Linguistics

Words in foreign language

The scientific study of language

Studying linguistics enhances your skills in systematic and logical thinking, by attending closely to language, its structure and use. Your study of linguistics will help you to develop an appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity.

Linguistics provides the foundations for an understanding of the organisation, functions and relationship of language in society. The theories, concepts and applications you’ll learn are relevant to all human languages in the world.

Specialise in the core areas of language structure 

You’ll focus on the traditional core areas of language structure, including the sound system (phonetics and phonology), grammar (morphology and syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics). We’ll teach you to examine how contemporary linguists deal with issues of language acquisition and use, computational applications of linguistics and intercultural communication.

Promote multilingualism, social justice & fight discrimination  

Our academics and students are highly engaged in working with industry, government and community. You’ll become an advocate in promoting multilingualism, social justice and fighting discrimination based on language. Our students and staff help communities in their efforts to maintain their languages and work with industry partners who support linguistically and culturally diverse clients.  

Join HALSOC, the Voice for Humanities & Linguistics Students at UNSW, where you’ll have access to a variety of resources and skills that will be invaluable in the workplace. The student society is currently focusing on improving awareness of the endangered nature of Aboriginal languages and working to highlight the importance of Australian Sign Language.

Discover the impact of language on multicultural communities

Intercultural communication is a key aspect of the study of human language. You’ll expand your knowledge by studying linguistic diversity in urban settings and indigenous contexts by learning about language policies and how they impact multilingual and multicultural communities. In a globalised society, these skills are vital for a career in linguistics.  

Pursue a career with linguistics 

Whether it’s studying English, another language, or Indigenous languages, you’ll be prepared for a professional career equipped with a wide range of skills.

Our graduates are employed in highly competitive careers, including those in:

  • curriculum design and development 
  • editing and publishing 
  • government 
  • international business 
  • non-government organisations 
  • research 
  • teaching and education 
  • translation and interpreting 
  • language technology and natural language processing.

Study with us

Our people