Contact Information

General Linguistics
Department of Modern Languages

P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40)
00014 University of Helsinki

Telephone directory


The aim of basic studies is to familiarise students with the fundamental concepts of language and linguistic research in the different areas of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics). To a considerable extent, basic studies consist of practical courses in which students complete assignments whilst adopting theoretical knowledge. This is beneficial from the viewpoint of working with authentic linguistic material and thus necessary for the students of general linguistics.

In intermediate studies, students improve and expand the knowledge and skills gained during basic studies. At this level, students have much more freedom of choice in comparison to basic studies and are able to better focus on the areas and specialities that interest them. The share of independent studies also increases because many intermediate courses include independent information seeking.

The structure of advanced studies is very much at the discretion of the student, which means that these studies are easy to plan to lend support to the completion of the seminar and the Master’s thesis.

Course catalogue

See the general linguistics course catalogue, degree requirements and teaching information in WebOodi. (You can browse through course catalogues from different academic years by selecting the desired year from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.)

Student admissions

General linguistics and language technology have a joint entrance examination through which 15 students are admitted. These students choose their major subject after the joint basic studies (usually at the end of the first year of studies).

Students of the Faculty of Arts and other faculties may freely study general linguistics as a minor subject and complete either whole study modules or just independent courses. As a minor subject, general linguistics is especially suited for students interested in pursuing a career as a researcher focusing on one language because it provides them with comprehensive methodological and theoretical skills. Because it examines language and languages from many different perspectives, general linguistics is multidisciplinary in nature, thus drawing interested scholars from other faculties as well.