Beginning the UPF Master in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics I was unsure what to expect. I had been teaching English for a decade and felt stagnant, so went back to school with a desire to explore my love of language and see what doors could be opened. I joined the Master without any linguistic background or any computational background, and so I cannot tell you that it was an easy year! There was no spoon-feeding, and you are expected to work hard from day 1. That said, I received a lot of support from the faculty and from my peers, and was amazed at how much I was able to learn in a relatively short amount of time. The flexible structure allowed me to combine courses from both Formal and Computational Linguistics, as well as giving me a grounding in core aspects of linguistics which I had not studied before. Many of my peers went on to begin PhDs, and if you are interested in a research career there was a lot of support provided to aspiring doctoral candidates. I went in a different direction and used the networks I had built during the course to find a job first as a computational linguist working on phonetics for a voice assistant, and later as a language data engineer at a research centre here in Barcelona. Now I work on Machine Translation tasks and get to apply the lessons I learnt in the course in my day to day, while also conducting applied research. It’s astounding to look back and think how much I have been able to change my life in less than 3 years through this degree.


Audrey Mash. Promoció 2021-2023 - Research Engineer for Language Technologies, Barcelona Supercomputing Center.


UPF's Master program in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics exceeded my expectations in every respect.

When I enrolled, I wanted to make a qualitative leap in my professional career, in the area of Applied Linguistics, and from the very beginning I knew I found the right place to gain the expertise and methodology I lacked, along with great people and facilities. The UPF campus is amazing: great location, a good library and modern spaces. My tutors and teachers were always extremely supportive, both with administrative and academic matters. Moreover, despite the pandemic, the coordinators managed to provide a friendly virtual environment and make students always feel involved in the learning process.

In my specialization track (Computational Linguistics) we learned about the relevant issues in the field and, once I graduated, I could rely on a very solid background in linguistics and highly valuable, marketable skills for industry, which enhanced my curriculum and got me hired very quickly after finishing the program. Over the year, I had even the opportunity to collaborate on an ongoing research project, which was an incredible experience to apply what I had learnt.

What I enjoyed the most was the international atmosphere, the opportunity to meet leading professionals and to join interesting workshops, and the flexibility of the program's structure, with a wide range of subjects to select from and practical work. The mix of research and applied approaches makes the program suitable for students and professionals with different interests and backgrounds. 

I really enjoyed the experience as a whole and I would reccomend it to everyone interested in furthering their career, and in having fun above all else!

Daniela Corbetta. Promotion 2020-21, Computational Linguist at DAIL Software.


The UPF's Master's Degree in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics has given me a taste of the world of research and taken my professional career to the next level. When I enrolled on the course, my aims were twofold; on the one hand, I was eager to gain experience in linguistic research and, on the other, I hoped to improve my career possibilities in Barcelona. As far as the research aspect is concerned, I could not be more pleased. Not long after the first semester, I was taken in by a research group focusing on the formal linguistics of Catalan Sign Language. Not only did I have the opportunity to participate in the group's activities (reading groups, lectures, conferences, etc.), I was offered guidance throughout the entire process of preparing my final master's degree project, including recommended reading lists, one-to-one tutoring sessions and assistance in collecting data. Although I am not conducting research at the moment, I feel that it's a door that will surely remain open. Professionally speaking, I was hired shortly after graduation as a linguistic specialist at a translation firm here in Barcelona, where I am responsible for Catalan and Spanish translations into English, academic English writing, and machine translation. Apart from that, I have continued collaborating with the University on linguistic-related projects. Overall, the Degree’s dual approach, the wide array of classes and the professors’ insight on their field of expertise ultimately allowed me to attain both of my initial aims. One of my favorite aspects of the Degree was the trilingual approach – taking classes in Spanish and Catalan really helped me to improve my language skills – and I also really loved getting to study alongside people from all over the world. I’d recommend this Master’s Degree to any language lover looking to broaden his or her horizons. 
Ryan Simoens. Promoció 2015-16. Departament Lingüístic Traducciones y Tratamiento de la Documentación, S.L., Barcelona.


