International Programmes 2021/2022

European Master in Lexicography / Europäischer Master für Lexikographie European Master in Lexicography

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg • Erlangen

Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degree / Master of Arts
In cooperation with

Universities: Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Stellenbosch University, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Université de Lorraine, Universidade do Minho, Uniwersytet Śląski, Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem, (Universität Hildesheim)

Associated partners: Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS), Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Ilia State University (Georgia)

Teaching language
  • German
  • English

Courses are in German or in English. All participants must know both languages.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
More information on beginning of studies

In general, the programme can be started at one of the eight participating universities of the EMLex programme.

Application deadline

Each year, the application period generally lasts from 1 November until 1 March of the following year for scholarship applicants and from 1 November until 15 April of the following year for self-funding applicants. Please note the announcements on our website.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

The participation costs are as follows:

  • for students from partner countries (non-EU countries except for Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland): 4,500 EUR per semester
  • for students from programme countries (28 EU member states + Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland): 2,250 EUR per semester
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The European Master in Lexicography (EMLex) programme is an internationally unique Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degree (EMJMD) that

  • promotes the international and interdisciplinary training of lexicographers (unique in Germany and Europe in its present structure),
  • teaches lexicographical theories at a high international level,
  • sets a focus on the practice of creating online dictionaries, and
  • brings together students from all over the world.

Post-graduates will be able to work in the following fields:

  • data management
  • information systems
  • communication services
  • terminology
  • publishing
  • online dictionaries
  • language education
  • research
  • translation
  • cross-cultural communication

The four-semester programme can be started in the winter semester; the second semester is done abroad. The programme corresponds to the regulations of the Bologna Process, granting an overall number of 120 ECTS (modules account for 5 or 10 credit points each). The total number of students registered for the EMLex Master's course of study is limited to 30 per year due to the particular design of the summer semester that includes block seminars.

The amount of independent student work is estimated to be very intense; therefore, students are expected to be highly motivated. The modules are either e-learning modules, specific lexicography modules, or modules from other courses of study. Post-graduates will be specialists across Europe and even worldwide as EMLex is unique in Germany as well as in Europe. In addition to the general Master's degree, the students will receive an EMJMD certificate documenting their study courses in the international programme.

The curriculum includes the following core topics of lexicography:
typology of dictionaries, research into dictionaries, metalexicography, history of lexicography, corpus work, research into dictionary usage, users’ needs and preconditions of usage, critical research into dictionaries, functions of dictionaries, bilingual lexicography, lexicographical entries, applied lexicography, the lexicographical workshop, lexicographical tools, lexicography for special purposes, terminology and terminography, computational lexicography, electronic dictionaries, encyclopedic dictionaries, learner lexicography, lexicology, and etymology.

Soft skills include language modules and a computer science module. Aims, contents, and special regulations for the courses can be found in detail in the respective schedules.

Flyers with further information about the programme in German, English, French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese are available here.

Course organisation

The EMLex is a four-semester programme (120 ECTS) that covers the key areas of lexicography and dictionary research.

First semester: This semester comprises basic modules conveying the basics of lexicography as well as various soft skills. In the first semester, students have to acquire 25-30 ECTS points.

  • B1 E-learning module: e-learning (approx. four semester hours per week): basics of lexicography: usage, dictionary, lexicographical entries, typology of dictionaries, lexicography and culture, theory and practice
  • B2 Home module: a lexicographically oriented module (approx. four semester hours per week) supervised by university teachers who participate in the Master's programme
  • B3 Soft skills module: This module includes two obligatory language courses and one course in computer science or a third language.

Second semester: The summer semester provides an overview of the whole range of lexicography. Each university offers specific knowledge. Advanced modules are taken either as block seminars or as continued courses of two hours per week (5 ECTS each). The students have to acquire 30-35 ECTS but may, however, acquire more (maximum 50 ECTS). The advanced modules are the following:

  • A1: Metalexicography
  • A2: History of lexicography
  • A3: Modelling 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

In the second semester, one university becomes the centre of the studies for all students. Therefore, the number of participants is limited. Travel is financed by Erasmus Mundus, Erasmus+, or similar programmes. The teachers of foreign universities stay for three to seven days. Block seminars last from Monday to Friday.

Third semester: This semester is dedicated to the specialisation and application of the knowledge acquired in the second semester via in-depth modules; at the same time, the Master's thesis is prepared and students do an internship of several weeks. The content of the modules depends on the respective university (10 ECTS per module).

  • ID1 Online module: This module comprises a series of video lectures by teachers of different universities organised via the Moodle platform. The students have to evaluate the lectures and write a dictionary review.
  • ID2 Home module: special topic (depending on the seminars offered at the home university)
    Special requirements are possible.
  • ID3 Internship: four-week internship at a publisher, company, or research institute (during the semester break or during the semester)

Fourth semester: The last semester is dedicated to the preparation of the Master's thesis. The Master's thesis will be accompanied by a seminar (home module) (30 ECTS).

Types of assessment

Written exams, oral exams, tests, presentations, written essays (depends on the modules, see: module description)

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Study trips
  • Courses are led with foreign partners
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
Integrated study abroad unit(s)

All participants spend the second semester together at one university of the EMLex-consortium. This university changes every year. The teachers at the participating universities teach the A-modules. In the third semester, students may study at a third university of the consortium. For their Master's theses in the last semester, students go back to their home universities.

Integrated internships

An internship of four to eight weeks is obligatory between the second and the third semesters.

