Linguistics Courses and Units

Linguistics can be studied as a part of a range of degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

All our study programs are offered at full-time or part-time study load. With the exception of Master of Applied Linguistics, which is a fully online course, all our study programs are available both on-campus and online.

Areas of study in Linguistics include:

  • How and why languages and dialects differ, and what they have in common
  • How language is acquired
  • The indigenous languages of Australia and Asia
  • How bilinguals use languages
  • Methods for describing the sounds, words and grammar of English and other languages
  • How language relates to society and culture
  • How language is used in the legal system
  • Language policy

Below is a list of all our degrees. See relevant submenus for more information on the different options for undergraduate and masters degrees.

Linguistics Courses
Linguistics Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Bachelor of Arts provides students with creative, critical and analytical skills ideal for lifelong learning. This is a flexible degree in which students can incorporate a wide range of subjects. Students have a wider range of subject choices in the BA than in more specialised degrees. This flexibility is advantageous for career options. This degree provides students with the opportunity to major in Linguistics.

To major in Linguistics within the Bachelor of Arts, the following study program outlines the list of units. A full description of Linguistics units is available here.

Bachelor of Social Science (BSOCSC)

The Bachelor of Social Science provides a core background in Psychology, Sociology, and in skills directly related to research and the workplace. This degree allows for further specialisation in a range of social science areas from across the university, such as linguistics. Graduates in this degree acquire skills that make them well placed for careers in a wide range of public and private sector organisations, including roles as policy advisors, planning and research officers for state/federal government, market and social researchers, personnel officers and human resource management.

To major in Linguistics within the Bachelor of Social Sciences, the study program outlines the list of units. A full description of Linguistics units is available here.

 Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons)

BA with Honours in Linguistics allows qualified students (see Further Information) to take their studies to a higher level in a specific area of linguistics. Students who obtain a good grade in Honours are equipped to continue to a higher research degree in Linguistics.

The honours degree program is comprised of two units:

Coursework unit (401H) 24 credit points

Dissertation unit (402H) 24 credit points

The coursework unit involves four integrated components of course work, which together give an overview of the discipline, and cover theoretical and methodological aspects related to the student's chosen area of specialisation for their dissertation. The area of specialisation is chosen in consultation with the discipline in relation to the expertise of available staff (see Research page).
The dissertation unit provides research training through preparation (under guidance of a supervisor) of a substantial dissertation (15 000 words) on a topic of special interest. The topic of the dissertation is worked out with the supervisor with regard to the expertise of available staff (see Research page).

The Honours program offers a pathway to postgraduate research such as Masters or PhD, and is well respected in the job market.

Linguistics Master Degrees

Master degrees in Applied Linguistics/TESOL

Explore language, language acquisition and intercultural communication at a time and place that suits you. UNE's Master of Applied Linguistics (MAAL) degree is a fully online, professional postgraduate degree. The MAAL was the first online degree of its kind in Australia, and one of the first in the world, and the UNE Linguistics department has close to two decades of experience in offering high-quality interactive postgraduate courses using the latest multimedia technology.

With no Australian residency requirement you will be part of a global classroom, interacting with classmates from all over the world. Online discussion forums are used extensively to foster regular talk between you and your lecturers, and with your fellow students.

The MAAL degree is highly sought-after for professionals in fields as diverse as education, language teaching and planning, TESOL, government, health and the law. With no previous linguistics study required, the MAAL degree can provide a professionally relevant higher qualification, as well as a pathway to a postgraduate career in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. The degree is also relevant to those working with linguistic and cultural minorities.

Students can choose to begin study in Trimester 1, Trimester 2 and Trimester 3 of each year. View MAAL student testimonials.

Master of Applied Linguistics: MAAL

The MAAL is a professional degree of 72, 60 or 48 credit point (cp) (depending on previous linguistics training and relevant work experience) which offers a comprehensive grounding in applied linguistics with core units and a wide range of electives.

Master of Applied Linguistics with TESOL major: MAAL (TESOL)

The MAAL (TESOL) is a badged major within the MAAL and offers two specialist TESOL units. It meets the requirement of "a postgraduate qualification that includes a practicum" which is needed to teach in the adult ESL and EFL sectors in Australia. Students in this degree may be eligible to apply for Student Income Support from the Australian Government.

PhD in Linguistics

The PhD program at UNE offers students a unique opportunity to join our vibrant team of linguists. Browse the linguistics research page and the individual staff pages to discover our supervision areas.

The degree typically lasts 3 years dedicated exclusively to research (no coursework requirements), at the end of which a thesis must be submitted for examination by experts in the chosen area.

The following link shows what students thought - PhD Testimonials

The Department

The Linguistics department at UNE is a cohesive group of academics that are passionate about their research and teaching fields.

The atmosphere in this small department is relaxed and friendly, which means you will have plenty of opportunity to communicate with your supervisors. In fact, running an idea by your supervisor is usually just a matter of walking down the hall and knocking on their door. For more informal exchanges, the academics, postgrads and administrative staff have a regularly scheduled LCT (Linguistics Coffee Time) to catch up with each other. For postgraduate students, this is a good opportunity to chat with fellow researchers and to share your experiences during what can often be a challenging time.

The Perks

Our PhD students who choose to complete their candidature on campus are provided with an office and computer. Externally enrolled PhD students visiting campus will be provided with an office and computer access for the duration of their stay.

There are frequent opportunities for our students to gain valuable teaching and academic work experience, which make them competitive candidates in the job market.

With regular seminars from various departments including our own Linguistics Seminar Series, our PHD students have the opportunity to present their research to a cross-disciplinary audience.

Students have the opportunity to apply for a conference travel grant during their candidature.

Funding opportunities

Many of our PhD students apply for a scholarship to fund their period of candidature. Domestic students can apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), and international students can apply for an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS).

During candidature, students can apply for the Keith and Dorothy Mackay Travelling Scholarship to fund overseas travel.

Research Services Scholarships provides a complete list of scholarships available to UNE students.

How to Apply

If you are interested in completing your PhD with the UNE linguistics team, email our Postgraduate Coordinator to first establish supervision availability. Please include the following:
- project proposal (outline of the project, research questions, and details of the methods; about 4-5 pages)
- academic transcript
- CV
- information about research background (MA or other research conducted by you)
- IELTS score or equivalent (if non-native English speaker)

Once availability of appropriate supervision has been confirmed, to formally apply for a PhD in Linguistics, follow the links for Domestic HDR Candidature application form or International HDR Candidature application form.

Linguistics Units