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 language either alongside your undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or after you have completed undergraduate studies.

You can choose from fourteen languages offered by the School of Languages and Cultures. The Diploma is offered in both Standard mode, offered part time during semester; and the more flexible Accelerated mode, currently offered in Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

This diploma will ensure that you are confident with language skills and have a strong understanding of the culture and societies in which that language is spoken.

For more information about the Diploma of Language Studies, including the accelerated mode visit the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website.

Please note that you need to apply for the Accelerated Mode by 1 September 2017 and enrol by 31 October 2017.

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, 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 available for some languages and allows completion of the Diploma in 15 months.


The accelerated pathway of the Diploma of Language Studies is available for 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.

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 15 months. 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 junior 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 and 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, postgraduate or combined degree program at the University of Sydney; or

(b) be enrolled in an undergraduate degree, postgraduate 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.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University via the Online Application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

You can then select the Standard or Accelerated mode on your online application. If you intend to undertake the Accelerated Mode, you must submit your application by 1 September to allow time for your application to be processed and for you to enrol in your units before classes begin in January.

For other useful information, visit our How to Apply page.

Assumed knowledge

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

Accelerate mode: Level 1 is designed for students with no or very little knowledge of the language.

International students

How to apply

This course is currently not available to international students.