Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science

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General information for the BSc Programme

If you need to know more than you can find here, or want personal advice, you are always welcome to see any one of the CL staff during their office hours or by appointment via email. Alternatively, or if you just want to know the regulations, just look at BSc Exam Regulations.

Note that the current exam regulations have been in force since Winter Term 2011. Students who started their studies earlier may still complete their studies under the old regulations, or switch to the new regulations. Our advice is to switch to the new regulations. - Our study advice below pertains only to the current regulations.

If you want to spend your semester abroad at a university that offers good CL courses (especially within the LLP/ERASMUS programme), you may want to ask one of the CL staff for advice.

Computational Linguistics in the BSc Programme

Requirements for different groups of students:

  • All students in the CogSci Bachelor Programme must take the obligatory module CL, which consists of the basic level class Introduction to Computational Linguistics (8 credit points).

    • This course is taught each summer term and gives an introduction to general linguistics as well as computational linguistics for 1st year students with a special focus on issues of Cognitive Science. We advise you to take this class as early as possible, i.e., in your 2nd semester; this recommendations holds in particular for students who intend to take CL as a "Wahlpflicht" module. If they take the Introduction to CL later, they may not find enough time for the remaining "Wahlpflicht" classes.
    • This class is presupposed by all follow-up CL classes in the Bachelor and Master programmes.
  • Students who take CL as one of their 5 "Wahlpflicht" modules (and thus may also take their oral exam in CL ("modulübergreifende Prüfung CL")) must take, in addition to the basic obilgatory module CL, 3 classes at the intermediate level that are offered as part of the "Wahlpflicht" module CL (4 credit points per class). In the lecture lists on the CogSci Website, as well as on StudIP, and also on the CL Website > teaching the classes eligible for the CL Wahlpflicht module are explixitly marked as such. These classes may be on different topics from linguistics and CL each term. They presuppose the completion of the basic Introduction to CL.

    Our recommendation is that you take first, in the winter term following the basic Introduction to CL (normally your 3rd study semester) either the class on Syntactic Theories, or the class on Semantics & Pragmatics, ideally both. Both of these classes are taught each winter term and build directly upon the Introduction. Further classes offered in the "Wahlpflicht" module may assume that either one or both of these classes have been completed and are therefore better studied in the 4th term or later.

    In the following summer term (normally your 4th semester) you can take any of the other classes offered in the "Wahlpflicht" module CL and thereby complete the requirements of the module. If you intend to write your bachelor thesis in CL, however, our recommendation is to take a class on a more advanced level that builds not just on the Introduction, but in addition also on upon either Syntactic Theories or Semantics & Pragmatics. This will allow you to achieve a more advanced level of knowledge, as would be required for a bachelor thesis in CL.

    There may be additional classes each semester, at the intermediate level (presupposing only the Introduction) or on a more advanced level (presupposing also Syntactic Theories or Semantics & Pragmatics. Only some of these classes count for the "Wahlpflicht" module CL; the others counting only for the "Wahlbereich". The advanced classes are usually closely linked to the research activities of the CL group, and it may be useful to follow one or two of these classes in preparation for your BSc thesis.

    Advanced level classes may have specific additional requirements (e.g., courses in specific CL areas or previous work in other areas of Cognitive Science); such requirements are given in the individual course descriptions each semester. These courses are primarily intended for Master students, but are often also open for advanced Bachelor students who specialize in CL or want to write their thesis in CL. These classes are usually also offered in the "Wahlpflicht" area of the BSc Programme.

  • Students who want to write their BSc thesis in CL must have earned 12 credit points in the Wahlpflicht module and should also have completed one or two additional CL classes, ideally at an advanced level. They should seek the advice of a prospective thesis supervison as early as possible, with respect to the choice of a topic area for their thesis and also with respect to their choice of classes. There is a (usually somewhat outdated) list of suggested topics for BSc theses and a list of theses completed in the past years, many of which may be downloaded. But in any case you should make an appointment with one of the CL staff whom you would like to coach you for your thesis and she or he can surely help you with more suggestions for topics.

Information for MSc students interested in linguistics

The MSc in Cognitive Science is a strongly interdisciplinary two-year research master programme. The structure of the programme requires a student to choose two focus areas. (Computational) Linguistics is one of the areas that can be chosen.

To get an idea of the research conducted by MSc students, take a look at the list of completed BSc and MSc theses.

Instruction is provided by the teaching staff of the Computational Linguistics Group, found here. As the MSc Programme is strongly research oriented, it may be of interest to take a look also at recent publications of our instructors, which can be found via their home pages. Teaching materials unfortunately are only accessible via stud.IP, which is access restricted, but lists of classes from current and earlier semesters can be found at the site of the Institute of Cognitive Science.

Information about the application procedure for the Cognitive Science Master Programme can be found here.

If you need to know more, or want personal advice, you are always welcome to see any one of the CL staff during their office hours or by appointment via email. Alternatively, or if you just want to know the regulations, take a look at the Master Regulations.