Courses and Modules

Module types

Three module types are distinguished. Compulsory modules (P: "Pflichtmodul") and core elective modules (WP: "Wahlpflichtmodul") are part of the study program's regular offering; they form the catalogue of modules and can be repeated once in the event of a first unsuccessful attempt. The elective modules (W: "Wahlmodul") are newly designed each semester and offered only once. As a rule, therefore, they cannot be repeated. The offer with all three types of modules can be found in the course catalogue.

All compulsory modules (P) of a programme must be completed successfully. If a student fails to pass a compulsory module two times, the student receives a program ban. This ban applies to all study programs that prescribe the same compulsory module. Core elective modules (WP) and elective modules (W) are substitutable.

The first semester: Methodology modules

The Master program Linguistics should be started ideally in the fall semester. Then the compulsory modules of the module group Methodology will be offered, in which the students acquire the basic skills for the upcoming semesters. These are the following modules:

  • Quantitative Methods (Module No. 271-516 / 6 ECTS Credits) --> see section "Preparation"
  • Language Data Acquisition (Module No. 271-517 / 9 ECTS Credits)
  • Language Data Processing (Module No. 271-518 / 15 ECTS Credits): This module consists of 2 courses:
    • Introduction to Language Data Processing (Course No. 271-518a)
    • Programming for Linguists (Course No. 271-518b) --> see section "Preparation"

Each course consists of a lecture and a tutorial. For more information about these modules please check the course catalogue (fall semester).


1) For the module "Quantitative Methods" the following knowledge of high school mathematics is required and has to be solid:

  • Concept of spaces / number systems (e.g.,natural, rational and real numbers)
  • Basic Functions: Linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic function
  • Differential Calculus: Extreme values, derivatives, integrals
  • Linear Algebra: Vectors, vector spaces, linear transformations, matrices, dot (scalar) product
  • Probability Theory: Random variables, probability distributions (uniform, binomial, normal, exponential), joint and marginal distributions

Note for German speaking students: The Institute of Mathematics offers a "Vorkurs Mathematik für Natur- und Sozialwissenschaften" (in German) starting mid-August. For students who need to refresh their high school mathematics knowledge, this pre-course is highly recommended.
For more information, click here.

2) In the course "Programming for Linguists" (part of the module "Language Data Processing") Python is taught as programming language. Although it is taught from the scratch, absolute beginners may want to prepare a bit by doing a Python tutorial. The following Python tutorial is recommended to them (chapters 1-12):

Python for Everybody (PY4E)