Linguistics

Find out how language shapes our world

Explore the structure and design of language, how language relates to thinking and how it functions in society. Through linguistics you'll gain an understanding of how language develops and changes and how it is acquired and learned.

Why study Linguistics?

Linguistics gives students deeper understandings of language as the primary means of human communication. Through the Linguistics Major, students are invited to explore the many facets of language and develop the tools they need to analyse specific language related issues in detail.

Linguistics subjects offered investigate questions such as: Why is language always changing? How do words have meaning? How do we learn languages? and What are all the possible sounds in human languages?

Study the structure and design of language, how language relates to thinking and how it functions in society. Explore how language develops and changes, and how it is acquired and learned. Linguistics appeals to students interested in languages, science, education, humanities, social sciences and the arts.

To view the variety of subjects available in this discipline see the 2017 Handbook.

Where can Linguistics take me?

Learning about languages provides students with the tools to make them powerful communicators and insightful observers of the language of others.

Linguistics graduates may find employment in audiology, publishing, education, foreign affairs, immigration, journalism, librarianship, lexicography, sign language teaching, speech pathology, speech technology or translation.

Why La Trobe?

Our Linguistics subjects are ranked in the Top 200 globally (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). We are also in the top three Universities in Victoria for research in Linguistics (Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) Report 2015).

Our staff have expertise in a wide range of areas within linguistics and languages from across the globe. These include Australian Aboriginal languages; English (including Australian and other varieties of English); European languages; and the languages of China, South East Asia and South Asia.

Further study options

If you're an undergraduate with a strong academic record, Honours in Linguistics awaits. Your Honours year will give you the chance to combine coursework and research in a specialised area of study.

Complete the Honours program with high grades to qualify for entry into the Masters by Research or PhD program.

Get to know our staff

View all the staff in the School of Humanities and Social Science or focus on the Department of Languages and Linguistics.

How to apply

Apply now to start in Semester 1, 2017.

Key dates 

Direct applications normally close in February for entry in semester 1, and July for entry in semester 2. For more details visit our apply direct page.

VTAC and UAC applications for 2016 are now closed.

Prerequisites

VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL.

Contact details