Master of Arts in Language and Linguistics

How to apply

Sweden has a pooled admissions system from where you apply to all courses and programmes at Swedish universities:

Typically, Master of Arts Programme in Langauge and Linguistics starts in the autumn (in the end of August). You apply at in the First Admission Round which usually opens in the middle of October and closes January 15. You'll find application links under each specialisation.

As an international student, you are encouraged to apply in the January admission round. This gives you time to pay tuition fees, apply for residence permit, find housing, etc. 

Admission requirements

Each specialisation has specific admission requirements. Please check the specialisation of your choice for more information on the specific requirements.

To meet the general entry requirements for master's level (second cycle or graduate) studies, you must:

  • have been awarded a Bachelor's degree (equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen) from an internationally recognised university
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in English

To meet the specific entry requirement for this programme you must also:

  • have a major in the subject chosen for the Master’s programme, i.e. for the specialisation in general linguistics, you must have a major in the subject General linguistics and so forth.
  • completed a bachelor degree project, and/or other independently written academic papers, in the subject chosen for the Master’s programme. The word count for these written samples of work should be between 6000 and 8000 words in total, or longer if the BA thesis itself is longer (excluding the references and possible appendices)
  • Note that for the specialisation in English, the bachelor degree project must be in English Linguistics, and that the English language proficiency is to be demonstrated by an average result of 7.5 in IELTS tests (Academic), with none of the sections scoring less than 7.0. In other words, the English proficiency requirement is higher for those who apply for the English specialisation than for those who apply for some other specialisation. Note that all applicants have a BA or even a MA in English Laguage or Linguistics, and that the IELTS tests are mandatory for all. 
  • For the specialisation in Cognitive semiotics, your major should be in one of the subjects General linguistics, Semiotics, Cognitive science or in a language subject. Your BA thesis must have a linguistic orientation.

Selection – common to all specialisations

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of students who can be admitted to the programme, the selection is made on the basis of Bachelor's degree essay, grades of relevant courses, and, if needed, interviews.

The Bachelor's degree essay

The Bachelor's degree essay is a research paper (thesis) in which the students indicate their knowledge of relevant research literature and relate their own research to it, describing their methodology and summarising their results. If the applicant has not written a Bachelor's essay, other types of research oriented papers can be submitted. Note that course papers generally do not fulfil these requirements. The bachelor thesis has to be a part of your programme, supervised and subject to examination.

  • The thesis is to be sent directly to the department. You are not allowed to upload long papers at
  • We will contact the applicant (by e-mail) in late January with instructions. The thesis will have to be submitted in the original language. If the thesis is written in the language of the specialisation chosen, an English translation is not needed. If the thesis is written in an other language (unless in German or French) an English translation must be provided (it does not have to be made by an authorised translator).
  • If you are in your last semester of undergraduate studies and have not yet finished your thesis, we will ask for a summary of your paper’s purpose, an outline of its contents, and a list of references (in progress).


Interviews will be conducted by e-mail, Skype and/or telephone.

Questions and answers

Q: Do I have to submit a statement of purpose and recommendation letters as a supporting documents? I figured out that there is a slight difference between the list of supporting documents in the website and that in the prospectus.

A: No, a statement of purpose/letter of intent is not required for this programme. Nor is letters of recommendations.

Q: I'm in my final year, which means that I will not have yet attained my degree or finished my Bachelor's dissertation by the application/supporting documents deadline. I was wondering if this would be a problem?

A: No, that will not be a problem. You can be conditionally admitted, which means that you need to show us the diploma before you can start the programme in September. Find more information at universityadmissions: For students in their final year of bachelor's studies

Q: I plan on finishing my bachelor’s thesis in my final term of undergraduate studies. What do I do if I cannot submit my finished thesis by the application deadline?

A: You do not need to submit your thesis by the application deadline. You can be conditionally admitted to the programme, which means you will need to submit your thesis upon completion or at the latest by the start of the programme in September.

Q: Should I submit my bachelor’s thesis to university admissions by the application deadline?

A: No, you are not allowed to upload your bachelor’s thesis or any other essay on the university admissions website. However, you will be requested to send your bachelor’s thesis to the department for additional assessment after the application deadline.

Q: My faculty never offered a Thesis option, so while I do have obtained a degree, I cannot offer an independent essay when applying. Could I still apply?

A: We understand that international schools vary and that not all universities offer bachelor thesis courses, but they are something we deem as necessary prerequisites to our graduate studies. I regret to inform you that this means we will not be able to admit you to the program on the grounds that you do not have a bachelor’s thesis or other corresponding independent research oriented paper.

Q: I did my Bachelor's degree in English language. Do I still need a IELTS for the specialisations in English?

A: To be eligible for the specialisation in English, all applicants must have a BA in English. All applicants must also have 7.5 in IELTS tests (Academic), with none of the sections scoring less than 7.0. 

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