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.

The Master of Indigenous Languages Education is a one-year degree open to Indigenous Australian applicants. You will complete eight units of study in the areas of linguistics and languages education. Units of study are delivered in away-from-base mode (block-release) over three one-week blocks each semester. There is no language proficiency requirement for admission to the course or the award of the degree. If you wish to learn or undertake further study in an Indigenous language as part of the program you must have access to a suitable external language learning program or study a language offered by the University of Sydney. Such programs may be provided by TAFE, language centres, or private providers and must entail at least 36 hours of fluency teaching to be recognised as equivalent to a 6 credit point unit of study. Please contact the Faculty of Education and Social Work for advice.

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 NSW Department of Education and Communities 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 descent. 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

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