Baltic Languages and Literatures – Field of study catalogue MU
Baltic Languages and Literatures
The Baltic Master’s degree study programme could be described as a kind of ‘upgrade’ of the Bachelor’s study programme: the structure is identical and concentrates on studies of Lithuanian, Finnish, Estonian, and Latvian and on philological approach to languages and texts, leading to what is called areal philology of the Baltics. The competencies of the students, however, are significantly broadened: not only must they possess a perfect knowledge of the studied language but they must also be capable of joining academic discourse on the particular language (Lithuanian, Finnish, Estonian, or Latvian) directly in that language (i.e. to publish there, take part at conferences there etc.). The Baltic Master’s degree study programme offers a deep knowledge of the contemporary philology and culture of the Baltics and aims to produce regional experts of the highest scientific rank, leading primarily to academic careers.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- talk and write fluently on any topic in the first chosen language (Lithuanian or Finnish), i.e. to use it in any functional style (scientific texts, newsletter, belles lettres, etc.)
- contribute to the academic discourse of the linguistic analysis of the first chosen language in that language
- analyse texts written in Baltic languages both linguistic and literary ways
- read scientific and popular texts in the second chosen language (Lithuanian, Finnish, Estonian or Latvian)
- demonstrate comprehensive knowledge on the contemporary philology and culture of the Baltics
Graduates of the Baltic Studies Master’s degree study programme are able to speak at least two of the languages of the Baltic region (Lithuanian, Finnish, Estonian, or Latvian) and are perfectly educated in the theory of general linguistics and in literary theory. The study programme provides very good knowledge of history and contemporary culture of the entire Baltic region starting with Lithuania and Poland and reaching as far as all Scandinavian countries. Thanks to that, graduates are able to find at least two alternative fields of occupation: in the academic field, Baltic study programme graduates work in the field of general linguistics, Indo-European linguistics, Uralistics, and literary theory; in non-academic fields, a graduate of the Baltic study programme can work as an expert, translator, or interpreter, in Czech and EU institutions (e.g. in the field of the diplomatic and cultural relations). In the free market, graduates of the Baltic study programme can establish themselves in the fields of international trade (export and import, pharmaceutics, technology transfer) or tourism.
The standard study programme duration is four semesters. For admittance to the final state examination, students must earn a total of 120 ECTS credits for type A/required, type B/selective, and type C/elective courses.
Candidates for the Master’s degree study programme must have a command of Lithuanian or Finnish at the level required by the Bachelor’s final sate examination. Applicants from other universities must pass the entrance examination on Lithuanian or Finnish; applicants from the Baltic Bachelor’s degree study programme at Masaryk university are exempted from this examination if they pass the Bachelor’s exam with ‘perfect’ or ‘very good’ marks.
In the Master’s degree study programme, students continue with their primary language (Lithuanian or Finnish) by attending type A/required courses on the grammatical system of the chosen language and seminaries on the literary interpretation, conversation, and translation from /to it (courses to be enrolled every semester).
Master’s degree students also study the second language offered by the home institute as a compulsory part of the curriculum (Lithuanian, Finnish, Estonian, or Latvian) and are encouraged to learn a third or fourth language (the last two are free-choice courses). Combinations of languages and their levels are highly variable and allow an individual curriculum for each student.
As a compulsory part of the curriculum, students must take courses on the modern history and present-day culture of Lithuania, Finland, Latvia, and Estonia. Scientific methodology is taught at the diploma seminars and is always individually tailored according to the subject of the Master’s theses.
For further information please visit http://www.phil.muni.cz/wbal/home/pro-studenty/pro-studenty
An internship is not compulsory to complete the curriculum. However, the institute does encourage students to apply their skills in the market by crediting curriculum with a considerable amount of type C/elective credits for an internship in the private sector or in the academic strata (e.g. translating for guest lecturers, organizing international conferences, translating belle-lettres).
For admittance to the final state examination, students must earn a total of 120 ECTS credits for type A/required, type B/selective, and type C/elective courses according to the programme of the Baltic study programme. The examination itself consists of two parts: 1) the defence of the Bachelor’s thesis; and 2) overall examination on Baltic studies.
At the defence of the thesis, the student will present the subject of the thesis, the methods chosen, and the results obtained, and will attend the subsequent discussion with members of the examination board.
The overall examination has following parts:
a) Presentation of the grammatical system of the main chosen language (Lithuanian or Finnish): typology; morphology; formal and semantical aspects; syntax; lexicon; dialects, functional styles, sociolects; and the standard version.
b) Presentation of the contemporary culture and philology of the Baltics: candidates are given a list of literary works (two to be drawn at the exam) from Lithuania or Finland, which then are to be interpreted in Lithuanian or Finnish, with the candidate giving a detailed presentation on its historical and cultural contexts, on the author, genre, composition of the work, and on parallels in neighbouring literatures. The examination board then engages in a free discussion with the student on any linguistic or literary issue of modern Lithuanian or Finnish, in which the candidate must participate in fluent Lithuanian or Finnish without any advance preparation.
After completion of the Master’s degree study programme, it is possible to continue further studies in a doctoral degree study programme in General Linguistics or Indo-European Studies through the Institute of General Linguistics. These study programmes provide an opportunity to advance and broaden the Baltic philology research of the Master’s degree study programme.