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What majors can I study?
The following are just some of the majors you can study in this
What you’re in for
Learning a second or third language opens up your eyes to a
whole new world. But if you’re interested in languages yet don’t
have the desire to learn a new one, a foreign language is not the
only path you can take. Many courses are available in English
studies or linguistics, each looking at the human language in very
Many of those who line up to do a language at university already
have a good grounding in a foreign language from school,
although many institutions happily accept the raw beginner.
Beginners might do a special intensive course in first year or over
the summer break before joining the mainstream course at the
start of the next semester.
Courses and specialisations
Since language studies are often found in the most common of all
degrees (the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business), they
are readily available at campuses throughout the country. The
options are broad and finding your niche can be an exciting
challenge. Courses cover specialisations in a wide range of
languages, although most only have a small number of students
and are offered at just a few campuses, so you will have to keep
an open mind about where you go to study.
If you want more than language skills, another option is to
combine language studies with something like engineering,
business, law, education or tourism and hospitality through a
double degree. If it includes an Asian language, you will be in
demand in the employment market. Think about where you may
like to take your language, both in terms of personal fulfilment
and career, and ensure that the subjects and opportunities
offered by the institution match your needs.
Where to study
The best language courses study the history, culture and even
the economics of the societies in which the languages are used,
as well as the languages themselves. There are also other things
to keep in mind when looking for a language course. Are native
speakers freely available? Does the institution run study tours or
summer schools in other countries? If not, do they have other
ways of teaching the language in context? Do they subsidise
exchange trips to study in other countries (which may be
essential for advanced learning)?
For details about entry difficulty at different institutions, see the
‘How tough is it to get in?’ tables in Section 4.
The Australian Government has introduced a number of
initiatives to encourage Australians to embrace their ties within
the Asia-Pacific region, including Endeavour Mobility Grants and
the New Colombo Plan, which provide assistance for students to
complete study in Asia. The government has also highlighted the
need to increase opportunities to study the languages and
cultures of key regional neighbours. In response, institutions will
aim to introduce more opportunities to study Asian languages at
tertiary level, especially Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian
There has also been a push to increase language participation
from an early age, with initiatives such as the Early Learning
Languages Australia trial, which sees preschool children take
part in interactive language study through play-based ‘apps’. It is
hoped that exposing students to language study during their
schooling years will have a flow-on effect, with more students
continuing the study of languages into university.
FOR FURTHER HELP...
To compare the pros and cons of languages with other fields
of study, see the table on page 68 and institution profiles in
For more on jobs and careers in this field, see The Good
Careers Guide website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au.
For ratings of postgraduate languages courses, see
The Good Universities Guide website at
To compare languages courses, please see the Humanities
and Social Sciences profile.
Translating and interpreting
The student body ratings
THE STUDENT BODY
tuition costs for
The fees shown are for the whole course and approximate. Confirm with the
institution. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 436.
GUG 2017.book Page 130 Friday, June 24, 2016 2:39 PM
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