Master of Indigenous Languages Education

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

Developed specifically for Indigenous Australian participants, the
Master of Indigenous Languages Education is designed to improve your knowledge of Indigenous Australian languages and enhance your employability in the field.

− Deep knowledge of Indigenous Australian languages
− Enhanced capacity to support Indigenous Australian languages education in schools and community settings
− Experience in the delivery of Indigenous Australian languages education programs in a range of educational settings

The program delivers a broad knowledge of the linguistic features of Indigenous Australian languages as well as covering theories of language acquisition and learning. It integrates and applies the areas of linguistics, language education theory and practice to Indigenous Australian languages. You do not need to be fluent in an Indigenous Australian language to enter the program.

Course outline

Study plan

You will complete 8 units of study (48 credit points (cp)) which are delivered in block mode in three separate intensive weeks each semester. In Semester 1 all students complete core units of study in sounds and writing, words and meanings, sentences and texts, and theories and methods in Indigenous language learning (24cp total). In Semester 2 you will complete compulsory units of study in research methods, curriculum development, and the use of technology in language learning. You must also select one elective unit of study which may include an approved research project, or the opportunity to undertaken study in an Indigenous language as part of an an accredited external language teaching program.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

A candidate for the degree of Master of Indigenous Languages Education completes 24 credit points of core units of study in Semester 1 before proceeding to compulsory and elective units of study in Semester 2. The award of the degree requires the satisfactory completion of 48 credit points of units of study offered by the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

Capstone experience

You may elect to undertake a research project in Indigenous languages education on an approved topic relating to one of the many Indigenous languages worthy of further documentation, investigation and research. You may also choose to learn an Indigenous language outside the Master degree program. External studies must be equivalent to 36 hours of face-to-face teaching and candidates must satisfy the Faculty of Education and Social Work regarding the standard and thoroughness of the nominated language teaching.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The course equips Indigenous educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively implement the NSW Aboriginal Languages Syllabus from Kindergarten to Year 10, and syllabi from other states and territories. Graduates may fufill a variety of roles in Indigenous languages education contexts and languages revitalisation generally.

Course accreditation

The Department of Education acknowledges the availability of the Master of Indigenous Languages Education offered at the University of Sydney and accepts this program as providing appropriate training for qualified Aboriginal teachers seeking additional approval to teach an Aboriginal language. The Master of Indigenous Languages Education does not substitute for a standard teaching qualification but does provide professional development for teachers in Indigenous Languages Education, and training for others to assist teachers or work in community education in Indigenous Australian languages. If you wish to be employed as a teacher in a school you will still need to complete a standard teaching qualification for your state or territory.

Further study

Outstanding graduates who complete a research project in languages education may be eligible for admission to a higher degree by research at the University of Sydney. Please discuss your academic research plans with staff at the Faculty of Education and Social Work.


Admission requirements

The course is open to Indigenous Australians only. Applicants for admission to the Master of Indigenous Languages Education must hold a Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification; or a bachelor's degree and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Sydney, or bachelor's degree and at least one year of relevant professional experience in education.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made online directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty of Education and Social Work. On-time applications for Semester 1 (January) close in the first week of December. As this program is specifically for Indigenous Australians, applicants are required to provide confirmation that they are of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity. This confirmation can be in the form of a letter of identity from your local Aboriginal Land Council, Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Medical Service, or other official Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation. If you cannot provide a letter from any of these organisations, you will need to provide a statutory declaration confirming your Aboriginality. You will need to provide your confirmation document with your application.

International students

How to apply

Not available to international students

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.