Special promotion / funding of the programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
The course of study can be taken entirely online
Digital learning and teaching modules
  • MOOCs
  • Video learning
Description of e-learning elements

The B1 module (introduction) is a complete e-learning module.

VT1 is a research module with lectures on video that is organised via a Moodle platform.

Participation in the e-learning course elements is compulsory
Can ECTS points be acquired by taking the online programmes?
Can the e-learning elements be taken without signing up for the course of study?
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

The participation costs are as follows:

  • for students from partner countries (non-EU countries except for Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland): 4,500 EUR per semester
  • for students from programme countries (28 EU member states + Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland): 2,250 EUR per semester
Semester contribution

Each semester students must pay a fee for student services (42 EUR) and a fee for the "basic semester ticket" (74 EUR). Additionally, students may pay around 210 EUR / semester for a public transportation ticket to use trains, trams and buses.

Costs of living

According to a study by the German National Association for Student Affairs, students in former West Germany who no longer live with their parents have an average amount of more than 930 EUR per month at their disposal. However, monthly expenditures for personal lifestyle vary a lot. The study shows that approx. 25 per cent of the students asked have less than 700 EUR while 10 per cent have more than 1,300 EUR per month. For former West Germany, the study revealed the following details regarding average expenditures:

  • Rent, including bills (in the Erlangen-Nuremberg area): 325 EUR (250 to 600 EUR)
  • Food: 168 EUR
  • Clothing: 42 EUR
  • Transport (public transport and/or car): 94 EUR
  • Learning materials (depending on the subject): 20 EUR
  • Health insurance, doctors, medicine: 80 EUR
  • Telecommunications: 31 EUR
  • Leisure activities, culture, sports: 61 EUR
Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

There is a wide range of scholarships available for outstanding students. In addition to requiring applicants to have excellent grades, most scholarship programmes have additional conditions regarding cultural, political, religious, or social involvement. If you have any questions about the application procedure or selection criteria, you can contact the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) or speak directly to FAU’s liaison officer for the scholarship organisation you wish to apply to.

Academic admission requirements

A first university degree with a mark above average like a BA or equivalent degree (e.g., "Diplom") and a special entrance examination

Language requirements

Good basic knowledge of German and English, which can be deepened in the first semester, is essential for participation because teaching will occur exclusively in these two languages. You can find more information concerning the language requirements here.

Application deadline

Each year, the application period generally lasts from 1 November until 1 March of the following year for scholarship applicants and from 1 November until 15 April of the following year for self-funding applicants. Please note the announcements on our website.

Submit application to


Possibility of finding part-time employment

Scholarship holders: Due to the provided scholarship by the EU, it is not possible to work during the whole time of the programme.

Self-funded participants: Part-time jobs are generally possible; a student job at the home university is also possible, if the respective coordinator provides it.


The cities of Erlangen, Fürth, and Nuremberg offer a very good standard of living. They are popular places to live, meaning that accommodation is in high demand but often in short supply. This is particularly the case during the period before the start of a new semester. We therefore recommend that you start looking for accommodation as soon as possible. If you are flexible and also look in the surrounding area, you will have a better chance of finding somewhere affordable to live. The region has an excellent public transport system, so you should not have any problems getting to your place of study or work.

It is worth checking the available accommodation on the Internet every day, as new accommodation becomes available on a day-to-day basis. It pays to be flexible when it comes to the price, location, and available facilities of your accommodation.

Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg runs its own student accommodation in Erlangen and Nuremberg. You will be informed about how to apply for a room in Student Services accommodation while you are in the process of applying to be admitted to FAU.

Career advisory service

At every participating university

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Welcome event
  • Buddy programme
  • Tutors
  • Specialist counselling
  • Visa matters

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Founded in 1743, FAU has a rich history. It is a strong research university with an international perspective and one of the largest universities in Germany with 38,878 students, 265 degree programmes, 4,000 academic staff (including over 603 professors), 210.7 million EUR third-party funding, and 500 partnerships with universities all over the world. Teaching at the university is closely linked to research and focuses on training students in both theory and practice to enable them to think critically and work independently. The research itself also strikes the perfect balance between a theoretical approach and practical application.

FAU’s outstanding research and teaching is reflected in top positions in both national and international rankings as well as the high amount of DFG funding that its researchers are able to secure.

University location

FAU’s two main sites, the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg, are located at the heart of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region. Both Erlangen, a city of 100,000 inhabitants that was the former home of the Huguenots and is a key location for Siemens, and Nuremberg, a city with a metropolitan flair and a population of half a million, have their own unique charms. The opera, theatre, and museums, along with a lively pub scene and nightlife, offer plenty of opportunities to relax after a day in the lecture theatre, lab, or library. The highlights of the cultural calendar in Erlangen include the Hörkunstfestival (acoustic art festival), International Comic Salon, (puppet theatre festival), Poetenfest (poetry festival), and the "ARENA… of the young arts" theatre and performance festival. A wide range of cultural institutions open their doors to visitors during the Blue Night in Nuremberg, and once every two years, the Long Night of Sciences gives the public a chance to take a look inside research institutions in Erlangen, Nuremberg, and Fürth. In summary, the mixture of academia, innovative companies, art, and culture makes the region the perfect place for creative minds. There is also plenty on offer for keen athletes and nature lovers. Fränkische Schweiz, a paradise for climbers and walkers, is located to the north of Erlangen and is at FAU’s doorstep. Water sports enthusiasts will love the Franconian lakes and the university’s water sports centre, which is located just south of Nuremberg.