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About this major

Linguistics is the study of human language. It aims to find out what language is like, and why, and to find ways to use this knowledge in understanding communication, culture, social life, and the human mind.

Each of the world's 6000 languages is a rich and textured system, with its own sounds, its own grammar, and its own identity and style. You will learn how we use language for persuading others, gathering information, organising our activities, gossiping, and ultimately structuring our societies.

Have you ever wanted to know 'In what ways are all languages the same, and in what ways they differ?', 'Are Australian English and Singapore English two separate languages?', 'How do languages change? And why?' and 'What is it about the human mind that makes language the way it is?' In linguistics, you will learn how to investigate questions like these using methods ranging from computer analysis to textual analysis and to field research expeditions on languages spoken anywhere from major cities to isolated villages.

You will become a language and communication expert. The skills you will acquire in linguistics can be used in the study of the human mind and the diversity of cultures which are relevant to a range of professional settings such as international relations, travel, community development, language teaching, general education, academic research, journalism and publishing, marketing and public relations, and computer science.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

This major is offered by the Discipline of Linguistics.

Graduate opportunities

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers. Examples include:

  • Academic
  • Community development officer
  • Computational fields related to language and speech technology
  • International relations and business
  • Government and non-government professional roles
  • Journalist 
  • Marketing and public relations officer
  • Translating and interpreting
  • Editor or publisher 
  • Language or policy researcher 
  • Teacher (with further study)

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Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.