Short description

1. Basic idea and general objectives

The master programme EMLex is an international course of studies that

  • promotes the international and interdisciplinary training of lexicographers (unique in Germany and Europe in its present structure)
  • teaches lexicographical theories on a high international level
  • includes a distinct connection to the practical application of dictionary creation
  • brings together students from different European countries.

Post-graduates will be qualified to work both as lexicographers at a publishing company and as academic lexicographers in all fields of lexicography, starting from the conception of printed and electronic dictionaries and specific lexicographical tasks through to the technical realization of lexicographical products. Besides, they will receive profound training in the theoretical field of modern lexicography, which will enable them to conduct scientific research or to work in an advisory position in the field of publishing and further education.

The four-semester programme can be taken up each winter term; the second semester is completed abroad. The programme corresponds to the regulations of the Bologna process: The overall number of ECTS points granted is 120 (the modules have either 5 or 10 ECTS points). The total number of students who are registered for EMLex at the participating universities is limited to 30 per year, which is due to the particular design of the block seminars during the summer term. These seminars constitute the key components of the programme’ s international orientation.

Students are expected to conduct large amounts of private study, because a considerable degree of self-motivation is required. The modules are either e-learning-modules, specific lexicography modules or import modules from other courses of study. The post-graduates will be absolute specialists Europe-wide because such a master degree programme in lexicography is unique in Germany and Europe, even more so with regard to its international form of organization. In addition to the usual master degree at the university, the students will receive an extra certificate in which the internationality of the contents of the studies is documented.

2. Conditions of admission

The admission to the master programme is subject to special conditions: A first academic degree with a mark above average and a special entrance examination (cf. examination regulations). A basic command of German and English, which can be deepened in the first semester, is essential for participation in the programme because the lectures will be held in these two languages. A proficiency level of B1 or higher (Common European Framework of Reference) is recommended from the beginning.

3. Participating universities

The following universities and institutes have agreed to participate in the programme

  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Stefan Schierholz
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Thomas Herbst, Dr. Michael Klotz, Prof. Dr. Stephanie Evert, Dr. Besim Kabashi, Dr. Christine Ganslmayer
    • Fields of research: Metalexicography, computational lexicography, learner lexicography, special field lexicography and terminology, history of lexicography, variational linguistics
  • Université de Lorraine (Nancy)
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Ingo Feldhausen
    • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Alain Polguère, Prof. Dr. Yvon Keromnes, Prof. Dr. Eva Buchi
    • Fields of research: Lexical semantics, phraseology, traductology, lexicology, computational lexicography, etymological dictionaries
  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Maria José Domínguez Vázquez
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. María Álvarez de la Granja, Prof. Dr. Pablo Gamallo Otero, Prof. Dr. Ernesto González Seoane, Prof. Dr. María Teresa Sanmarco Bande
    • Fields of research: Metalexicography, history of lexicography, learner lexicography, automatic construction of lexicographic resources, natural language processing, bi- and multilingual lexicography
      • A detailed list of the lecturers of the USC and their fields of research you may find here.
  • Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem (Budapest)
    • Director: Dr. habil. Zita Hollós
    • Lecturers: Dr. Dóra Pődör, Dr. habil. Petra Szatmári, Dr. Pintér Tibor
    • Fields of research: Metalexicography, learner lexicography, computational lexicography, lexicography and lexicology, dictionary planning and production
  • Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach (Kattowitz)
    • Director: Dr. habil. Monika Bielińska
    • Lecturers: Dr. Ewa Myrczek-Kadłubicka
    • Fields of research: Metalexicography, learner lexicography, phraseography, specialized lexicography, mono- and bilingual lexicography
  • Universidade do Minho (Braga)
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Idalete Dias
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Álvaro Iriarte Sanromán, Prof. Dr. José João Almeida
    • Fields of research: Specialized lexicography, terminology, computer linguistics, corpus linguistics, digital humanities, natural language processing (NLP)
  • Università degli Studi Roma Tre
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Martina Nied-Curcio
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Stefania Nuccorini, Prof. Dr. Paolo Vaciago
    • Fields of research: Valency dictionaries, research into dictionary use, dictionaries and foreign language learning, dictionary teaching, history of Lexicography (late antique and medieval), English Learner lexicography, bilingual lexicography, metalexicography, eighteenth/nineteenth century lexicography  
  • Stellenbosch University
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Rufus H. Gouws
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Ilse Feinauer
    • Fields of research: Metalexicography, bi- and multilingual lexicography, learner lexicography
  • Universität Hildesheim
    • Director: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Heid
    • Fields of research: TBA


The following institutions are involved in teaching on a regular basis:

