As of this academic year, I am a research master student Language and Cognition. In this master, you have a lot of freedom to choose your own program, which I like a lot. Students with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics don’t have to follow certain courses due to the program of their bachelor. This gives them the opportunity to choose courses from other masters. I did some courses from the masters Applied Linguistics and Neurolinguistics.

I really had to get used to the courses being in English. At first, this was a bit odd, but you get used to it really quickly, so don’t let a possible language barrier stop you! The students in this master are very competitive, because a lot of people want to do research with the university, but there is not enough room for everyone. This makes the students want to excel, which creates pressure to not only get high grades, but also do projects beside your studies. This drove me a little nuts at first, because I thought that what I did wasn’t good enough. I’ve since let that go. Now I only do things that really interest me and where I want to put effort in, not because I feel like I have to.

It’s all in the name; a research master is mainly focused on doing research. The first year is about getting to know the research of others and courses are about methodology, for instance statistics. During the second year, you’ll do more things by yourself, like an internship in a foreign country and then writing a thesis. If you are interested in doing this master, remember that it’s important that you are interested in doing research. Not only in doing research in what you like, but in new ways of doing research as well. Up to this point, I’ve really enjoyed everything a lot, but I’m also really looking forward to doing an internship next year!

Marjolein Mués