Diploma of Language Studies

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Diploma of Language Studies is a flexible pathway program designed to offer you the opportunity to study a language alongside your undergraduate degree.

The program allows students from any faculty the opportunity to study one of the fourteen diverse languages that we offer 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 added value of the Diploma of Languages Studies at the University of Sydney include:
- Allowing you study the language from beginners level
- Opportunity to go on an overseas exchange and practice the language that you are mastering
- Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) places available to get a discount on fees for the accelerated mode, offered from January 2015
- The opportunity to boost your employment prospects

The course is also available to students that have already completed a bachelor's degree.

Accelerated Mode
An Accelerated Mode pathway commences in early January (prior to the official start date of Semester 1). Applicants must still apply for Semester 1 and will have the ability to enrol and commence in the January intensive session.
This a more viable pathway for students to complete the Diploma of Language Studies in one year. For the January 2015 start, one of three languages will be offered: Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French and Chinese.

Scroll down the page to ‘Further course information’ for more information on the accelerated mode.

Please note: The units of study listed below are subject to change and are to be used as a guide only.

Course outline

Study plan

Candidates of the Diploma of Language Studies undertake units of study to a value of 12 Junior Credit Points and 36 Senior Credit Points to a value of 48 Credit Points in total from one subject area including: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek (Classical), Greek (Modern), Hebrew (Classical), Hebrew (Modern), Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Sanskrit, Spanish.


What is a major?

A major is usually a two-year defined sequence of study, generally comprising specified units of study in a particular subject area. Majors are included on students' testamurs. The Diploma of Language Studies requires that students complete one major from a language subject area. A major consists of 36 credit points (cp) in senior (2000/3000-level) units of study (6cp each) from a single subject area of study. The exact requirements for majors may differ between subject areas. A language major comprises units of study in both language and culture and is available to complete beginners as well as students who already have knowledge of a language.

Core majors

Further course information

Progression rules

The standard suggested pathway for the Diploma of Language Studies consists of the completion of 48 credit points (8 units of study) studying part time over 3 years, although depending on a student's language proficiency it may be completed in as little as 1.5 years. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and performance-related activities prescribed for their units of study.

An Accelerated Mode pathway is being introduced for the 2015 academic year, commencing in the 2014/15 summer session. This pathway will allow completion of the Diploma in one year.


In 2016, commencing in the 2015-16 summer session, the accelerated pathway of the Diploma of Language Studies will be available for the following languages

• Spanish
• Korean
• Japanese
• French
• Chinese

The accelerated mode is designed to meet the needs of 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.

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 one year. Typically, in accelerated mode, the course structure will consist of:

1. A common Unit of Study on intercultural communication, to be offered in a combination of online and intensive format.
2. One semester-long country-specific Unit of Study, to be 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)
3. Two level one Units of Study, to be taken in intensive format during the semester break.
4. Four upper level Language Units of Study offered in intensive format during the semester or in summer or winter school format, which may be taken in-country – or else students can combine in-country study with standard language units.

Language learning in the beginners level Units of Study will be designed to cover relevant thematic areas and complement the English language background unit. This will include practical language associated with corporate, public service and research engagement (numbers, telling time, locations, taking transport, making and renegotiating appointments, language of phone calls).

In-country units will be taught using a University of Sydney curriculum by partner universities in a relevant country context

Internship units in relevant faculties will be cross-listed at the upper level and may be substituted for one upper-level language Unit of Study, on the condition that the internship be taken in a country where the relevant language is spoken. This will increase the relevance and flexibility of the diploma.

Course opportunities

The School of Languages and Culture strongly encourages students to spend a semester (or at least a summer break) in a native speaking country of their language of study where they can study the language and experience the country's culture first hand.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Career opportunities for graduates of the Diploma of Language Studies depend on the area of study undertaken. A diploma is often a springboard to a postgraduate degree or a way of focusing your study in a particular area by doing a short course. Choices of language majors include: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek (Classical), Greek (Modern), Hebrew (Classical), Hebrew (Modern), Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Sanskrit, Spanish.

Further study

Eligible candidates may apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.


Admission requirements

Admission to candidature for the Diploma of Language Studies requires the applicant to:

(a) be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree program at the University of Sydney; or

(b) be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree program at another recognised tertiary institution; or

(c) have been awarded, or be eligible for the award of, an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.

Applicants for both the accelerated mode and the standard mode apply to enrol in the Diploma of Language Studies in the same way via Sydney Courses.

On receipt of an offer, successful applicants can enrol online from 26 November in either the accelerated mode units of study (January, February, July and November intensives, as well as the online units) or in units offered in standard mode in semester 1 and 2.

Applicants intending to undertake the accelerated mode are advised to submit your application well in advance of University Closedown (20 Dec 2014 – 4 Jan 2015) to allow time to for the application to be processed and for you to enrol in your units before classes begin on Monday 5 January 2015.

Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.

Assumed knowledge

Language students are assessed by the department and placed in the appropriate level class. The faculty offers classes at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

International students

How to apply

Also available to international students. Please click on the ‘Apply Now’ icon to the right of this page.