Learn a language
Massey teaches Chinese Mandarin, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and te reo Māori – and English language skills.
Make a contribution
Make sense of the world from different perspectives through Massey. Contribute to education, defence, sustainability and more.
Be work-ready on a global scale. Many Massey qualifications are recognised around the world, as well as in New Zealand.
The heart of the matter
Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey. Explore what it means to be human, why we act like we do and the ways we create meaning.
Language is at the heart of communication – a tool we use to connect with each other. Linguistics is the study of language – the mechanics of how we communicate.
Learn from world-class lecturers with deep experience of different languages and cultures. Discover new ideas with researchers specialising in areas such as language learning or Mandarin in New Zealand's workforce. Practise new languages in supportive shared environments. Develop your communication skills and cross-cultural understanding.
Languages and linguistics are a good fit if you:
- enjoy school subjects such as English or languages
- want to understand how we use, learn and teach languages
- like thinking analytically and communicating clearly.
Languages and linguistics courses may cover:
- languages such as Chinese, Spanish or te reo Māori
- discourse studies – expression and meaning in the language of conversation, media and more
- phonetics – how words are pronounced according to language-specific rules
- semantics – the analysis of word meanings
- syntax – how words are put together to make sentences
- teaching techniques, including online language learning and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages).
And for speech-language therapy students, courses may cover:
- childhood communication development
- communication disorders caused by brain injury
- swallowing disorders.
Popular languages to study at Massey
Massey teaches Chinese, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and te reo Māori – and English language skills for international students.
Learning a language helps you engage with different people and cultures. It can also give you a competitive edge in industries such as:
- business, including finance and exporting
- diplomacy and foreign affairs
As language learning deepens with cultural context, our highly interactive programmes include history, literature, music and popular culture. Massey students can also apply for exchanges at our partner universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
What is linguistics?
Linguistics delves into the science of language. It includes:
- how our brains process language
- how languages evolve
- how culture and social groups affect language use
- how people communicate with and influence others in different settings.
How to study languages and linguistics
Discover what we offer if you’re interested in languages and linguistics – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.
Undergraduate bachelor's degrees with honours
Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in
When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.
PhD and other doctoral degrees
What our students say
“Young people are contributing to the future of the language and making it relevant to their lives. If any generation is likely to show the future of te reo Māori it’ll be those who can speak Māori, and it’ll be the younger generation who’ve been raised through Māori medium education.”
Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto
“Teachers were very available and so encouraging. The four years at Massey equipped me well to become a language teacher.”
“I ended up with my dream job working with adults who have speech, language or swallowing difficulties mainly as a result of brain injury.”
You’ll have access to a wide range of first-class facilities when you study with us.
Speech-language Therapy Clinic
A teaching clinic offering therapy for children and adults who experience communication and eating difficulties. Supervised by specialist staff, students provide assessment and intervention support at the clinic and in the community.
Location: Auckland campus
Te Rau Karamu Marae
Te Rau Karamu Marae provides stunning art-filled learning and teaching spaces and sits at the heart of the Wellington campus.
Te Whare Taupua
The Māori space on our Auckland campus. Te Whare Taupua is home to Te Rau Tauawhi, the Māori student support centre. While it's mostly a student space, it's also used for Māori events.
English language courses
New to university, or keen to improve your English language skills? Our courses include:
- short courses before you start university, such as English for academic purposes
- courses to help with areas such as academic English writing, note-taking and seminar presentations.
Jobs in languages and linguistics
Many jobs rely on the strong communication skills gained while studying languages or linguistics.
Careers can be in all sorts of industries – from business to government agencies, education to healthcare, charities to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Then there are specialist language careers, such as translating, research or teaching.
Languages and linguistics careers include:
- communications roles in government or businesses
- intelligence officers in the military or security agencies
- interpreters and translators
- policy analysts, who advise government or businesses
- speech-language therapists, who work with people with communication or swallowing disorders
- teachers, including teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
Annual salary ranges for jobs
- Communications professional – $42,000 to $250,000
- Foreign policy officer – $63,000 to $150,000
- Intelligence officer – $42,000 to $118,000
- Interpreter – hourly rate of $35 to $140
- Policy analyst – $47,000 to $150,000
- Speech-language therapist – $52,000 to $100,000
- Teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) – $46,000 to $75,000
- Translator – pay rates vary
Salary ranges disclaimer
Indicative pay rates are:
- in New Zealand dollars
- based on careers.govt.nz data.
Which languages and linguistics qualification?
Examples of where our qualifications may take you.
|Jobs||What you could study|
|Communications professional for business or government||
Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics)
Bachelor of Communication
|Diplomat||Bachelor of Arts specialising in your chosen language|
|Interpreter or translator||Bachelor of Arts specialising in your chosen language|
|Policy analyst||Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics)|
Bachelor of Speech and Language Therapy with Honours
Master of Speech and Language Therapy
Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics
Master of Applied Linguistics (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
|Technical writer||Bachelor of Communication|
Get an information guide
Download our guide to find out more about studying languages and linguistics at Massey.