The Master’s Programme in Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities is for you if you want to:
- deepen your understanding of language in general, or
- become an expert in linguistic diversity at a local or global scale, or
- learn how humans perceive the world and process information, or
- learn how to create artificial systems that resemble language, speech and human cognition, or
- know how to use digital methods to study aspects of human life such as history and social development.
During your studies, you will:
- gain an in-depth understanding of the basic structure of language, its subsystems (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics) and their interrelationships
- learn the fundamentals of linguistic analysis and language description
- familiarise yourself with linguistic concepts, theories, descriptive models and the associated research methods
- learn how language is related to cognition, speech and interaction as well as to social structures, culture and society
- learn to use various methods and technical tools in order to manage and analyse language data
- gain a good understanding of linguistic variation and diversity: what is common to the world’s languages and how they differ, how language changes over time, how languages influence each another, how individuals cope with multilingual situations and how communities speaking endangered languages can be supported.
After completing your studies, you will be able to work independently in various fields that require multidisciplinary expertise in linguistic sciences. You will have the theoretical knowledge and skills that are required for postgraduate studies in doctoral programmes in language studies.
The scope of the Master of Arts degree is 120 credits (ECTS), to be completed in two years of full-time studies. The language of instruction in the LingDig programme is English and it contains the following studies:
- Studies common to all students in the programme (30 credits); this includes a 10-credit introductory course and 20 credits chosen from a common list of courses.
- Advanced studies in your study track (30 credits)
- Elective studies (30 credits)
- MA thesis (30 credits)
As a student in the programme you choose amongst five study tracks: (1) Cognitive Science, (2) Digital Humanities, (3) General Linguistics, (4) Language Technology and (5) Phonetics.
Your elective studies may include modules offered either by the other study tracks within this Master’s programme or by other programmes within the University of Helsinki. Examples of modules offered by other programmes include Indigenous studies and computer science. Courses offered by other universities can also be included here.
The studies in your own study track, as well as the other studies, can include study abroad (e.g. student exchange) and work practice or other working life oriented study units. Working life and career development perspectives are integrated into many of the courses.
At the beginning of your Master’s studies, you will prepare your first personal study plan (PSP), with support from the staff of the Master’s programme. You will also receive guidance from the Faculty.
The courses offer you in-depth training in your chosen study track: (1) General Linguistics, (2) Phonetics, (3) Language Technology, (4) Cognitive Science and (5) Digital Humanities. These five study tracks interact at all levels, starting with an introductory course common to all students, bringing together the perspectives of all five study tracks. Taking courses across study tracks is made easy.
In the context of humanities, the programme has the closest relationship to natural sciences, and many subfields of the programme involve methods directly linked to laboratory sciences, including digital technology and neurosciences. The teaching in the programme includes lectures and seminars, practical exercise sessions, reading circles, fieldwork excursions, as well as work practice (internship). The broad spectrum of teaching methods guarantees optimal support for your learning processes.
Check out the courses and their descriptions in Weboodi, the University of Helsinki online course catalogue.
Every spring, the programme organises a student conference. Information about previous years’ conferences.
Your studies culminate in writing your Master’s thesis, an independent scientific study with the scope of 30 credits. You will be guided through the writing process in a thesis seminar during your second year of studies.
The aim of the Master’s thesis is to develop your basic skills for conducting research. The most important of them include the ability to seek information independently, analyse and assess existing information critically, and produce and apply information independently. In addition, writing your Master’s thesis develops your project management skills and your mastery of an extensive body of knowledge. Upon completing your Master’s thesis, you will:
- Be ready to work in a systematic way and able to understand large conceptual wholes
- Have the ability to define and discuss your chosen research problem
- Have mastered the theories and research methods required in your work
- Have demonstrated familiarity with your thesis topic and the literature in the field
- Be able to analyse material and communicate your results scientifically
As a rule, you will write your thesis in English, though students with Finnish or Swedish as their administrational language can write their thesis in these languages.
After completing the Master of Arts degree, you are eligible to apply to study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, a postgraduate research degree. The LingDig MA programme gives you a strong and competitive background for pursuing doctoral studies within the focus areas of the five study tracks.
