Linguistics: Text Mining

A master for Humanities, social sciences and computer science
Master
Linguistics / Taalwetenschappen
Specialization
Text Mining

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

For mining information from very large repositories of text, you need to know what you are looking for and how to find it. The Master’s programme Text Mining trains everyone with a Bachelor’s and or Master’s degree how to use text mining by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques. You will learn what the possibilities and limitations are, and how to reflect on the outcomes and the cross-disciplinary aspects.

What is Text Mining?

Did you ever wonder why there is such a need for finding information in text by using Artificial Intelligence techniques? Scientists and decision makers are very much in need of the information that must be somewhere in textual big data. Some examples:

  • millions of medical reports and scientific papers on specific symptoms are hiding loads of information, waiting to be discovered;
  • hundreds of thousands of documents on economic policies produced by (non) governmental institutions;
  • emotions, opinions and mental states of all kinds of people on all kinds of topics can be found in abundance at the internet and in social media;
  • historical archives, libraries with centuries of books are now available digitally, waiting to be explored through new techniques.

You probably never realized, but most big data is textual and the amount of textual information available in digital form is still rapidly growing. Although language is very accessible for humans, it is not for machines. That massive amount of information is very hard to explore! That is where text mining comes in.

Text mining is trying to extract knowledge, information and structured data from text and utterances by using a collection of software and Artificial Intelligence methodologies. Although text mining is grounded in linguistics, computer science and Artificial Intelligence, it is extremely relevant for almost all fields of knowledge.

As a bachelor or master in your field of knowledge you know what kind of information you could be looking for. With the Master’s programme Text Mining you will become a pioneer in the analysis of textual big data with Artificial Intelligence techniques. You bring your field knowledge, we teach you the tools and techniques.

Cross disciplinary
Text mining is cross-disciplinary in a true sense. There are enough tools available on the internet, but it requires insight, knowledge and experience to use this technology properly for a specific purpose and to understand the outcome. Experts in text mining must have knowledge from both linguistics and technical aspects. Furthermore, they need to understand the field of knowledge in which they are applying these techniques.

Study programme
In the first period you will learn the basics of linguistics and programming in Python for Text Analysis.

The second period brings you more specialized knowledge and skills: we will show you how to look at language as data and you will learn to use methods and tools for the processing of language in the course NLP Foundations.

In period three and four you will really dive into text mining. In Applied Text Mining we will give you hands-on experience to build what we call a reading machine. In Text Mining in Domains you will apply your newly acquired knowledge in your professional domain. At the same time you will follow a course in Machine Learning, especially for working with language.

You will write your thesis in the last two periods, most likely based on an internship.

For questions on the study programme and courses please contact the study coordinator:

Hennie van der Vliet
T: +31 20 59 86466
E: h.d.vander.vliet@vu.nl

Worldwide there is an extremely large amount of digitally available text, yet it is hard to find the right piece of information that is relevant for a specific situation.

There is a fast-growing need for specialists that can apply text mining, turn it into a product and exploit the results in industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

This Master’s programme offers advanced students a scientific challenge, as well as a great opportunity to apply their field competence in a rapidly growing field of science and industry.

Dutch Students

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor's before Master's rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

In April a nationwide decision was taken to abandon the so-called “harde knip” because of Corona and to formulate alternative requirements for admission to master’s programmes. For this reason, and following general VU guidelines, the Humanities Faculty has opted for a smoother transition. Find out what this means for you below.

Guidelines for Bachelor’s to Master's    

Bachelor’s students at a Dutch university (including VU):      
•    Minimum number of EC’s: 162 EC (90%     
•    Deadline final version of the thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021    
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme    

Current premaster’s students     
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 80% or 1 course unfinished (NB: the thesis is also regarded as a course)      
•    Deadline final version of the premaster thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021     
•    Academic Skills must have been completed     
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme    

HBO Bachelor’s students     
•    Minimum number of EC’s: 216 (90%)     
•    Deadline final version of the BA thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021     
•    Only 1 course (6 EC) of the integrated programme may be left open at the start of the master’s programme

We strongly advise students to do everything possible to complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme before the end of this academic year. The study load makes it very difficult to complete missing courses while on an intensive Master’s programme.

All students who enroll on the basis of the “zachte knip” will be invited by the academic advisor and will be assigned a mentor, who will have a finger on the pulse for the completion of the Bachelor's degree.  

Request exceptional admission
Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August. You can do this by completing and submitting the form for exceptional admission to a Master’s programme.

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

The track Text Mining is an interdisciplinary Master’s programme and open for application to students with an academic Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent) in Linguistics, AI or Computer Science, but also for students from other academic Bachelor's programmes.

