Diploma of Language Studies

The Diploma of Language Studies is a flexible pathway program designed to offer you the opportunity to study a language alongside or after your undergraduate degree. The program allows students from any faculty the opportunity to study one of the fifteen diverse languages listed below and ensure that you are confident with language skills and have a strong understanding of the culture and societies in which that language is spoken.

The Diploma is offered in two modes:

  • standard mode, part time during semester time, and
  • in selected languages, in an accelerated mode, which can be completed in 14 months – see Accelerated Mode below.

To qualify for the Diploma, candidates must complete at least 48 credit points, including at least 36 senior credit points, in one of the following subject areas:

 Diploma of Language Studies Subject Areas

* offered in Accelerated mode

Register here to receive updates and important information about admissions and enrolment in the Diploma of Language Studies.

Eligibility for Admission

To be eligible for admission, you must either:

  • be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree at the University of Sydney; or
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree at another recognised tertiary institution; or
  • have been awarded, or be eligible for the award of an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution.

Course Delivery

All languages offered in the Diploma can be studied by the standard pathway: this consists of the completion of 48 credit points (8 units of study) studying part time over 3 years, although depending on a student's situation it can be completed in as little as 1.5 years. (The maximum time that can be taken is 6 years).

An accelerated mode is currently offered in Japanese, Korean and Spanish, Chinese and French. This pathway will allow beginners to complete the Diploma in 14 months: see below for details.

Accelerated Mode

An accelerated mode in the Diploma of Language Studies is currently offered in the following languages:

  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • French
  • Chinese

The accelerated mode is designed for students who are currently enrolled in a degree course with no units free for language studies, but nonetheless would like to study a language concurrently. Graduate and postgraduate students are also eligible to enrol for the accelerated mode.

For information on admissions requirements and to apply online, go to: http://sydney.edu.au/courses/Diploma-of-Language-Studies.


The overall structure of the diploma in accelerated mode consists of standard Units of Study that are offered in intensive format throughout the year. The duration for the course is 14 months. This table sets out the schedule for the 2015/16 course, including session dates, session code and delivery mode:








05-23 January 2015

Session 101

3-week intensive

SPAN 1621 Level 1

KRNS 1621 Level 1

JPNS 1611 Level 1


02-20 February 2015

Session 102

3-week intensive

SPAN 1622 Level 2

KRNS 1622 Level 2

JPNS 1612 Level 2


02 March - 07 June 2015

Session SC1
(Sem 1)


ICLS 2111
Essentials of Language Learning


29 June - 17 July 2015

Session 107

3-week intensive

SPAN 2611 Level 3

KRNS 2621 Level 3


6 July - 24 July 2015

Session 107

3-week intensive



JPNS 2611 Level 3


27 July - 01 Nov 2015

Session SC2
(Sem 2)


SPAN 3680
The Spanish-Speaking World

KRNS 3670
Korea in Literature and Popular Culture

JPNS 3001
Understanding Japan


23 Nov - 12 Dec 2015

Session 112

3-week intensive

SPAN 2612 Level 4

KRNS 2622 Level 4

JPNS 2612 Level 4


January 2016

Session 101

3-week intensive

SPAN 2613 Level 5

KRNS 3621 Level 5

JPNS 2621 Level 5


February 2016

Session 102

3-week intensive

SPAN 2614 Level 6

KRNS 3622 Level 6

JPNS 2622 Level 6


Delivery modes

  1. Intensive: delivery is a mixture of full-time class work and online work (both at home and in class) for 2 or 3 weeks depending on the language. Classes are held 4 days per week and incorporate aspects of Blended Learning i.e. "homework" done in-class and new topics introduced online and studied before class.
  2. Online: delivery is completely online. Students complete study tasks and assessments online over the course of the standard semester.

Units of study

Language learning in the beginners level Units of Study is designed to cover relevant thematic areas and complement the English language background unit. This includes practical language associated with corporate, public service and research engagement (numbers, telling time, locations, taking transport, making and renegotiating appointments, language of phone calls). For descriptions of each Unit of Study, see the FASS Undergraduate Handbook.

  1. ICLS2111 Essentials of Language Learning is common to all five languages in the Accelerated mode. It is offered in Semester 1 in an online delivery mode.
  2. One semester-long country-specific Unit of Study is offered in English online, providing common background knowledge on the target country (or region, in the case of Latin America), and specialist content relevant to different disciplines (e.g. health, engineering, business)

Language Levels

Students with all levels of language proficiencies can undertake the Diploma of Language Studies.

  • Beginners have no previous knowledge of the language and commence at language level 1 in the January intensive.
  • Students with some prior knowledge of the language, either through the HSC or through other means, will commence at higher language levels, such as level 3 (July intensive) or level 5 (January 2016 intensive). If you have some prior knowledge of the language you will need to be assessed by the Department to ascertain the best language level for you to commence in.


  • Japanese
  • Korean:
  • Spanish:
  • French:
  • Chinese:

Entry Points and pathways

Beginners - Students who commence at language level 1 commence their studies with the January intensive. If this is missed, students can complete the 2 online units in the current year and enrol in the level 1 intensive the following January.

Intermediate and advanced: students who have been assessed as having a language proficiency that allows you to commence at a higher language level.

  • Students who commence at language level 3 can enrol and complete the semester 1 online unit before commencing on the July (level 3) intensive.
  • Students who commence at language level 4 can enrol and complete the semester 1 and semester 2 online units before commencing in the November (level 4) intensive.
  • Students who commence at language level 5 can enrol in the current year and complete the semester 1 and/or semester 2 online units, before enrolling in the January (level 5) intensive the following year.

NOTE: students commencing at language levels higher than level 1 will need to include normal delivery units of study and/or in-country/exchange units of study to complete requirements for the Diploma.

For more information on pathways contact the or on (02) 9351 2869.

Overseas study in the Diploma

There are various opportunities for including overseas study as part of the Diploma. All students in the Accelerated mode could include an overseas short course equivalent to level 5 and/or 6. Students commencing at higher language levels might be able to include units or even a semester of exchange.

For more information on including overseas study in your Diploma, contact the International Exchange coordinator for the language you wish to study:

Learning outcomes

Students commencing at level 1 and completing the Diploma in Accelerated mode will have reached the B2 (independent) level as described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

B2 Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and Independent disadvantages of various options.

How to enrol in the Accelerated Mode

When your application to enrol is successful and you accept your offer, you will be able to enrol on Sydney Student. You will be sent general information and a link to Sydney Student from the Admissions Team.

Once you are logged in to Sydney Student, and have filled in your personal information, you will be asked to nominate a major. As your compulsory major, choose the language that you are studying for the Diploma. Leave the Optional Major field blank.

You will then be redirected to the Unit of Study Selection page.
The table above shows which units you will need to choose to follow the Accelerated Mode.

  • Junior units box: language levels 1 and 2. Ensure you choose the unit with the correct session, for Accelerated mode session 101 and 102 (January and February)
  • Senior units: language levels 3 and 4. Ensure you choose the units with the correct session, for Accelerated mode session 107 and 111 (July and November)
  • Senior units box: online units. You will choose ICLS2111 (session S1C) and the online unit corresponding with your language (session S2C)

At the end of your unit selection, you should have six units of study chosen.