What will I study?
200 point program (2 years full-time or part-time equivalent)
This is our most popular program for those who have completed undergraduate study. No experience is necessary.
150 point program (1.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent)
This is for relevant honours graduates or those who have completed at least two years professional work experience in a closely related field, in addition to relevant background study. It can be undertaken via online learning.
100 point program (1 year full-time or part-time equivalent)
This is for relevant honours graduates or those who have completed at least two years professional work experience in a closely related field, in addition to relevant background study. It can be undertaken via online learning.
Students can choose from the following specialisations:
- Technology in Language Learning
- Language Testing
- English Language
- Modern Languages (100-point program only)
Please note: Students can choose between a coursework only option or a minor thesis option. All students are required to complete the Capstone requirement for the program (25 points).
Please note: The Modern Languages 100-point program cannot be taken online.
For more information on specialisations and requirements, please view the Handbook entry.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Research in Applied Linguistics12.5
Research in Applied Linguistics
This subject provides an introduction to the range of approaches to research as practised in applied linguistics in three main areas: (a) research paradigms, or the philosophical assumptions concerning knowledge and ethical considerations; (b) research approaches, or the designs for research that includes quasi-experiments, ethnography, discourse analysis, and action research; (c) data collection and analysis techniques, that include surveys, observation, interviews, introspection, and verbal report protocols. Working with these topics and completing assignments will prepare students to design research projects and to critique research in the field of applied linguistics.
- The Secret Life of Language12.5
The Secret Life of Language
Have you ever wondered how language actually works? Or how it can be that a 6 year-old child can know more about their native language than the most sophisticated computers? This subject is a practical introduction to the nature of human language which gives a conceptual framework for discussing language and provides the tools required to analyse and describe all of the world's 6000+ languages. Central areas of linguistics will be covered using data from languages from all over the world, including speech sounds, word structure, sentence structure, meaning, language learning, and language change.
- Intercultural Communication12.5
This subject involves the main components of communicative events across cultures, the main linguistic approaches to analysing them, how they vary in a range of cultures from around the world, and the difficulties and misunderstandings these differences create in inter-cultural communication. Specific topics include language and culture, ethnography of communication, greetings and address terms, conversation analysis, language and identity, socialization, narrative enquiry and body language. Topics will be illustrated with case studies of different speech communities from around the world, such as French, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Anglo-Australian and Aboriginal Australian.
Graduate Core A
- Sociolinguistics and Language Learning12.5
Sociolinguistics and Language Learning
In this subject, students will gain a systematic understanding of the relation between language and society and culture and its implications for language learning and teaching. The main topics covered include: Social, regional and stylistic variation and their consequences for the learning and teaching of English and other second languages; bi-multilingualism and diglossia; language, attitudes and identity; language policy, especially languages-in-education policy; cultural values in communication; and multi-modal communication, both online and non-verbal interactions.
- English in a Globalised World12.5
English in a Globalised World
The spread of English through colonialism, its transformation in decolonisation, and its further expansion are examined in this course. We will analyse the changes in patterns and use of English in different sociopolitical settings, the historical factors that have led to these changes, and the effects of language contact in multilingual settings. The emergence of indigenised forms of English has important consequences for the teaching and testing of English language in international and local settings, and for English lexicography. Issues such as variation, codification, norm creation and the politics of international English will be addressed.
- Quantitative Methods in Language Studies12.5
Quantitative Methods in Language Studies
This is an introductory subject designed to enable students to acquire the basic tools necessary for critically READING about and carrying out quantitative empirical research in applied linguistics. Students will be given practice in the application of statistics in the analysis of data obtained from research and will be introduced to the use of computers with statistical packages to analyse data. Throughout, there will be a focus on the practicality and usefulness of the skills developed for the tasks of understanding research literature in Applied Linguistics, and of carrying out research in settings relevant to students. No prior knowledge of mathematics or of statistical procedures will be assumed.
