Our language programs cater for students of all language levels. Entry is flexible, which means that whatever your level of experience, you can study a language course suited to your skills.

You will be immersed in both the language and culture of your chosen language from day one. Beginners courses focus on language skills and grammar using a communicative approach that emphasises interaction. Courses at Intermediate, Advanced and Professional levels maintain and develop language skills while providing in-depth contextual knowledge through the study of popular culture, history, linguistics and literature.


Chinese Studies

Chinese Studies encompasses the study of Chinese language, culture, society and civilisation. Besides the 4 levels of language studies: introductory, intermediate, advanced and professional, we teach Chinese literature, cinema, history, politics and philosophy. A background in Chinese Studies is useful in many areas of professional specialisation, from commerce and business to education, tourism, the media, and public service.

UNSW students also have access to the Chinese Periodicals Full-text Database; developed by Shanghai Library, the database provides comprehensive coverage of almost all the periodicals published in China between 1911-1949.

View Chinese Language Journals

French Studies

At UNSW, the undergraduate program in French Studies caters for students of all levels, from absolute beginners to advanced French speakers. A flexible entry system allows students to enrol in the language course that will build on their existing language skills. Students are able to develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking in a variety of different activities. The study of French Studies not only equips students with French communication skills, but enables them to learn more generally about the structure and function of language/s, while the study of French and Francophone literature, film, linguistics and cultures aids in the development of a critical and enquiring mind.

German Studies

German Studies at UNSW places special emphasis on integrating the study of the social, historical and cultural developments in German society with the teaching of practical language skills. This approach aims to enable students to achieve a high level of communicative competence in German while offering them a critical understanding of this fascinating modern European society.

Japanese Studies

UNSW has one of the largest and most innovative Japanese programs in Australia. We offer Japanese language courses from introductory to professional level, as well as advanced professional courses with themes ranging from Manga, and literature, to business Japanese, and discourse analysis. The program operates as the UNSW Japanese Community of Practice in which our students, teaching team and supporting Japanese speakers regularly interact with each other and participate in a variety of academic and social activities. This learning environment nurtures our students to develop intercultural communication skills and an understanding of Japan’s language, culture and society.

The teaching team received a Federal Government’s award in 2012, for being among Australia’s most inspiring teachers. UNSW has 17 exchange partner universities in Japan, including the prestigious University of Tokyo and University of Kyoto, as well as leading private universities, Waseda and Keio.

Korean Studies

At UNSW we offer one of the most active Korean Studies programs in the region, providing a balance of Korean language skills and knowledge with cultural study through various courses including language courses for all levels, courses on Korean culture, Korea’s relationship with Japan and its place in East Asia. Classes are structured to maximise individual attention and allow you ample opportunity for regular interaction in Korean.

Spanish & Latin American Studies

Spanish is the language of over 400 million people. It is spoken officially in 23 countries and is the de facto second language of the United States with approximately 40 million native Spanish speakers. At an undergraduate level, courses in Spanish and Latin American Studies are available in language, culture, film, linguistics and history. Honours and postgraduate programs at Masters and Doctorate levels are also available. Our exchange programs with universities in Spain and Latin America enhance students’ learning by offering in-country exposure to these societies and cultures. Our graduates gain skills that are valued in diplomacy, journalism, arts, education, mining, hospitality, tourism, and business. We also offer students two study abroad options for the summer, one in Mexico and the other in Spain.

Greeek and Italian

Introductory levels Greek and Italian can be studied at UNSW. The University of Sydney and UNSW have entered into a three year agreement which gives UNSW students the opportunity to undertake upper Units Greek and Italian at the University of Sydney.

Cross Institutional Study

HSC Adjustment Factors

Are you studying a language at school and want to continue your passion for languages at university?

UNSW offers HSC adjustment factors (previously known as Bonus points) high school students who have studied a secondary language subject and performed well.  These adjustment factors can help you gain entry into any Arts and Social Sciences program. To find out if HSC Plus adjustment factor points can give you a boost, visit the HSC Plus website.

Online Language Placement

If you have prior language knowledge you will need to take an online placement evaluation so that we can assess your skills and select an appropriate level of course for you.

Placement Information

Sample Courses

Chinese Studies

ARTS2453 Chinese Cinema

ARTS2455 Gender in Contemporary China

ARTS2458 Along the Silk ad: Conquerors, Traders and Explorers

ARTS2452 Chinese English Translation

Online Handbook

Course Outlines

French Studies

ARTS2482 French Cinema and Society

ARTS2485 Exploring French Linguistics

ARTS2487 French Popular Culture

ARTS3487 Key French Texts

Online Handbook

Course Outlines

German Studies

ARTS2785 Europe between the Wars

ARTS3780 Contemporary Germany: History, Politics, Society

ARTS3295 Understanding Nazi Germany: Origins, structures, explanation

ARTS3786 Confronting the Past in Contemporary Europe

Online Handbook

Course Outlines

Japanese Studies

ARTS3640 Japan and Korea: Cultures in Conflict

ARTS3639 Japan in Popular Culture

ARTS3638 Learning Japanese through Manga and Anime

ARTS3642 Approaches to Japanese Discourse Analysis

Online Handbook

Course Outlines

Korean Studies

ARTS2663 Korea and Japan: Chinese Cultural Transmission

ARTS2211 East Asia

ARTS3665 Korean Interpreting

ARTS3667 Teaching Korean as a Foreign Language

Online Handbook

Course Outlines

Spanish and Latin American Studies

ARTS2905 Frida Kahlo: Performing Passion and Pain

ARTS3575 Spanish Popular Culture

ARTS2750 Modern Latin America: Dependency and Development

ARTS3293 Empires and Colonies in Latin America

Online Handbook

Course Outlines

Study Options

Language Studies are available through the following undergraduate study options:


Honours is available as a fourth year for high achieving students in most language studies.

Find out more about Honours

Postgraduate Coursework

Currently we offer the below options for students who are interested in Postgraduate Coursework:

Higher Degree Research

We currently offer the following postgraduate degrees; Masters by Research (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Indicative areas of research supervision include:

  • Chinese Studies
  • French Studies
  • German Studies
  • Japanese Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Spanish & Latin American Studies

Link Find out how to apply for Postgraduate Research here