Comparative Indo-European Linguistics, 2011-2012

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Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation



The programme’s main objective is to prepare students for an academic career, within or
outside the university. In the process, students develop into independent, creative and
critical scholars in the field of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics and Historical
Linguistics.The programme aims to raise students to a level of knowledge and skills that
allows them to proceed to PhD research. Alternatively, graduates qualify for positions
outside the university that require an academic level of thinking.



The MA Programme in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics is flexible. The
programme’s component parts are determined for each student individually. Generally
speaking, at least 30 ects are spent on language courses and auxiliary subjects. Students
will have to elaborate on one or more related languages for the language or language
group in which they wish to specialise.

For instance, for the study of Celtic, some knowledge of Old Irish, Welsh, Breton,
Gallic and Celtiberic are indispensable. In case the Leiden Department cannot offer the
required expertise for the individual curricula, students may take language courses at
sister institutions in the Netherlands or abroad. For the supporting courses, students
can choose from the many courses offered as part of the Research Master’s
programme in Linguistics. See: Linguistics

An example of such a course is the Master’s Class ‘Approaches to Diversity’, in which
four major linguistic research traditions are compared. Another example is the Master’s
Class ‘Samples of Linguistic Structure II: Typology’, in which phonological, syntactic,
lexicological and grammatical characteristics of various languages are analysed by
experts in the languages in question.

Starting the programme in February

Leiden University offers the possibility to start MA programmes in February. If you
choose to do so, please get in touch with the Board of Examiners. Prof. Dr. A. Lubotsky
and Dr. M. de Vaan a.s.a.p. to make special arrangements about your programme.

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students need to have successfully completed the 60 ects
programme and have completed their final thesis as a component of that programme.
The thesis for the Comparative Indo-European Linguistcs master’s programme carries
20 ects, and as a rule contains a maximum of 17,000 words including notes, bibliography
and appendices. The thesis is based on individual and original research. The thesis is
supervised by a lecturer affiliated with the Department of Comparative Indo-European
Linguistics who possesses expertise in the relevant field.
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