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Discourse and Argumentation Studies (MA)

Course Description

The Master's programme in Discourse and Argumentation Studies aims to provide students with a solid theoretical and methodological foundation for understanding the way language is used for informative and argumentative purposes.

The programme presents an overview of recent descriptive and normative research in language use covering a broad range of topics, including conversational analysis, style, classical and modern rhetoric, informal logic, fallacies and juridical and conversational argument.

Upon completion of the programme, students will have acquired an adequate knowledge of and insight into the main normative and descriptive theoretical approaches to the study of argumentation. This includes: Pragma-dialectics and the main theoretical approaches to the study of discourse, including speech act theory and conversation analysis. In addition, students gain the skills necessary for analysing and evaluating argumentative discourse, for reading, analysing, evaluating and conducting independent research and for producing both written and oral reports on research findings.

Studying Discourse and Argumentation Studies at the University of Amsterdam

The programme is unique in the way it combines courses in discourse analysis and argumentation theory. It was conceived and is taught by those scholars who applied insights from these two fields in order to develop and extend the internationally renowned approach to the study of argumentative discourse known as Pragma-Dialectics. In the context of the programme, students are in direct contact with these scholars.

Accreditation and degree

Discourse and Argumentation Studies is a track of the master's programme in Wijsbegeerte (Philosophy). The quality of this master's programme has been positively assessed by the Accreditation Organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme students will receive a legally accredited master's degree in Wijsbegeerte and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Master's programme should have at least a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in linguistics, communication or philosophy or another relevant field. The level of the Bachelor's degree must be comparable to that of a Dutch Bachelor's degree. The admissions committee will assess each applicant's academic qualifications on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must also fulfil the general entry requirements of the Graduate School for Humanities regarding academic background, grade average and English language proficiency.

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