Students who do not have a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, AI or Computer Science and wish to enroll, should have either knowledge and skills on the level of an introductory Bachelor’s course in Linguistics, or have solid skills in programming in Python. The linguistic knowledge, skills and insights can be acquired in, for instance, a course Introduction to Linguistics of an academic Bachelor's programme.
For information or questions on how to meet the requirements, please contact the coordinator of Text Mining: Hennie van der Vliet (h.d.vander.vliet@vu.nl).

The Faculty’s Admissions Board will review whether you meet the admission requirements. If you have an academic Bachelor’s degree other than Linguistics, Computer Science or AI, the Admission Board will bring you into contact with the coordinator of the Master's programme Text Mining.

Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree can apply via Studielink before July 1st for the Master's programme Text Mining under the label Taalwetenschappen (Linguistics).

After you have applied for the Master's programme in Studielink, you will receive two emails with your login details for VUnet (VU studentportal). Please complete your application in VUnet . Don’t forget to fill in your specialization on VUnet: Text Mining.

Your application will be reviewed by the Faculty’s Admissions Board. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink.

More information on the application procedure for Dutch students.

For questions on courses and the study programme
Contact the study coordinator:

Hennie van der Vliet
T: +31 20 59 86466
E: h.d.vander.vliet@vu.nl

Come meet us at the next Master's Event!

International students

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor's before Master's rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

In April a nationwide decision was taken to abandon the so-called “harde knip” because of corona and to formulate alternative requirements for admission to master’s programmes. For this reason, and following general VU guidelines, the Humanities Faculty has opted for a smoother transition. Find out what this means for you below. Please note: if you are a non-EEA student, the Bachelor's before Master's rule does still apply.

International students EEA       
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 90%     
•    Deadline final version of the thesis: 1 December 2020      
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021      
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme      

International students non-EEA who are currently enrolled in a VU bachelor’s programme      
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 90% (162 EC)      
•    Deadline final version of the BA thesis: 1 December 2020      
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021      

We strongly advise students to do everything possible to complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme before the end of this academic year. The study load makes it very difficult to complete missing courses while on an intensive Master’s programme.

All students who enroll on the basis of the “zachte knip” will be invited by the academic advisor and will be assigned a mentor, who will have a finger on the pulse for the completion of the Bachelor's degree.

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

The track Text Mining is an interdisciplinary Master’s programme and open for application to students with an academic Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent) in Linguistics, AI or Computer Science, but also for students from other academic Bachelor's programmes.

Students who do not have a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, AI or Computer Science and wish to enroll, should have either knowledge and skills on the level of an introductory Bachelor’s course in Linguistics, or have solid skills in programming in Python. The linguistic knowledge, skills and insights can be acquired in, for instance, a course Introduction to Linguistics of an academic Bachelor's programme.
For information or questions on how to meet the requirements, please contact the coordinator of Text Mining: Hennie van der Vliet (h.d.vander.vliet@vu.nl).

The Faculty’s Admissions Board will review whether you meet the admission requirements. If you have an academic Bachelor’s degree other than Linguistics, Computer Science or AI, the Admission Board will bring you into contact with the coordinator of the Master's programme Text Mining.

English language requirements
Students applying for a Master’s degree programme should be able to speak, read, write and understand English at an advanced academic level.

The proficiency requirement in English can be met by the successful completion of one of the examinations mentioned below, with the scores indicated. Only students who have completed a full high school/International Baccalaureate in English or Bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted.

  • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
  • IELTS: 7.0 overall band score, with a minimum of 6.5 on each item
  • TOEFL score:
    paper based: 600, with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE
    internet based: 100, with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests

Please note: tests must have been completed no more than two years before the start of the programme.

See the Admission and language requirements page for further information on the general requirements.

If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

You can find all information on the application procedure on the Admission and Language Requirements page.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education and a list of all the main literature

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
On behalf of the Examinations Board, the Faculty’s Admissions Board will review your application. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email.

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. On the Admission and Language Requirements page you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at VU Amsterdam!

Further information:
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

If you are interested in a scholarship, you need to apply for both the Master's programme and the scholarship.

Learn more about Scholarships.

For questions on courses and the study programme
Contact the study coordinator:

Hennie van der Vliet
T: +31 20 59 86466
E: h.d.vander.vliet@vu.nl

For practical questions regarding your application, visa, work or other practical concerns
Contact the International Student Advisor:

Irena Paap
T: +31 (20) 59 85252
E: masters.hum@vu.nl

Come meet us at the next Master's Event!

Overview Linguistics: Text Mining

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 July for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April for non-EU-students.

START DATE

September 1st

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Computer Science, Mathematics and Business
Language and Communication

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