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Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Use language to drive your career

Massey’s BA (Linguistics) will equip you with the knowledge and empathy to lead cross-cultural interactions, growing your ability to drive social change and shape the future of our nation.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts parent structure.

What is it like?

Cultivate your personal and professional development

Linguistics is the study of language, its structure and meaning, how it is learnt and used, and what this says about who we are and where we come from.

From interacting with friends to communicating with colleagues, language plays a fundamental role in both our public and private lives. This includes written and spoken communication, problem-solving, and social and cultural awareness. Our lecturers will encourage you to develop a deeper understanding of your own self-identity and social interactions.

A powerful communications tool

Language is the most powerful tool for connecting with and understanding our evolving diversity of people and cultures.

Massey’s BA (Linguistics) puts a strong focus on personal and applied language use, ethnographic analysis, and language forms and structure. This major will help you develop vital career skills.

Specialist language studies and options available

Whether you’re intrigued by the role of language in forensic situations, digital communities, social media, mother-tongue maintenance, or second-language learning, we have a variety of courses on offer. Our courses are taught by leading lecturers in a range of distinctive research areas.

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy learning languages or have a curiosity about language
  • Enjoy subjects such as English and drama that work with the written and spoken word
Sonja Zander
Bachelor of Arts

“Everywhere I travel I find myself listening to other people talking and guessing things about their language…”

Mba'éichapa or hello in Guarani, a native language spoken mainly in Paraguay. Last year as part of my bachelor’s degree I was lucky enough to earn credits while investigating this interesting language. On top of this I’ve looked at forensic linguistics and also studied how babies learn to talk.

I’m majoring in linguistics, something that I am passionate about. Linguistics allows us to consider an aspect of life constantly used but overlooked by most people; language. Linguistics focuses on how a language works and what you can tell from the way a person speaks. Luckily for me Massey lets me study by distance learning because I’ve been living in Argentina for three years, giving me the
opportunity to see many of the theories I’ve learnt put into practice. Everywhere I travel I find myself listening to other people talking and guessing things about their language.


Language is vital to human communication. The study of linguistics helps you understand the development of language and can lead to an array of careers. We have graduates working in a range of diverse sectors in many varied roles including:

  • Education: ESOL teacher, language teacher, literacy advisor, university lecturer
  • Business, administration and law: communications advisor, interpreter/translator, forensic document analyst
  • Government departments: policy analyst, researcher, cultural adviser, immigrations officer
  • Publishing, journalism, media and advertising: writer/editor, advertising consultant
  • IT: computer analyst/programmer

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