Within the University of Helsinki, for those working on language(s), the relevant programme is the Doctoral Programme in Language studies. Students graduating from Cognitive Science and Digital Humanities may choose other programmes from the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki is Finland’s leading centre for research in the humanities. The Faculty has a strong research orientation, and its research represents the top level in many fields both in Europe and globally.
More information about doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki.
The LingDig programme has a high international profile. Its international character shows in many ways, for example, the teachers are internationally widely connected, the programme functions in English accepting students from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds around the world, the opportunities for international exchange are enouraged and much more.
You may apply if you meet the following three requirements:
- You have completed or will complete by 31 July 2020 a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) or a second-cycle degree (e.g., master’s degree) or a postgraduate degree in Finland or abroad.
- You have completed or will complete applicable studies required for the master’s programme by 10 January 2020. Below are more details concerning applicable studies.
- You have sufficient proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English. For further instructions on demonstrating your language proficiency, see the section “Required attachments”.
You may be admitted if
- You prove your eligibility (see above) by the deadline
- You submit an electronic application through the Studyinfo portal during the application round and submit the required attachments by the deadline. The application form is open from 3 December 2019 (8:00h UTC+2) to 10 January 2020 (15:00h UTC+2). Read more about what will happen after the application round.
- You have completed basic and intermediate studies (a minimum of 60 ECTS credits) in a field applicable to the master’s programme or studies of an equivalent level and scope. Please note: even if the degree serving as grounds for application is not completed during the application round (eligibility criterion 1), you must have a sufficient number of applicable studies completed by 10 January 2020 (eligibility criterion 2).
o For the Study Track in Digital Humanities, applicable fields of previous studies are history, area and cultural studies, cultural heritage, art history, philosophy, linguistics and social sciences, as well as computer science, data science, and, for example, theology, depending on whether you wish to approach the humanities from the perspective of data or wish to examine the digital world as a phenomenon of its own.
o For the Study Track in Phonetics, applicable fields of previous studies are primarily phonetics, linguistics and logopedics. If you have completed at least some studies in phonetics and linguistics, you can base your application on previous studies completed in one or several of the following fields: audiology, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mathematics, computer science and data science, musicology, as well as acoustics, signal processing or biology with an emphasis on animal communication.
o For the Study Track in Language Technology, applicable fields of previous studies are general linguistics with an emphasis on empirical methods and corpus linguistics, or computer science with an emphasis on the processing of natural languages or machine learning in general. Previous experience in programming will be a great advantage, but motivated students can supplement their skills during their studies in this respect. Neighbouring fields (data science, translation studies, languages, mathematics, statistics) can also be considered applicable fields, provided that the studies completed include the basics of linguistics, data processing as well as the basics of programming.
o For the Study Track in Cognitive Science, applicable fields of previous studies are cognitive science, psychology, social psychology, linguistics and/or neurosciences, while also philosophy, mathematics, computer science and data science (especially if the completed studies include courses in cognitive science and its neighbouring fields) can be considered applicable fields.
o For the Study Track in General Linguistics, applicable fields of previous studies are general linguistics and studies in a language subject with a heavy emphasis on linguistics.
The applicability of the field and the sufficiency of the previous studies will be assessed in conjunction with admission.
The University of Helsinki does not provide any preliminary evaluation on the suitability of the applicant’s previous studies.
All applications will be scored, and your admission will depend on the score your application has received.
You will have to select one of the available study tracks already on the application form. You will also have to select the language of your degree (English, Finnish or Swedish) on the application form. This means that even though most of the teaching will be offered in English, you can answer examination questions and write course assignments and your Master’s thesis in the language that you select as the language of the degree. The language selection is binding. You must demonstrate proficiency in the selected language.
If in this round of admissions you are applying to more than one master’s programme at the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, you must rank them in order of preference on your application form. Even if you qualified for admission into more than one programme, you will only be offered a place in the one you ranked the highest.
Applicants will be informed of the results of the student selection by 15 April 2020 at the latest. Please note the one study place per term provision if you are applying for more than one study programme in spring 2020.
Study right to be awarded
If you are admitted, you have been granted the right to pursue the degree of Master of Arts in the multilingual Master’s Programme in Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities.
If you are currently or have previously been a degree student at the University of Helsinki, please note the restrictions related to granting the right to complete a degree.
Statistics on applicants can be found on the university’s web page.
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