Faculty of Modern LanguagesComputational Linguistics – Bachelor 100%

Computational linguistics explores how computers might be used to automatically process and interpret human language. Research in this area considers the mathematical and logical characteristics of natural language, and develops algorithms and statistical processes for automatic language processing.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeBachelor of Arts
Type of programmeUndergraduate
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study6 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman and English
Fees and contributions151.05 € / Semester
Application procedureSubjects with no admission restrictions
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
International degree programYes

Course Content

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Computational Linguistics at Heidelberg University covers the following topics: 

  • Computer science and programming 
  • Theoretical and empirical foundations for formal statistical language modelling 
  • Algorithms in computational linguistics: the core of theoretical and applied computational linguistics 

Whilst computer science, mathematics and linguistics provide a theoretical basis for computational linguistics, the central concern of the subject is the creation of algorithms to process and analyse linguistic content. Theoretical and practical elements of computational linguistics are inextricably linked, as theoretical insights are integrated into usable programmes. The symbiosis of theory and practice lends computational linguistics the character of an engineering science. The unique objective of computational linguistics is the development of linguistic algorithms. Computational linguists create statistical models or apply methods from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve a particular technological result. Learning, research and invention are key components of a computational linguist’s work.

Course Structure

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Computational Linguistics spans six semesters and covers the fundamentals of the subject, including working methods and materials, and provides students with step-by-step guidance on the development of practical applications. Students spend the first three semesters building solid core knowledge of the subject area to prepare them for later course elements. They attend introductory lectures (with accompanying practice classes) in computational linguistics, theoretical linguistics, programming, mathematics and statistics. These include specialised lectures with practice classes and seminars which consider topics specific to computational linguistics, as well as computing more generally. Some lectures and courses are run by the Institute for Computer Science. 

Students benefit from a broad range of courses and lectures on offer, which are run by internal lecturers and professors from the Institute, as well as guest lecturers from research institutes and industry. Topics range from fundamental methods of modern computational linguistics to current issues in research and applications. Topics include neural networks, statistical machine translation, ethical aspects of computational linguistics and the recognition of sarcasm. In seminars, students receive relevant literature and have the opportunity to test practical applications in an accompanying implementation project. A further component of the degree programme is a software project, as part of which students work as a team to model a computational linguistic issue and implement a software solution. The degree programme also includes a compulsory work placement of six weeks.

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