General info

EMCL+ is an integrated two-year Master’s programme offered jointly by a consortium of the Universities of Groningen (NL), Potsdam (DE) and Eastern Finland (FI) and 15 associated partners from the academic, R&D, and clinical sector, finishing with a joint MSc degree from the three institutions. It is a full-time interdisciplinary and transnational university programme at the Masters level, providing integrated training in neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and clinical linguistics. The aim of the Masters Course is to train highly qualified and advanced students who are excellently prepared for wide employability, by the unique combination of research training and an internship with an academic, R&D in neurotechnology, or clinical component. This is a prerequisite for interdisciplinary research in the fields of neurolinguistics and clinical linguistics and it shapes practitioners with a solid theoretical and experimental approach. The regular study period is 24 months. It consists of four semesters: three teaching semesters and a fourth semester to finish the internship and Masters thesis.

EMCL students EMCL+ students

Main objectives of the EMCL+ programme

The European Master’s in Clinical Linguistics+ (EMCL+) is the successor to the European Master’s in Clinical Linguistics (EMCL) that was awarded the Erasmus Mundus label in 2004 and 2009. In the new programme we build on our past experiences and look ahead: we wish to continue this master’s programme which has excellent content, and tailor it to meet the requirements of the employment market.

From the time of its conception in 1997, the EMCL (first enrolments 1999) was constructed to be an integrated, transnational, and transdisciplinary master’s programme in neurolinguistics and clinical linguistics. EMCL has been very successful, but to date has mainly been focused on academic skills. The aims of the programme – to educate students to become excellent academic researchers - have been reached: more than 70% of the graduates take up PhD positions and by now, many of the alumni are working in academia as researchers, lecturers and even professors.

Looking ahead, we would like to maintain the excellence of this master’s course but also broaden the employment opportunities for our graduates, thereby making the programme more sustainable and creating capacity for the labour market. Therefore, the objectives of the EMCL+ programme are to offer a joint, full-time interdisciplinary and transnational university programme at the Masters level providing integrated training in neurolinguistics and clinical linguistics to prepare the students to employment in the academic, R&D and clinical field. To achieve this we are joining forces with academic partners with complementary expertise and from related disciplines and non-academic partners from the R&D (neurotechnology) and the clinical sector.

These associated partners have been selected because they are stakeholders and future employers. In EMCL+ an internship at one of these associated partners will be mandatory. These internships will offer European students the opportunity to obtain experience worldwide: they can do an internship at one of the academic partners in programme countries: Australia (Macquarie University, Sydney; MQ); USA (City University, New York; CUNY); and Russia (Higher School of Economics, Moscow; HSE). Programme country students can undertake an academic internship at Newcastle University (UK; NU). These universities offer courses in complementary fields, such as Speech Therapy, Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. The R&D partners develop and/or apply the latest equipment for measuring brain activity, which is widely used in the field of neurolinguistics and clinical linguistics nowadays. One of the R&D partners is specialized in the development of digital tools for the assessment and treatment of cognitive disorders, including language. The clinical partners are university hospitals that apply awake brain surgery in brain tumour patients to prevent post-surgical language decline. During these operations, language abilities are tested. The university hospitals will not only offer internships, but also collaborate with the consortium on the development of a (free) Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on this topic. The other partners from the clinical sector are rehabilitation centres where children and adults with speech and language disorders, the target groups for clinical linguistics, are treated.

Consortium partners and their roles



Associated partners

Academic sector


R&D sector


Clinical sector


Brain imaging excursion TMS in action

Consortium agreement

The consortium agreement (signed 2017-09-12) can be downloaded here.

Content and structure

The programme is constructed from seven modules offered jointly by the partners, with full recognition of study achievements at the partner universities and using the ECTS system of workloads and grading. Courses and thesis research are structured within the following modules:

Joint curriculum

M1: Start up classes

These intensive courses will provide the students with a fundamental knowledge of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics) and statistics / Students are required to take the block(s) to make up for initial deficiencies.

M2: Language and culture classes

These courses will provide the students with sufficient communicative skills in the foreign language to learn to master everyday problems. The cultural component provides a comprehensive picture of political, economic, historical and cultural aspects of the host country and of Europe in general. Language and Culture classes at all three of the universities are compulsory.

M3: Methods

This module contains courses on both statistics (R) and experimental linguistics. In the statistics courses, the student will be familiarized with parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses using appropriate statistical packages. The experimental courses will provide students with sufficient knowledge for (i) designing an experiment to answer their research questions, (ii) collecting data and (iii) applying statistical evaluation.

M4: Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics

In these advanced courses, students will learn to critically read studies on clinical linguistics, neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics and to set up experiments for healthy and language-impaired children and adults. Ethical issues relevant to testing these populations are discussed. During these courses, students will acquire soft (Roberts) skills such as oral and poster presentation, academic writing and reading.

M5: Neurotechnology and IT for Clinical Linguistics

M6: Internship

During the Meet the Employers events in the third term, the students will get acquainted with the associated partners that offer internships in the fourth term. The students can do internships in the academic, R&D and clinical sector.

M7: Masters thesis

The Master’s thesis is a written report which elaborates on a research project that the student has conducted. The data are collected during the internship. The structure of the thesis should consist of an introduction including a definition of the central problem and research questions/hypotheses. Findings of the research should be reported and discussed in relation to the central problem. The Master’s thesis should consist of 50-80 pages and should have the quality of a publishable article.

M8: Research extras

The students are encouraged to use a variety of opportunities to broaden and deepen their knowledge, to get acquainted with the applications and to learn how to do networking in this interdisciplinary field. For this purpose, all institutions open their weekly colloquia and/or reading circles, organize information excursions to hospitals and rehabilitation centres, research institutes and neuroimaging centres. Furthermore, the students are invited to attend an international conference (Science of Aphasia), where they can meet the international players in the field as well as the teachers and the programme alumni. Costs for participation will be included in the tuition fee.


The programme involves mandatory mobility periods for all students.

Term 1 starts on September 1 at UEF and lasts till the end of February. Term 2 starts in Groningen on March 1 and lasts until the end of July. In September, the student mandatorily participates in the Science of Aphasia Conference that is always held in Europe. Term 3 starts on October 1 in Potsdam and lasts till the end of January. In term 4, the student will do the mandatory internship and write the Master thesis. A welcome week is planned at the beginning of Terms 1, 2 and 3. Since the students are scattered all over the world at the end of the 4th term, no official graduation ceremony is planned, but each student is entitled to have a personal ceremony at UG if s/he wishes.

Degree awarded

All successful EMCL+ students will receive their MSc as an Erasmus Joint Masters Degree.

Guest lecturers/visiting scholars

Visiting scholars can apply through the website. EMCL+ has an active recruitment policy: we will approach colleagues through our international networks. The most important criteria for accepting visiting scholars are quality and complementarity. We are looking for excellent scholars who are willing to offer a course on a topic that is not in the programme yet but attractive for EMCL+ students. The selection of visiting scholars will be done by the Selection Board. There are no deadlines for applications; scholars can apply throughout the year, sending their CV, publication list and suggestions for teaching and research during their stay. Visiting scholars will be divided equally over the consortium partner universities.