Des d’un inici, les dues teníem clar que volíem cursar els estudis de doctorat en Lingüística a la Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Aquest és un dels motius que ens va portar a matricular-nos al Màster en Lingüística Teòrica i Aplicada en l’àmbit de recerca. La formació acadèmica rebuda al llarg de l’any de Màster ens va permetre ampliar els nostres coneixements en els diferents àmbits de la lingüística, tant teòrica com aplicada, com també conèixer la recerca que s’està duent a terme actualment en la comunitat científica de l’àrea d’interès. D’aquesta manera, els cursos rebuts van potenciar el nostre perfil de recerca i, així, vam poder escollir el camp en el qual ens volíem especialitzar. Vam escollir la Universitat Pompeu Fabra perquè, a banda d’oferir aquest Màster, compta amb diversos grups d’investigació de reconegut prestigi internacional, amb els quals vam poder dur a terme el nostre treball de Fi de Màster, que va ser la porta d’entrada als estudis de doctorat que estem cursant actualment. Tots els professors que imparteixen les assignatures del Màster tenen una llarga trajectòria professional en els seus àmbits d’expertesa. A més, els docents faciliten la interacció entre els grups classe i, per tant, les classes esdevenen més dinàmiques i col·laboratives. Finalment, una de les coses més interessants del Màster és poder compartir aula amb persones de diferents nacionalitats i natives de diferents llengües d’arreu del món.
Alexandra Navarrete González. Promoció 2015-16, investigadora postdoctoral al Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and
Ingrid Vilà-Giménez. Promoció 2015-16, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Specific Didactics, Universitat de Girona.


The MA 'Theoretical and Applied Linguistics' at Universitat Pompeu Fabra marks the best years of my life. A fully equipped campus, well organized courses with lots of practical exercises and approachable educators who actually care about their students made the perfect environment for me to touch my life goals. My undergraduate studies were also in linguistics, that means I already had a strong background in many linguistic areas like phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, and syntax. This MA brought me to a whole new level to every single area and added new territories such as computational linguistics, argumentation in linguistics and my so beloved sign languages. It also gave me the chance to acquire new tools which actually built the base of my following career by putting in use stuff I already knew in theory. I have to admit that there were moments that schoolwork seemed really intense and demanding but that was actually a really nice train for my career in the industry. My professors supported me with passion and dedication at this journey, from the very first moment I moved to Barcelona until years after graduation. I should also mention the UPF research groups ( which let us explore more our interests in the field. Also extra talks and conference out of our schedule offered me other perspectives and approaches and taught me to take a look at the big picture of any hypothesis. Being an UPF alumni is great plus in your resume. I know that most of us pursue an academic career, however it is worth to say that there are alternatives. After this master I got the chance to work as freelancer Linguistic Consultant in several projects via Upwork and Workmarket platforms which, in combination with UPF's legacy, multiplied my chances of getting a steady position in information technology industry, my all time goal.

Spyretta Leivaditi. Promoció 2014-2015 - Computational linguist at  Kentivo B.V. ( ).


When I first chose to pursue my Master's in Spain, I was looking for programs that were offered in Spanish so that I could enhance my Spanish ability.  Ever since I started studying linguistics, I've had a special interest in Hispanic linguistics.  Little did I know, Universitat Pompeu Fabra was more than perfect for me.  The first thing that caught my attention was the wide range of researchers and professionals that contribute to the program and the department.  Outside of the school, Barcelona has such a linguistically-rich environment.  It's truly a linguist's dream!  The staff at UPF were beyond helpful, and I learned and grew more than I would have ever thought during the one-year program.  I did not only receive fantastic instruction in the field of linguistics, but I also made connections with wonderful researchers who provided me with the confidence and knowledge to achieve my goals.  Upon leaving Barcelona to return to the United States, I was able to apply and be awarded a job as a full-time ESL Instructor at a university.  The experience at Universitat Pompeu Fabra was fantastic, and I cannot be thankful enough for it!

Dakota Thomas-Wilhelm. Promoció 2014-2015 - ESL Instructor, University of Iowa.


When I chose this program, there were several things that I was looking for. As an English teacher, I was looking for a program that would help me become a better teacher and equip me with a better understanding of the cognitive process behind my students' language acquisition. As someone passionate about research and interested in working at the university level, I was looking for a program that would provide me with the tools I needed to further my research and become a better contributor to investigations going on worldwide. The MLTA at the UPF provided me with both of those things. It was exactly what I was looking for. The teachers were attentive, experienced and always available to help. The infrastructure at the university provided me with vast databases of articles and books as well as a modern and comfortable setting in which to go to classes study and do research in.My experience at the UPF in the MLTA program was truly amazing. It helped me to grow academically, professionally and personally and I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking for a high quality MA in Linguistics.

Judit Briesmaster Forner. Promoció 2013-2014 - Profesora y Asistente de investigación en programa de MA TEFL, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile.