  • Institut für Deutsche Sprache
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Stefan Engelberg, Dr. Dominik Brückner, Dr. Annette Klosa-Kückelhaus, Dr. Peter Meyer, Prof. Dr. Carolin Müller-Spitzer, Dr. Sascha Wolfer
  • Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Anja Lobenstein-Reichmann
  • Ilia State University (Georgia)
    • Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Tinatin Margalitadze

4. Curriculum

The curriculum places an emphasis on the following lexicographical topics:

Typology of dictionaries, dictionary research, metalexicography, history of lexicography, corpus work, research of dictionary usage, user needs and preconditions of usage, critical dictionary research, functions of dictionaries, bilingual lexicography, lexicographical data, applied lexicography, work in the lexicographical workshop, lexicographical tools, lexicography for special purposes, terminology and terminography, computational lexicography, electronic dictionaries, encyclopaedic dictionaries, learner lexicography, lexicology, etymology.

Soft skills include language courses and a computer science module. Aims, contents and special regulations for the courses are listed in the schedule in detail.

5. Schedule (short overview)


ECTS Aims and contents

Winter term, 1st semester

During the first semester, the students of the various universities are to reach a comparable level of knowledge in order to allow international cooperation and joint studies as soon as possible.

10 Basic module B1 (common module: E-Learning, ca. 4 semester periods per week): Basics of lexicography: usage, dictionary, lexicographical entries, typology of dictionaries, lexicography and culture, theory and practice.
10 Basic module B2 (home module): A lexicographically-oriented module (approx. 4 semester periods per week) with university teachers participating in the master programme.
  Soft skills modules B3 (home module):
5 B3a course of English (elective course: 4-6 semester periods per week)
5 B3b course of German (elective course: 4-6 semester periods per week)
5 B3c computer science (elective course)
B3d languages (elective course: Hungarian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, etc.)
From section B3a to B3c/d 5 ECTS are obligatory, 15 ECTS are possible, 10 ECTS can be credited.
Σ 25-30 During the first semester all students should have acquired 25-30 ECTS points. Those who have acquired only 25 ECTS points (i.e. students with a BA in German and English) have to acquire 35 ECTS in the second semester.

Summer term, 2nd semester

The second semester provides an overview of the whole range of lexicography. Every university offers special knowledge. All courses will be taken at one of the participating universities. The local organisers change every year.

5 each Advanced modules 1 to 10:

10 modules as block seminars or continuous courses with 2 semester hours. All students are required to travel. The teachers of the partner universities hold the block seminars, the local teacher holds his or her seminar throughout the semester. The students have to acquire 30 (35) ECTS, may, however, acquire more (maximum 45 ECTS), organisation plan according to special announcement.

A1: Metalexicography

A2: History of lexicography

A3: Modeling and representing data in digital lexicography

A4: Research into dictionary use

A5: Special field lexicography and terminology

A6: Computational lexicography

A7: Dictionaries and translation

A8: Lexicography and lexicology

A9: Dictionary planning and production

A10: Learner lexicography

Σ 30 All students have to have 60 ECTS points after the first year. 

Winter term, 3rd semester

The third semester is dedicated to specialisation as well as to application of the knowledge acquired in the second semester; at the same time the master thesis is prepared. The contents depend on the respective universities.

10 In-depth module 1: Series of lectures by the teachers of the different universities via video. The students have to evaluate the lectures and write a review on a dictionary.
10 In-depth module 2  (home module): Special topic (depending on the seminars offered at the home university). Here special requirements are possible.
10 In-depth module 3: Internship (home module): A four to six-week-internship at a publisher or a company or a research institute (during the semester break or during the semester).
Σ 30

Summer term, 4th semester

25-30 Accompanying seminar to the master thesis (home module)
Σ 30 Master thesis
Σ 120

Total number of points


Notes on the 2nd semester (block seminars)

In the second semester only one university will be the centre of studies for all students. Therefore, the number of participants is limited; travel is financed via Erasmus or similar programs. The teachers of the partner universities stay for 7 to 10 days; travel is financed via Erasmus or similar programs. A block seminar lasts from Monday to Friday. For information about the exams see separate organisation plan.

Notes on the 3rd semester

The in-depth module 1 will be done with the help of DVD copies.

Notes on the 4th semester

The ECTS points for the master thesis granted according to the individual university regulations will open up further possibilities (accompanying seminars, etc.).
Associated members of the EMLex-consortium:

  • Institut für Deutsche Sprache Mannheim
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • University of Surrey
  • Universidad de Valparaíso
  • University of Abidjan
  • Universität Innsbruck
  • Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan