Faculty of Modern LanguagesComputational Linguistics – Master

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

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionEnglish
Fees and contributions169.25 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with admission restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
May be studied as a minor subjectYes

Course Content

The Master’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 Master’s degree programme in Computational Lingustics enables students to further the knowledge they have gained in the preceding Bachelor’s degree programme in Computational Linguistics. Students are able to develop a research-orientated or application-orientated specialism, or can combine computational linguistics with a minor subject.  

In all cases, the academic course will include modules from the various subdisciplines: 

  • Theoretical computational linguistics (abstract formalities and theories) 
  • Applied computational linguistics (applications of computational linguistics such as machine translation) 
  • Formal linguistics (linguistic grammatical theories)  
  • Applied linguistics (methods and techniques from computational linguistics for use in linguistics research) 

Throughout the degree programme, students also attend colloquia focussing on computational linguistics, in which guest speakers from Germany and abroad present on relevant topics. Advanced Master’s students may also present their Master’s theses in a colloquium. 

The Master’s degree programme in Computational Linguistics might also be studied as a minor subject.

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