El Màster en Lingüística Teòrica i Aplicada de la UPF és un programa que permet adquirir, en un any, el coneixement de les bases de la Lingüística. Un any sembla poc temps per tractar tots els camps d'una disciplina tan diversa. Aquesta possible manca de temps se supleix, d'una banda, amb el treball de l'alumne (és un màster molt exigent), i, de l'altra, amb l'alt nivell del professorat i la seva proximitat en tot moment amb els estudiants, cosa que permet treure el màxim de suc de cada assignatura. La UPF és un centre molt actiu en Lingüística, i de bon principi els alumnes poden participar en xerrades, conferències, seminaris, etc. Entre alumnes i professors predomina l'ambient internacional, amb gent d'orígens i trajectòries molt diverses, la qual cosa és molt enriquidora a nivell acadèmic i personal. Després d'un any, aquest màster m'ha permès adquirir les bases necessàries per decidir quins són els meus interessos i quins passos cal fer per poder-hi treballar en el futur. Ha estat, en definitiva, una gran experiència a tots els nivells.

Toni Bassaganyas. Promoció 2012-13 - Project Manager, CERCA - Catalan Research Centres Institute, Barcelona.


El Máster en Lingüística Teórica y Aplicada de la UPF me ha parecido muy útil. Las clases han sido muy atractivas e interesantes. Todos los profesores son muy competentes y han tenido paciencia con los compañeros que como yo no veníamos de la especialidad en lingüística. Además, el ambiente en la UPF es muy internacional, todos los estudiantes nos hemos sentido bienvenidos. De los tres itinerarios del Máster (Investigación, Académico y Profesional) he seguido el académico, y me interesan especialmente la fonética y la fonología. Ha sido un año especialmente intensivo y enriquecedor. Considero que cursar este Máster ha representado  conseguir una base sólida para seguir con mis estudios y futuros trabajos. Si me dieran otra oportunidad, eligiría de nuevo la UPF.

Keqiao ChengPromoció 2012-13.


El màster de Lingüística Teòrica i Aplicada de la UPF ha estat molt productiu. Per una banda, a nivell acadèmic, he pogut gaudir d'una gran varietat d'assignatures que m'han aportat una quantitat de coneixements que crec absolutament necessaris, i, a més, amb la gran sort de comptar amb un professorat d'una qualitat excel·lent, com ho és el que forma part de la UPF. Les pràctiques m'han ajudat a progressar i a adquirir competències en el camp professional, així com també a posar en pràctica tot allò que he après a l'aula. Per altra banda, a nivell personal em sento molt enriquida, ja que m'apassiona la lingüística i no només em sento molt formada, sinó que les reflexions internes que un mateix es planteja quan es troba davant d'un full en blanc i un treball de vint pàgines per lliurar han estat la peça clau per ajudar-me a entendre moltes de les coses que passen en el nostre dia a dia. Jo sóc de la branca de llengua de signes i m'ha encantat veure com les teories lingüístiques poden funcionar en una diversitat de llengües impressionant, fins i tot en les de signes. Quan t'agrada una cosa, aprendre'n més sempre és bonic, i jo m'ho he passat genial!

Sara CostaPromoció 2012-13. Personal d'investigació de llengua de signes catalana en pràctiques a la Federació de Persones Sordes de Catalunya (FESOCA) i personal d'ensenyament de llengua de signes catalana.


When I started the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Master's program at UPF, I didn't know much about linguistics compared to some classmates. I had a completely different undergraduate background, but everyone at UPF still made me feel welcome and part of the group. It was more difficult for me to grasp some concepts because of my unique background, but the faculty were always available via email or in person to discuss any doubts with course material.

This Master has helped me to increase my knowledge base from zero to competent in less than a year. I now have general understanding of many linguistic areas of study like phonetics and phonology, morphology, semantics and pragmatics, and syntax. I chose the language acquisition/learning track and have been able to specialize in this area and view the more general areas from this standpoint. Faculty work dilligiently to ensure course content is applicable to the three different specializations.

In addition to the great faculty and staff and academic offerings, I have participated in the Voluntariat Linguistic (excursions throughout Catalunya and language exchange), and General Department Council while taking Catalan classes on the side. The experience, although stressful at times, has been exceedingly positive and beneficial to me in my professional and academic growth.

Kimber FodgePromoció 2012-13. Personal suport de recerca del Projecte FASOL de l'Universiteit Radboud Nijmegen (Països Baixos), currently Speech Data Evaluator for Adecco, Inc. at Google.


The choice of spending one year in Barcelona doing the MA 'Theoretical and Applied Linguistics' at Universitat Pompeu Fabra was one of the best in my life. I found what I needed, and much else. 

