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Introduction

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As of October 2011, a two-year MSc degree programme in Computational Linguistics is offered at Institute for Natural Language Processing (Institut für Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung) at the University of Stuttgart. It is aimed at all those who would like to extend their knowledge, skills and competence in Computational Linguistics and Speech and Natural Language Processing. The MSc deals with natural languages such as German or English and how these can be represented and processed on the computer.

The MSc is designed to provide more in-depth skills and research-oriented competence in specialised subjects building on top of the contents of a BSc in Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung (Natural Language Processing), Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or formally oriented Linguistics. The language of instruction is English. The detailed admission requirements, including the language skills needed for the MSc programme, are specified in the admission statutes (Zulassungsordnung).

The first term contains a central module introducing and reviewing the most important concepts of Computational Linguistics. Standard methodologies are discussed and practised in hands-on exercises. A Team Laboratory in the second term further develops the skills required in project (team) work both in research and in development.

During the course of study, students choose two Concentrations one of which is usually the basis for the topic of the Master’s thesis. The following Concentrations are available, reflecting the areas of ongoing research at the Institute for Natural Language Processing:

  • Computational Syntax und Semantics
  • Laboratory Phonology and Speech Processing
  • Statistical Natural Language Processing

 

In addition, students choose from a catalogue of Electives, thereby extending both the breadth and depth of their studies. Electives can be selected from the advanced course offerings of the Institute for Natural Language Processing, but also from the course catalogues of other university departments, in particular Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Theoretical Linguistics. Depending on the students' background, a limited number of Bachelor modules can be selected as well.

During the MSc programme, students are given the opportunity to spend their third term at a foreign university. The term of studying abroad is highly recommended: not only is this a valuable experience, it also offers the chance to make useful contacts that might help with the career choices later on.

An MSc in Computational Linguistics shows that students have acquired the ability to work independently on scientific problems, to develop new methods and apply them in complex situations, using all relevant methods previously learned in the course of the degree programme.

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