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Program description:
Semiotics is an ancient discipline with a long history, which has gained a firm theoretical foundation during the 19th century and an ever growing significance over the last 50 years. This discipline is now in a period of very intensive, concentrated research and self-identification on the map of contemporary science.

The interdisciplinary Semiotics MA program at ELTE educates students to become well-trained specialists in semiotics of culture with a global overview of the various fields of humanities: literary studies, linguistics, philosophy, visual arts and general art studies – including approaches to fine arts, films, theatre and music – and also the most contemporary methods of research synthetized from a semiotic methodological point of view. At the same time, choosing the specific field for diploma work students can gain specialized knowledge in one subfield of the semiotics of humanities (e.g., literary, visual, musical, theoretical semiotics, and ethnosemiotics). The program is designed to be flexible to motivate students to find the best Hungarian specialists in the given field and assist them to become involved in international research and dialogues with foreign scholars and lecturers. The curriculum consists of courses on the history and theory of semiotics; language, communication, texts and translation; theory of meaning, logic, argumentation; field studies of cultural, national and special semiotic systems; various forms of applied semiotics and semiotic pragmatics in general. The program also lays emphasis on the preparation of students for PhD studies to plan their research career.

This program is recommended to applicants who wish to acquire skills for analysing processes of communication (mediation, translation) in culture and the results of these processes (texts, artefacts, events etc.) arising from the past and in the digital age, in a great variety of media and discourse representations to be described and evaluated as they constantly change through creative cultural interactivity.

This program enables students to become versatile experts on culture, having substantial knowledge and competence in understanding, analysing and influencing both general and specific cultural phenomena and the various forms of interaction and pragmatic exchange, and innovative system construction in general.

Strength of program:
An interdisciplinary orientation within the humanities;
the application of the valuable research and methodological results of classical semiotics linking them to the most recent scholarly results in the discipline;
equilibrium in teaching semiotic theory and its implications in applied semiotics;
flexibility in encouraging students to find their own subfield by enabling their specialization (free option possibilities built in the curriculum);
international context for research and education;
offering perspectives for students for doctoral studies in other directions, not restricted to semiotics.

Entry requirements: A C1-level, internationally recognized language certificate in the target language or a diploma in the target language. A bachelor degree in the field of Humanities is also required.

Entrance exam: Yes

Type of entrance exam: oral

Entrance exam location: Electronic

Entrance exam description: The application documents are processed by the Department of International Affairs and then forwarded to the department responsible for the given degree programme. The department checks the documents and organizes an interview by telephone, online (e.g. Skype) or in person. After the entrance interview, the department comes to a decision and informs the Department of International Affairs.

Mr Rezső Jarmalov
Stipendium Hungaricum coordinator

Preparatory year available: No

Specialisation year available: No

Minimum number of scholarship holders: 2

Maximum number of scholarship holders: 20


Programme structure

Please find the list of study units here:


Career opportunities

The labor market for specialists with an MA degree in semiotics includes job opportunities for experts who are expected to have the skills
•to understand current cultural movements;
•to grasp and describe the developmental logic in contemporary arts and the various forms of intercultural communication both within social interaction and national and international cultural texts;
•to interpret and describe different media and message transfer processes;
•to analyze conflict, argumentation systems and philosophical discourse in any field which can be interpreted from the point of view of sign system constructions;
•to build models, typologies and create system-descriptions.

Also jobs may be found in fields linked to applied semiotics (e.g. sign system translation activities; analysis of behaviour symptoms in the work-place; symptom-interpretation in various social or work groups; activities for handling situations in spheres where special sign systems are involved, etc.).

Job examples:
Researchers at universities, in museums; copywriters, journalists, cultural critics; scriptwriters for videogames; enterprisers; translators; IT specialists; PR specialists.

Not available for applying at the moment
Not available for applying at the moment
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