- English Phonetics and Phonology12.5
English Phonetics and Phonology
This subject focuses on aspects of the English sound system with particular focus on Australian English. Students gain a detailed understanding of the sound system of different varieties of English. The main topics covered include: phonetic analysis (vowel and consonant systems, phonotactics, stress and intonation) of selected English varieties including L2 varieties of English. Throughout the subject, material is drawn from different varieties of English, including English spoken by second language learners. This subject also provides the chance for training in the accurate perception and production of English speech, transcription, and an introduction to acoustic phonetic analysis.
- Grammar in Use12.5
Grammar in Use
This subject explores the main areas of grammar, at the level of the word, the sentence and the text. Throughout the subject, material is drawn from across a range of contexts of use and varieties of English, including Standard English. Through seminars and practical application students gain a systematic understanding of the major features of English grammar, including morphology, syntax, and stylistics, with additional focus on the role of grammar in language use, and descriptive and methodological approaches to the analysis of grammar.
- Discourse and Interaction12.5
Discourse and Interaction
This subject investigates the nature of spoken discourse and major approaches to analysing and understanding it; written discourse will also be touched on for comparative purposes. Students will develop their skills in the collection and transcription of spoken language data and in designing research projects in discourse analysis relevant to applied linguistics. A variety of discourse types and genres will be studied, with a focus on dialogic interaction. Theories and approaches covered will include pragmatics, conversation analysis, and critical discourse analysis.
- Second Language Learning and Teaching12.5
Second Language Learning and Teaching
This subject considers how a second language is acquired, what factors explain why only some learners are successful in learning a second language, and how to best teach a second language. We begin by looking at a range of theories which present different perspectives on the process of second language acquisition. We then consider individual factors that may affect success in second language acquisition. These factors include age, aptitude, motivation and learning strategies. We examine approaches to second language instruction, focusing on the four macro skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to reflect upon their own language learning experiences and explain these experiences by reference to the topics covered in the subject.
This subject is an introduction to basic concepts and methods of syntactic analysis and description. Emphasis is on practical analysis and description of a wide range of phenomena from a variety of languages. Students should become familiar with topics such as constituent structure, syntactic categories, grammatical functions (interface with morphology), thematic relations (interface with semantics), word order, multi-clausal constructions, including complement clauses, relative clauses and clause linking, and unbounded dependencies.
- Language, Society and Culture12.5
Language, Society and Culture
This subject examines how social and cultural factors influence language, and the role language plays in structuring and representing social categories across cultures. It examines how society and language shape each other: how language represents and enables social interaction, and how social interaction influences the form of language. Specific topics to be covered include socially determined variation in language styles and registers, language varieties reflecting social class, gender and ethnic group. It also examines factors affecting language choice such as, bi- and multi-lingualism, and factors of language contact and change.
- First Language Acquisition12.5
First Language Acquisition
This subject is an overview of some principal issues in first language acquisition, including children's language development (from pre-speech onwards), grammatical, semantic and pragmatic development, and the continued development of language through the school years. The variability and individual differences in relation to current theoretical models of language acquisition and cognitive and social development will also be examined. Focus is on the acquisition of English, but cross-cultural material will be included for comparison.
This subject is an introduction to the study of meaning, looking at the main linguistic approaches to the study of meaning, techniques of semantic analysis and argumentation, and problems of accounting for some selected areas of linguistic meaning. Topics include classical approaches to meaning, prototype semantics, cognitive linguistics, formal semantics and linguistic categorisation across languages.
- Language and Identity12.5
Language and Identity
This subject introduces students to the ways in which language indexes and constructs identities in social contexts. It introduces students to a range of theoretical approaches, and the distinctive research methodologies associated with each. These include language socialization. studies of language in social interaction using the techniques of Conversation Analysis and discourse analysis (including critical discourse analysis). and poststructuralist approaches to language and subjectivity. Topics covered will include gender-related language use, language and racism, language and sexuality, the negotiation and deployment of identities in face-to-face interaction, and the way language and discourse construct and maintain a sense of "otherness". On completion of the subject, students should be able to recognise ways in which language and discourse construct particular social identities of relevance to themselves, and critically analyse ways of thinking about the complex phenomenon of language and identity.
