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Languages and Linguistics

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Studying languages and linguistics offers a window into the cultural foundations of society and the nature of humanity itself. Languages reflect history and social values. They enable us to forge relationships and to carry out both mundane and complex tasks. The ANU is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading institute for teaching and research in languages and cultures. With over 25 languages on offer, we teach more languages than any other university in Australia. Our staff includes researchers at the cutting edge of a diverse range of areas related to language study. Research conducted at the ANU brings the latest developments in second language acquisition and language teaching pedagogy directly to the learning environment. As a language student at ANU, you can start at a level appropriate for your proficiency, from beginning to more advanced levels.

Languages and and Linguistics at the ANU encompasses languages within the modern European diaspora (French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese); Ancient Greek and Latin; Gamilaraay, an Australian Indigenous language; Middle Eastern languages (Arabic, Persian, Turkish), and a range of languages across Asia and the Pacific, including Burmese, Cantonese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Mandarin, Literary Chinese, Mongolian, Sanskrit, Taiwanese, Tetum, Thai, Tok Pisin, Tibetan and Vietnamese.

Linguistics is the study of human language: how we use languages to communicate, how languages vary and change over time, how meanings are expressed, how children and adults acquire language, how communication differs across communities, and much more. ANU has strengths in a range of areas including applied linguistics, forensic linguistics, sociolinguistics, phonetics, semantics, language contact, and language documentation and description. Our staff undertake linguistic research on diverse language varieties from all over the world, including many Indigenous Australian languages and languages of the Asia-Pacific region. ANU Linguistics consistently places among top institutions in international ranking (e.g., as #1 in Australia and #22 in the world in the 2021 QS rankings). Our research underpins a vibrant undergraduate teaching program, fosters a thriving community of graduate students, and is supported by leading research centres:

The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language investigates how languages vary, how we learn them, how we process them and how they evolve. The centre is home for the language-focused, cross-disciplinary work of linguists, anthropologists, philosophers, biologists and psychologists.

The Institute for Communication in Health Care works to translate cutting edge communication research into best practice and training for safe and compassionate healthcare.

The Australian National Dictionary Centre (jointly funded by The Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia) conducts research into Australian English, and provides Oxford University Press with editorial expertise for their Australian dictionaries.

Check the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics website for more information on the faculty, research, projects, latest news, upcoming events and more.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

^Times Higher Education - Global University Employability Ranking 2021

Degree programs

Bachelor of Arts

Key facts

3 in Australia
25 for Arts and Humanities in World*

3 year full-time
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 131003
CRICOS Code: 074016B

Bachelor of Languages

Key facts

3 years
Semester 1 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 131193
CRICOS Code: 073988B

Graduate Certificate of General and Applied Linguistics

Key facts

2 in Australia
26 for Linguistics in World*

0.5 Year FT or 1 Year PT
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830064

Graduate Certificate of Studies

Key facts

0.5 Year FT or 3 Years PT
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830584
CRICOS Code: 082261M

Master of General and Applied Linguistics

Key facts

2 in Australia
26 for Linguistics in World*

1.5 years full-time
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830052
CRICOS Code: 108329M

PhD & MPhil

Key facts

2-4 Year FT or 4-8 Year PT
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

My brilliant career

The skills that spending a few years in an Arts program foster [have] stood me in good stead during my career as a journalist, editor, publisher, author and university tutor and TAFE teacher.

Charlotte Harper, BA (Linguistics and Aboriginal Studies)

Hear from our students

Moving from Melbourne to ANU was the best life decision I ever made. Although I was sad and a little apprehensive to leave my friends and life, it was incredibly easy to make new friends and Canberra turned out to be pretty great!

Halyna, Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law

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Study languages at the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Study Languages and Linguistics at ANU

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Updated:  7 April 2022/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications