Detailed description


1. The field of study: English studies
2. Specialization: Empirical and Theoretical Linguistics (ETHEL)
3. The level of education: second cycle studies (M.A. programme)
4. The profile of education: general academic
5. The nature of studies: an international M.A. programme taught in English
6. The degree awarded: magister (M.A.)

General goals of the programme:

The ETHEL studies programme is addressed to people with a bachelor or master’s degree in any field with a general academic or practical profile (see below No 10 and 11). The guiding idea of the programme is an individualisation of the education, especially in the second year of studies. Students may choose courses that best correspond to their individual interests and that determine the choice of topics of their M.A. theses. The wide range of research interest areas covered by the staff of the Department of English Studies warrants a rich and highly qualitative offer of classes in linguistics, applied linguistics and psycholinguistics. Students are also invited to make use of the Department’s facilities including psycholinguistic labs (equipped with an EGG and an eyetracking apparatus) as well as specialized experimental software such as Presentation, E-Prime or SPSS. The instruction language is English, which additionally enhances students’ knowledge and language skills in this language. Although the programme does not prepare students for the pursuit of a concrete profession, it does develop the basic competences such as self-learning, the ability to work in a group, timely execution of tasks and tolerance, all of these being highly desirable qualities of prospective employees.

7. General description of the programme

The programme is highly modular, that is studies are organized in the form of modules, each of which comprising several classes. Assignments and exams take place in particular modules, i.e., they encompass the whole respective modules. They may also consist in special forms of assignments or projects which are based on the knowledge acquired in particular modules. In “empirical” modules students plan, design and analyse  experiments which are grounded in theoretical knowledge provided in “theoretical” modules. The programme is unrivalled in its combination of theoretical and empirical linguistics, which will provide students with cutting-edge skills and competences and enhance their career options in the world of education and training as well as in the world of work.

This is a two-year programme (four semesters), comprising 800 hours, 120 ECTS credit points (whereby the majority of credit points, 78 ECTS, concern elective classes). The programme consists of core and specialized modules. Core modules aim at establishing a firm and uniform foundation for all students attending the programme, independently of their previous background. These modules are compulsory and cover a set of core topics in Linguistics. Specialised modules, on the other hand, may be subject to change. This flexibility is crucial, since the programme needs to respond successfully and effectively to the fast pace of evolution that characterises the study of language, and also wants to maintain its ability to react and adapt quickly to changes on the job market for our graduates.

In the first semester students must attend the following core classes: Module 1 “Basics: Theoretical Linguistics” (courses: Syntax, Morphology, Phonetics and Phonology, Semantics and Pragmatics), Module 2 “Basics: Psycho- and Neurolinguistics” (courses: Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics, Language Acquisition), Module 3 “Empirical Basics” (courses: Statistics, Lab course I: Methods in Corpus Linguistics, Lab class II: Methods in Psycholinguistics).

In the second semester students attend classes whose aim is to broaden the knowledge acquired during the first semester: Module 4 “Language Description and Comparison” (courses: Typology, Historical Linguistics, Structure of a language I, Structure of a language II), Module 5 “Linguistic levels I: Syntax and its interfaces” (courses: Generative Syntax, Seminar), Module 6 “Linguistic levels II: Semantics and its interfaces” (courses: Formal Semantics, Seminar).

In the third semester there are classes aiming at deepening students’ individual interests, thus leading to specialization (which will be later the areas/topics of the M.A. theses), as well as at developing general academic skills, through, for example, the attendance of scientific talks (including own presentations), establishing contacts with other scholars, practical trainings in psycholinguistics labs (hence preparing students for the pursuit of the ‘lab technical assistant/lab technician’ profession) and practical trainings in the publishing house (thus teaching students editorial and organizational skills).

Finally, the last, forth semester, is entirely devoted to the work on M.A. theses (30 ECTS credit points). Such a model of studies is successfully adapted in Western European universities.

8. Typical job possibilities:

Universities or other research centres, psycholinguistic labs, computer companies or other companies based on language processing, administrative sectors, publishing houses

9. Further education possibilities:

Ph.D. degree studies (doctoral programmes)

10.  Competences required from prospective students:

The ideal candidate has a good command of English (C1) and broad interests both in humanities and technical science. He or she has completed a first-cycle programme or a second-cycle programme in a different field of study with a general academic or practical profile.

11. Admission criteria:

The new M.A. programme Empirical and Theoretical Linguistics (ETHEL) is addressed both to students from Poland and from abroad. The applicant should have

a) Bachelor degree or equivalent in one of the following areas:

  • Linguistics/Theoretical Linguistics/Computational Linguistics/
  • English or related studies (however with a specialization/Bachelor thesis or Bachelor exam in Linguistics)
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics/Computer Science

b) The diploma degree cannot be lower than A/B+ (“very good”, “plus good”).

c) He or she should be proficient in English (for non-native speakers level C1+ is required).

d) The applicants must submit a letter of intent written in English (at most two pages (A4, Times New Roman, 12pt, single space), focusing on: a) their reasons for choosing this programme, b) their areas of interest in Linguistics, and c) the reasons for choosing the University of Wrocław,

e) as well as a current Curriculum Vitae, written in English.

12.  The area of education:


13.  Relationship with research conducted at the Department of English Studies as well as with the university development strategy:

The programme reflects the interdisciplinary nature of research conducted at the Department of English Studies in its different sections (Section of English Linguistics, Section of Applied Linguistics) and research centres (Centre for General and Comparative Linguistics, Centre for Phonetics and Phonology), as well as in psycholinguistic laboratories (EEG Lab, Eyetracking Lab). The focus lies on a critical attitude to knowledge, characterized by a tolerance and respect for different opinions and an understanding of multiculturalism and the complexity of the modern world.