The Master's Programme in Language Technology will teach you how to make computers perform useful and interesting tasks involving human language. The subject relies both on humanistic insights into the way language works and on the use of computational methods. Recent progress in language technology is to a large extent due to the developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence. The programme prepares you for a career in the commercial language technology field, as well as for a future in the academic world as a PhD student.
Why this programme?
Applications involving language technology are defining and redefining contemporary culture in more or less all corners of the world. Examples include document relevance ranking and filtering (in e.g. search engines and social media), automatic translation, writers' aids, business intelligence, and profiling of individuals. The core of language technology are methods for automatically analysing texts with a sensitivity for their linguistic structure and content.
The challenges for language technology lie in the richness, unpredictability, and creativity of human communication, not least in the new modes of personal expression encouraged by social media. In working with the practical side of language technology, you will also gain insights in more theoretical computational linguistics. Important themes are empirical methods and data collection, statistics in modelling of linguistic phenomena, and machine learning.
You will acquire skills in performing quantitative analysis of linguistic data.
You will learn to work with large-scale machine-learning approaches to language technology.
You will work with teachers from the internationally prominent computational linguistics group at Uppsala University.
As one of our students, you are encouraged to take an active role in the development of the programme.
Student profile You might have studied linguistics for at least a year, and even if your experience with computer science is limited, you feel that you have the talent and motivation to quickly learn more about programming and quantitative methods. If you enrol in the programme with previous credits in computer science or language technology you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in the more advanced courses. You can also replace some of the default courses of the programme with other courses if you think that they will be better given your background and career aims.
You are highly motivated and willing to take responsibility for your own education and career plans. Challenging problems stimulate your creativity. You are used to planning your own work and keeping deadlines. Social skills are an important part of your personality and you enjoy working both on your own and with others in project settings. Another essential aspect of your studies is that you develop a professional fluency in English.
A future PhD education is a possibility you might have thought about. But, starting to work right after graduation is also something you are considering and you like to keep your options open for now.
The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with Language Technology as the main field of study.
The first semester of the two-year programme provides a starting point for further studies. Courses in programming and mathematics give you the skills necessary for performing quantitative analysis of linguistic phenomena and for working with large-scale automatic processing of linguistic data. The semester also includes an overview of the various issues and methods typical of language technology.
The second semester provides further depth in programming and in key language technology areas, with an emphasis on statistical methods. There is also room for elective courses, allowing you to tailor your studies to your own interests and career plans.
The course Language Technology: Research and Development in the third semester focuses on project work and research methodology, spurring you to think critically, independently, and creatively when approaching language technology tasks. Further elective courses will highlight key language technology areas or other relevant fields.
The fourth and final semester is dedicated to the Master's thesis, in which you conduct an in-depth study of some approach to a language technology problem.
Courses within the programme
First semester Programming for Language Technologists I, 7.5 credits Mathematics for Language Technologists, 7.5 credits Natural Language Processing, 15 credits
Second semester Advanced Programming for Language Technologists, 7.5 credits Machine learning in Natural Language Processing, 7.5 credits Elective courses
Third semester Language Technology: Research and Development, 15 credits Elective courses
Fourth semester Master's Thesis in Language Technology, 30 credits
The degree requirements give you considerable freedom in the selection of courses and we encourage the inclusion of other courses motivated by, for instance, your previous background, special interests, or studies at another university.
As a student in the Master's Programme in Language Technology you will meet the full range of teaching and assessment methods typical of university education. Practical work with large datasets and computational models will be an important part of your studies. As a student in the programme you are encouraged to take an independent and experimental approach to different methods and to different kinds of data (e.g. covering different languages). Several courses consequently involve larger assignments.
The final semester of the programme is dedicated to the Master's thesis project. In this you can focus your attention on some field in language technology that you find particularly rewarding. It also provides an opportunity to work together with a company or public body.
The language of instruction is English, and it is important that you develop your abilities to document language technology applications with academic precision and on a professional level.
Depending on your interests and profile, you will be attractive for different positions in the language technology industry. You might work as a system developer, with language or customer adaptation, in support, and in marketing. Important sectors are machine translation and tools for translators, as well as other kinds of authoring support systems. Other examples are systems for document retrieval and classification. Information extraction from natural language text is also a core component of business intelligence services. Another important branch is speech technology, where systems producing and recognising speech are developed. Language technologists also work with research and education in the academic world.
Some of our graduates work at smaller companies specialising in language technology or artificial intelligence. Other alumni have found employment at the large companies working in these fields, such as Google and Microsoft. A number of students have found positions as researchers or PhD students in universities.
The language technology field is characterised by close interaction between university groups and commercial companies. This kind of competence also opens doors to related fields, e.g. where different kinds of human behavioural data are analysed by computational methods.
Career support During your time as a student, the University's career support unit, UU Careers, offers you help and guidance. You are welcome to participate in a variety of career activities and events, as well as to receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 60 credits in language technology, computational linguistics, computer science, linguistics or a language subject.
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies. The minimum test scores are:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.