The master offers an excellent variety of courses in linguistic theory: all core disciplines in theoretical linguistics, such as syntax, semantics and phonetics and phonology, are covered. The assessment for these is certainly rigorous, but you always feel professors take all their possible care to make sure your learning is effective and measured to your own skills and needs. Also, I was able to explore territories new to me, such as computational linguistics and empirical methods for linguistics. With these additional courses I acquired new tools for my future research and realised its potentials in areas other than theoretical linguistics. All courses are taught by leading professors, who transmit their knowledge with dedication and passion. 

On a more personal note, I found the human environment at UPF fantastic. I worked with, and learned from, people from all over the world. The fact that our background was so diverse made my experience even more rewarding, since you realise how important it is to engage with ideas and approaches other than yours while finding your way in your studies. This feeling was definitely intensified by living in a truly multicultural city like Barcelona.

Next fall I am going to start a PhD in linguistics overseas (Canada), and doubtless the year in Barcelona opened the way for new challenges and discoveries in my future.

Francesco GentilePromoció 2012-13. Accepted PhD studentship at McGill University (Canada). 


El máster de lingüística teórica y aplicada de la UPF me ha permitido acercarme a la complejidad del conocimiento del lenguaje desde la perspectiva de la lingüística teórica y aplicada. Este programa de estudio, en concreto la línea de adquisición y desarrollo de  lenguas, me ha permitido progresar en mi objetivo de estudios que es formarme en las ciencias del lenguaje aplicadas a otras áreas del conocimiento. Igualmente, la formación cuenta con un componente esencial de análisis teórico. Además, desde la opción investigadora estos aspectos se pueden concretar en un estudio de investigación  junto con alguno de los múltiples grupos de investigación de la UPF adscritos al máster. Por todo esto el máster de la UPF me ha permitido potenciar mi perfil profesional como logopeda, pues su conocimiento proporciona una sólida base teórica transferible al área del desarrollo infantil del lenguaje y de las patologías del lenguaje. Cabe destacar su carácter científico, que me ha permitido iniciar mi carrera profesional como investigador predoctoral en el ámbito de la fonética y la fonología. Existen muchos motivos para animarse a realizar un máster, y más que suficientes para elegir la UPF como una buena opción, si valoras el esfuerzo en la adquisición de conocimientos sólidos en lingüística y en las ciencias del lenguaje.

Alfonso IgualadaPromoció 2012-13. Personal investigador en formació, Projecte Recercaixa, Departament de Traducció i Ciències del Llenguatge - UPF.


This program is an excellent graduate-level introduction to the scientific study of language, regardless if you completed your undergraduate career in linguistics or this is your first exposure to the field. The classes you take provide you with a solid foundation of the different areas that make up our discipline, and no less only in a year’s time! I feel well prepared to embark on my doctoral program when I return to the U.S. in the fall, all thanks to this outstanding program.

Being a research-oriented program, you have the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty members in cutting edge fields such as prosody, language acquisition and computational linguistics. The research I have done so far at UPF has taught me the necessary skills that will guide me along the rest of my graduate career. However, if research is not your cup of tea there is also a professional track, which many of my classmates are pursuing.

But perhaps the most advantageous part of the program has nothing to do with the program itself, but rather the city in which UPF resides: Barcelona. The Catalan capital attracts talent from all over the world to come here to work, study and research. As a result, our Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Master’s program was very international, with students hailing from almost every single continent; my classmates came from a variety of backgrounds that added to classroom discussions and helped me think about concepts in a different light. Furthermore as an American, living in Barcelona has been the opportunity of a lifetime to not only learn about, but also experience the Catalan culture and language firsthand.

Sean McKinnonPromoció 2012-13. Personal investigador en formació, Indiana University.


The linguistics master at UPF appealed to me not only because it is in the beautiful city of Barcelona, at a university with a strong reputation, but also because of the variety of courses offered and an environment of rich diversity. Returning to the academia after several years and making a fresh change career-wise, I was looking for a program that would first equip me with a broad understanding of the research issues linguists face. The course content as well as special talks, workshops and conferences allowed me to sample from theoretical, applied and computational linguistics and helped me direct my interests in the subsequent doctorate studies.

Completing a master in one year is rewarding but I will admit, it also proved to be intense and demanding. However, the high standards and scientific rigor are precisely what I appreciate about the program at UPF. Through the challenges, I have received tremendous support from my professors who are not only dedicated educators but also productive researchers in their areas and contagiously passionate about what they do. In addition, a friendly and accepting atmosphere makes UPF a place where I learn both in and out of the classroom and build valuable relationships. All this will serve as a solid foundation as I continue my career in linguistics.

Veronika RichtarcikovaPromoció 2012-13. Assistent de docència, Departament de Traducció i Ciències del Llenguatge - UPF.