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Linguistics is the scientific study of language and, given that language impinges on virtually everything we do, it is a broad and interesting subject. Linguistics at the University of Waikato is a top 250 QS-rated programme and will deepen your appreciation for language, as well as provide essential understandings relevant to any career where language is a key component.

Language is a tool we all use instinctively, without necessarily understanding its precise structure. By studying Linguistics, you'll gain an inner working knowledge of language design and organisation. You'll learn about different sounds, words and clause structures, and how they work in world languages. You'll explore different cultures and societies to see how linguistic behaviour changes by location, as well as in various situations.

Your Linguistics studies will also give you a commanding understanding of the English language which can lead to careers in journalism, free-lance writing or academia.

The QS World University Subject Rankings has recognised the University of Waikato among the worlds top 250 universities for studying Linguistics.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.

Career opportunities

  • Education Researcher
  • Journalist
  • Language Policy and Planning
  • Language School Management
  • Lexicography (Dictionary Writing)
  • Second Language Teaching
  • Speech Therapist
  • Writer

Prescriptions for the GradCert(Ling) and GradDip(Ling)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Linguistics at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ARTSC105Language in Context20A (Hamilton), 20A (Tauranga) & 20B (Online)
Language in Context is an essential paper for students of a broad range of disciplines where language and communication are a focus. Students are given the tools to examine how human language reflects our histories, our social selves, and out immediate physical contexts. We observe how language is used to reinvent and to reinforce ...
ENGLI100Telling the Story20A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the deep stories which are at the core of the English literary tradition and the wider Western canon, with examples from the epic of Gilgamesh to Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
INTLC101International Languages and Cultures20B (Hamilton) & 20G (Online)
A cultural perspectives paper with a thematic focus on languages and cultures of China, France, Japan, Spain and Latin America.
MEDIA100Understanding Visual Culture20A (Hamilton), 20B (Online) & 20X (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Our lives are dominated by still and moving images and visual technologies. This paper will constitute an important first step in learning to understand how images variously work to convey ideas, their impact and influence on our behaviour, thinking and culture. It draws on a broad theoretical platform from aesthetics, art history,...
WRITE100Writing for Academic Success20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online), 20B (Tauranga), 20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
The paper gives opportunities for undergraduate students to develop their academic literacy skills. It begins with general academic communication and research skills and then embeds academic literacy practice within disciplines of study.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LINGS201Language Analysis20B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a detailed introduction to phonology and morphology. Students develop analytic skills and discuss theoretical issues related to language analysis.
LINGS202Exploring English: From Grammar to Discourse20A (Hamilton)
This paper presents a hands-on introduction to the grammar of English, paying special attention to the syntactic components involved, as well as their strong connection to discourse.
LINGS203Language, Society and Culture20B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the relationship between language and culture, particularly in the context of changing Pacific cultures, and relates topics to the main themes of modern linguistics and anthropology.
PHILO204Wisdom, Language, and Communication20A (Hamilton)
Is language the seat of all knowledge and wisdom? The aim of this paper is to explore growing philosophical debate in epistemology and the philosophy of language.
PSYCH203Cognitive Psychology and Development20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper will provide students with an overview of current findings and theories of cognitive neuroscience, cognitive development, and cognitive processes such as memory, attention, language, and decision making.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
FRNCH305History and Variation of French20A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the development of the French language as well as minority languages in France and varieties of French around the world.
LINGS301Research Apprenticeship20B (Hamilton)
This paper provides students with an opportunity to pursue an extended research project, in a sub-discipline of linguistics or anthropology (e.g. sociolinguistics, typology, documentation, anthropology), focusing on a heritage language/culture.
LINGS302Comparative Linguistics20A (Hamilton)
This paper concerns the study of linguistic diversity, with an emphasis on the morphosyntactic analysis of lesser-known languages. Current comparative/typological understandings are employed to examine properties and processes in language data.
LINGS303Sociolinguistics20B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches major methods and principles of sociolinguistic investigation, including the study of accents and dialects; language variation; relationship between language and education/gender/social class; and language attitudes.
LINGS304Applied Linguistics20A (Hamilton)
This paper provides an introduction to areas of research and professional practice in applied linguistics, including language acquisition, second language teaching, language planning, lexicography, translation, forensic linguistics and speech language therapy.
LINGS390Directed Study20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
Directed studies in linguistics allow students to follow, under the supervision of a lecturer, a programme in reading and language analysis in one of the sub-disciplines of linguistics. Students must obtain prior permission from the subject convenor before enrolling in this paper.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LING800Linguistics MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LING900Linguistics PhD Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Subject links

Linguistics Programme

Linguistics is available as a major for the BA and BSocSc. Linguistics may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the catalogue of papers for the most up to date information. If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email:

Students wishing to take Linguistics as a major or as a supporting subject are strongly encouraged to include a language skills paper in a language other than their first language in their programme of study. Such a paper would not count as a Linguistics paper for the purposes of the degree regulations.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

General & Undergraduate Enquiries:
Phone: +64 7 838 4932