- Applied Linguistics Thesis25
Applied Linguistics Thesis
A minor thesis of 10,000 words on an approved research project.
- Professional Speaking Communication12.5
Professional Speaking Communication
This subject is designed for graduate students who would like to improve their spoken English skills for professional contexts. It is aimed at speakers of English as an additional language.
Students who complete this subject will become familiar with Australian English pronunciation, will develop confidence and self-awareness, and will improve the clarity and fluency of their speech for use in professional communication. The content covers various aspects of pronunciation, such as individual sounds, sound combinations, syllables and word stress, rhythm, sentence stress, connected speech processes and intonation. Students will also improve their listening-discrimination skills, develop an understanding of the basic processes involved in speech production and gain practical knowledge about the communicative nature of sentence stress and intonation, especially as they apply to workplace settings.
- Advanced Self-Editing12.5
The subject aims to improve students’ ability to edit their written texts in order to produce grammatically accurate and stylistically appropriate texts for professional purposes. The subject begins with a review of the most frequent errors in the writing of students who speak English as a Second Language, including errors in morphology, syntax, cohesion, and punctuation, and then considers the impact that such errors may have on meaning. In the second half of the subject, students engage in linguistic analysis of a range of work-place texts (e.g. short reports, media releases). The aim of this analysis is to identify the most salient grammatical and stylistic features that contribute to the clarity of the texts. Throughout the subject students will engage in identifying areas of concern in their writing (annotation), self and peer editing exercises, keeping logs of their progress, and using available online grammar resources.
- Professional Literacies12.5
This subject aims to develop effective written communication skills for use in professional workplace contexts. It is designed for graduate students, who are speakers of English as an additional language. Given the wide range of professional workplaces and modes of writing found within these, this subject aims to help students reflect on the different contexts and interactions that are at stake in professional reading and writing. It will do this by teaching students techniques of text analysis to assist them in identifying the conventions of a variety of genres encountered in the workplace. Students will also develop skills in structuring and writing texts that respond appropriately and flexibly to a range of communicative purposes and audiences. Particular attention will be paid to workplace modes of writing (including promotional and hortatory text types), and to the processes of collaborative professional writing.
- Intercultural Professional Communication12.5
Intercultural Professional Communication
This subject enhances students’ ability to communicate effectively and strategically in English-speaking professional settings in Australia and internationally. Students will acquire research-based discourse analytic tools to understand workplace cultures and norms of interaction, and develop practical skills in advanced spoken and email-based workplace interaction. Topics include opening and closing conversations, engaging in small talk, raising sensitive issues with peers and superior, making and responding to requests, complaints, and refusals from a position of strength and weakness, structuring short ad hoc speeches, participating in job interviews, and understanding cultural norms of humour, sarcasm and non-literal language use. There will be an emphasis throughout on intercultural differences and awareness raising of how cultural norms impact interaction.
Note: This subject is aimed at speakers of English as an additional language. It is not suitable for native speakers of English.
- Presenting Academic Discourse12.5
Presenting Academic Discourse
This subject focuses on the advanced language required for successful graduate study in English. In this subject students will develop critical approaches to researching, reading and writing. They will also develop the ability to plan and present confidently on a research topic and to write a literature review fluently and accurately. Particular attention is paid to grammatical and stylistic aspects of written and spoken academic discourse. Students write and present on a research topic that is relevant to their field of study.
- Technology and Language Learning12.5
Technology and Language Learning
The subject introduces students to the key pedagogical and research issues that are involved when digital technologies are integrated into the design and delivery of face-to-face second language learning programs. Topics covered include a history of the area, central concepts. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of Internet-based resources. On completion of the subject, students should have a solid understanding of technologies in standalone, blended and distance language learning environments.
