linguistics, cognition and language, linguistic typology (the unity and diversity of languages), as well as interactional linguistics (the structure of interpersonal interaction). In all of these subject areas you learn to analyze data using subject-specific methodologies and insights. In addition, some courses are geared towards research projects.

We also emphasize that you shape your own individual Master’s degree profile to reflect your interests in linguistics and your career plans. You can do this through your choice of subjects of exam essays, and by including other areas to shape your degree in the direction you want. You can also structure your studies by means of a period of practical training, during which you gain insight into life in a workplace, try out your academic skills, and get an impression of what the job market expects of a humanistic graduate.

Linguistics at Aarhus University has approximately 100 active students and is therefore a middle-sized discipline, which still has a close academic and social environment, with an ongoing academic dialogue between teachers and students. Active students organize events on a weekly basis.

The Master’s degree program in Linguistics counts as two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits).

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation of the MSc in Linguistic programme 2019.


Admission requirements

The Master’s programme in Linguistics is open to candidates with a Bachelor’s degree or a supplementary subject in Linguistics (i.e. minimum 45 ECTS studies in linguistics. For this reason), foreign students must be able to provide full documentary evidence that they have completed a relevant and recognised university degree equivalent to a Danish BA degree in level and contents.

Only students who fulfil these requirements should apply.

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above. 

The Master’s programme is a two-year continuation of the Bachelor’s programme. It expands the students’ knowledge of and skills in the subject of study. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the field of study.

Legal right of admission

Students of the Bachelor's degree programme in Linguistics at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Linguistics on the condition that application is made with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor's degree programme to the Master's degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Selection criteria

If there are more academically qualified applicants than places available, each applicant will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Academic background (counts 75%)
    Based on the amount and quality of BA exams that are relevant to the MA-program.
  2. Other relevant experience (counts 25%)
    Based on Curriculum Vitae and relevance description. See below for more details.


In addition to the general documentation requirements, you must upload the following documentation to your application:

1) Relevance Description

Relevance description is a brief description (1-2 pages) explaining:

- The academic relevance of your Bachelor’s degree programme to the Master’s degree programme

- Which courses from your Bachelor’s degree programme meet the academic requirements for admission to the Master's degree programme. These requirements can be found above.

- Your career plans

2) Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing relevant parts of your education as well as work-related and other experience in chronological order.

You may also attach detailed documentation connected to your resume, such as recommendations, assessments, etc. However, this is not a requirement.

3) If your Bachelor’s degree is not from Aarhus University, you must upload the academic regulations or contents of your study programme or a link pointing to them.


Language Requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.

Read how to document your language qualifications



Programme structure

Academic regulations

The following table shows the structure of the 2011 degree programme. More information about the structure and content can be found in the academic regulations.

Project-oriented work

You can complete project-oriented work during the 3rd semester of your programme. The project gives you an opportunity to use your linguistic skills in a real work context.

The project must be relevant to your degree programme in a broad sense and should preferably also improve your future job prospects. In other words, you have an opportunity to create your own individual competence profile by working on a project which focuses on job and career experience.

You can find much more information about project-oriented work and internships af AUs Job and Project Bank.


Student life

As a linguistics student at the University of Aarhus, you have plenty of opportunity to participate in social events of both a study-related and a less academic nature.

  • In Lingoland, a common room for students of linguistics, you can socialise with fellow students from different years. This is a pleasant place in which you can read, work with your study group or relax away from your books.
  • The Linguistics department has a very active committee called ViGør which arranges both social and academic events every Friday from 13 - 15 o'clock. These are, among other things, Student Stories, LingoBio and Friday Lectures.
  • During the semester there are also MA Cafés arranged by the MA students. The events can be about internships, studying abroad or they can be workshops and poster sessions.
  • On Fridays you can visit Kommabar. The Friday bar, which Linguistics share with the study Scandinavian Language and Literature.
  • In addition, there are many other events for students at the Faculty of Arts and the University of Aarhus in general – e.g. lectures, intro days, career days, seminars, celebrations and sports days.


Student-to-student is your opportunity to ask about being a student at the Faculty of Arts and about Aarhus and Denmark in general to another international student who has already taken the leap and now lives in Denmark and studies for his/her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts.

You can read more about the student-to-student service and find the list of AU international student ambassadors at Arts here.

The University Park campus – a unique place

The main Aarhus University campus is unique, with buildings closely grouped together and surrounded by nature. The campus is conveniently situated close to the city centre, and student accommodation is readily available as long as you apply on time. There are a range of activities, ranging from running to regatta on the lake, as well as guest lectures, film screenings, and university events taking place throughout the year. To ensure student well-being, counselling services are available for students, to offer support and guidance during their time at Aarhus. Read more about the study environment at Aarhus University.  

Aarhus as a city

As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is a young and dynamic place with plenty of opportunities. The 40,000 students at the university make up 17.5% of the city’s population, which leaves its mark on city life. An attractive feature of Aarhus is that there are beaches and woods a short bike-ride away, as well as cultural events taking place throughout the year, including the Aarhus Festival in September. The theatres in the city and the ARoS international art museum offer many events that enable you to experience the Danish culture.

Why choose Aarhus? See studyguide.au.dk and get all practical information about being an international student. 

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.


The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.


Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2016 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Job profile

The most common career paths for linguistics graduates are:

  • Teaching: Linguists are experts in how to learn a language, and many graduates therefore choose a career as a teacher – e.g. at training colleges or as bilingual consultants.
  • IT design: As a linguist, you acquire a thorough understanding of information structures, which can lead to a career as a software developer or web designer. Examples are e-learning programmes for language teaching or dialogue and chat systems.
  • Language and communication: Many graduates work with internal and external communication in jobs such as information or project officers.

You have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme at the faculty’s Graduate School. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree studies or when you have completed your Master’s degree.
Read more about AUs PhD degree programmes.

Competence profile

A Master’s degree in linguistics gives you the following competences:

  • Language: You have insight into language structure and function, you quickly come to grips with language and grammar, and you can apply linguistic theory to language data.
  • Analysis: At the Department of Linguistics, you work with many different types of texts and are therefore able to analyse everything from fiction to advertisements, using linguistic theory and methodology.
  • Communication: Linguists have an ear for language and you are therefore good at expressing yourself both verbally and in writing, and have gained experience with solving linguistic problems – a skill that can be used in teaching situations, etc.
  • Problem-solving: You are skilled at identifying, assessing and solving problems relating to language and linguistics.
  • Communication: With a degree in linguistics, you can help improve and simplify language and communication techniques.

Career guidance

Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.