Master of Arts in Linguistics and Literary Studies

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
16 September 2024
Application deadline: NON-EEA students: before 1 April 2024; EEA students: Before 1 July 2024
Study in Brussels, the heart of Europe

About this program

Master of Arts in Linguistics and Literary Studies

Have you completed a bachelor’s programme in a related field, and are you eager to take that knowledge to the next level? Expand your expertise during our one-year Master of Arts programme (60 ECTS) in which you can choose to study one of our six specialised profiles, and in one language or two languages. 

9 languages 

Our Multilingual Master in Linguistics and Literary Studies gives you the opportunity to follow courses in up to nine different languages in the multilingual context of Brussels. 

In our five Linguistics and Literary Studies profiles — Intermediality, Literary Studies, Linguistics, Multilingualism & Foreign Language Acquisition, Psycho- and Neurolinguistics — students can pursue their studies in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The Multilingual Mediation and Communication profile is offered with the following languages (always in combination with English): Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish.

Please note that we do not offer language proficiency courses in our programme! Rather, you are expected to already be proficient in your chosen language(s) to follow our courses.

6 profiles

You can choose to specialise in one of the following six profiles:

  • Intermediality: This profile offers an academic approach to the intermedial and/or intertextual relationship between literature and other art forms such as theatre, dance, opera, visual arts or film. Interactive courses give you the opportunity to gain profound insights into the dynamic interconnectedness of different genres.
  • Linguistics: We conduct an in-depth exploration of language with courses in up to six languages. You will cover a broad range of linguistic topics, such as theoretical linguistics, (historical) sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics.
  • Literary Studies: You will explore current literary topics, such as literary theory, urban literature, postcolonial literature, the intermedial relationship between literature and other art forms and aspects of literary translation.
  • Multilingualism and Foreign Language Acquisition: You will explore multilingualism from both social and cognitive perspectives, learn about the role of instructed versus uninstructed foreign language learning and put the theory into practice during an internship.
  • Multilingual Mediation and Communication: Thanks to a well-balanced set of advanced academic and professionally-oriented courses, you will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to study and critically reflect on challenges pertaining to translation, interpreting and communication in our multilingual society. Practical training and a compulsory internship provide the opportunity for hands-on experience. Please note that for this profile, you always need to study in two languages, one of which is English. 
  • Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics: If you are fascinated by the neurological and psychological aspects of language, this profile is perfect for you. Language impairments caused by brain damage and the cognitive aspects of linguistics are only a few examples of topics you will examine when choosing this profile.

If you want to start studying the Multilingual Master, a previous bachelor’s degree is required

Admission requirements

General admission criteria

Admission is based upon the review of each application. After an initial check for the validity of the documents, there will be a mandatory short Skype interview, for which students will receive an email in due course.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Our Multilingual Master offers you the unique possibility to take courses in linguistics and literary studies in up to nine different languages and to specialise in one scientific discipline in one or two languages. The programme is built up of three components: the general courses, the choice for one language or two languages, and a specialised study profile. The three components allow for maximum flexibility in the programme. The programme of the Multilingual Master contains courses in the following languages: Dutch*, English, French, German, Italian*, Spanish, Arabic**, Chinese**, and Russian**. 

* Available only in the five Linguistics and Literary Studies profiles.
** Available only in the Multilingual Mediation and Communication profile.

If your bachelor's degree is not in the field of linguistics and literary studies, there is a possibility of enrolling for a tailor-made preparatory programme consisting of BA modules in Linguistics and Literary Studies. If you would like to study in one language, you can obtain access to the Multilingual Master after completing the preparatory programme in a semester or an academic year, depending on the credits you already completed in your BA. Opting for two languages is also possible. In this case, access to the Multilingual Master in two languages is granted after two academic years of preparatory programme.

Scholarships & funding

Program delivery


EEA students: 1,092 Euro per year.

Non-EEA students: 3,620 Euro per year.


Continuing studies

Students achieving excellent results can also consider one of our PhD Programs.

Career paths

A Master's degree in Linguistics and Literary Studies opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector or at (non-) governmental organisations. Highly skilled professionals with an excellent command of various languages and a good understanding of multiple cultures are needed in national and international public institutions and companies. Brussels is the perfect environment to prepare you for such a job.

Not sure yet what your next step should be? VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Professional Orientation Year

As of 15 August 2021, non-EU/EEA students are eligible for a stay of 12 months to search for a job in Belgium or to carry out an independent activity. Find more information on the university website.

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About this institute

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

VUB is a public and modern university located in Brussels, the heart of Europe. Ranked as one of the world’s top universities, it offers a full range of bachelor’s and master’s programmes taught in English. The University counts over 22,000...

Read more about this school

Why study at Vrije Universiteit Brussel

When moving about in Brussels, you hear a lot of different languages. That’s no coincidence, because the city is a melting pot of cultures. With 35% of the population of foreign origin, you can expect a rich cultural environment. Brussels is home to the EU Institutions and several affiliates, NATO HQ, diplomatic representation offices, headquarters for many international companies, NGOs, trade associations, one of the world’s largest press corps, as well as a whole host of international and European schools.

It goes without saying that Brussels offers unique career opportunities. As the home to more than 2,000 international organisations and companies, it offers a wide range of internship possibilities and future career options. Flagship areas include ICT and communication, life tech, finance and law consulting, communications and media agencies, and creative industries.

VUB Education Delivers Strong Individuals, Critical Minds & World Citizens

Interactive and personal

Being a medium-sized university has its advantages. First of all, it allows frequent personal contact between students, professors and teaching assistants. This is part of a real direct contact culture that is well embedded within the university. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to interact with each other through group assignments within the curriculum and through the various extracurricular activities.

Choice and flexibility

VUB offers a full range of programmes taught in English where the key concept is flexibility. A system of majors and minors enables students to plan and personalise their curriculum in a way that best meets their interests.

Guidance and service

It is important to VUB to help students familiarise themselves with university life and to provide good guidance. Educational counsellors and study advisers provide students with personalised study guidance on a range of topics. The International Relations office provides students with information on university life and facilitates their integration by organising cultural, social and sports activities with student associations. They also provide information on administrative aspects regarding living in Belgium.


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This program offers five paths to choose. Students can learn from different aspects.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels

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