- Language Curriculum Design12.5
Language Curriculum Design
This subject adopts a language for specific purposes (LSP) framework to processes of language education. It begins from the premise that all language teaching involves the teaching of language for some specific purpose, and in some specific context. Working within an LSP framework, we look at a range of theoretical and practical approaches to needs analyses and to the design of programs and curricula. Approaches include corpus linguistics, genre theory, Systemic Functional Linguistics, and more socially critical approaches such as Academic Literacies. The subject will involve students collecting and analysing data (e.g. sample texts and interviews) to research the needs of learners and identify the discourses and practices of target communities in academic and professional contexts. Students will also participate in evaluating and developing LSP pedagogical materials and course curricula.
- Language Program Evaluation12.5
Language Program Evaluation
Using an argument-based approach, the aim of this subject is to learn developmental language program evaluation. The practice of program evaluation will be situated in several language education contexts with an emphasis on English as an Additional Language. Blended language programs, or those that seek to integrate technologies in face-to-face classrooms, is a focus of collaborative action research in data gathering. Topics will include argumentation, ethical considerations, working with key evaluation stakeholders, and the use and dissemination of evaluation outcomes.
- Language Testing12.5
Introduction to the theory and practice of language testing in a range of second language contexts. Topics covered include testing listening, reading, writing, speaking, grammar, vocabulary, pragmatics, test analysis, construction and validation of language tests, classroom language assessment and alternative assessment practices. Students will be encouraged to develop solutions to language assessment problems relevant to their own work settings.
- Second Language Acquisition12.5
Second Language Acquisition
This subject offers a survey of the principal topics currently addressed in the study of second language acquisition, and of the major research methods and paradigms used in such studies. Students should expect to be able to understand critical observation. description and analysis of second language learners and their language performance. the social and psychological aspects of second language learning situations. and the special characteristics of learner language.
- Second Language Writing12.5
Second Language Writing
The subject will introduce students to key theories of second language writing and composing processes and approaches to second language writing instruction. It will focus on issues that are pertinent to second language writing teachers such as assessing writing, the efficacy of different types of feedback on writing, and measures that can be used to investigate development in L2 writing.
This subject examine the phenomenon of bi/multilingualism, from individual and societal perspectives. It enables students to understand the language choices made by speakers in bilingual or multilingual settings, the role of language contact in language change, the relationship between language and cognition and the psychological and societal factors influencing language acquisition, language maintenance and language loss. It also considers educational and political issues associated with bi/multilingualism, and familiarizes students with a range of institutional models whereby citizens can be encouraged to successfully learn and use two or more languages in their daily lives.
- Transcultural Communication at Work12.5
Transcultural Communication at Work
One outcome of the globalisation of the Australian job market is the increasing need for transcultural communication skills in both the private and public sectors. Transcultural communication typically entails interaction in which one or more of the communicators use a second or third language. Successful transcultural communication requires not only a shared language but also strong intercultural awareness and skills. These include verbal skills such as how and when to use speech and silence as well as non-verbal skills knowing how and when gaze, gesture and body posture may differ across cultures. This subject will provide students with the tools to achieve successful transcultural encounters in professional settings. The delivery of the subject will include lectures with audio-visual materials, discussion sessions to deepen the students' understanding of theories of transcultural communication and their practical implications, and assignments that require an application of presented theories to the analysis of transcultural communication. Sponsored by the School of Languages and Linguistics and the Faculty of Arts' Asia Institute, this subject will focus on transcultural communication at the intersection of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and religious boundaries. The subject will be taught by sociolinguistic and transcultural communication experts whose expertise ranges from multicultural and Aboriginal Australia, to Asia, the Middle East, Northern and Southern Europe, and the South Pacific.
- Second Language Pragmatics12.5
Second Language Pragmatics
This subject provides an overview of research in second language pragmatics. It covers research methods in second language pragmatics, learners’ developmental pathways, effects of individual learner differences and learning contexts on pragmatics learning, teaching and assessment of second language pragmatics, and pragmatics in the age of globalization.