What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. In Linguistics we study very interesting topics: Where does language come from? How is language structured? How do we store and access language in our brains? How does a language change over time? How do we use language in the real world? How do we understand  one another? And many more ...

Our Department is uniquely positioned to accommodate the needs of students who are interested in the theory and practice of language.  The Department of Linguistics is the host department for the degree BA Language Practice. The modules that form part of this degree are designed to teach skills such as editing, translation, interpreting and research. Students in our BA Language Practice degree programme are also exposed to modules in introductory linguistics, cross-cultural communication, language awareness, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.

What kinds of career opportunities are available?

Once qualified, students are ready to enter the job market as translators, interpreters, language planners, copy writers, copy editors, language teachers or language practitioners.

Is it possible to study Linguistics at postgraduate level?

Yes. At postgraduate level, our honours and master’s degrees in Applied Linguistics focus on Translation Studies, Text Editing and Interpreting. We offer the following postgraduate degrees:

      - Honours in Applied Linguistics (full-time or part-time)

      - Master's in Applied Linguistics

      - Doctorate in Applied Linguistics

Are there any bursaries available for the BA Language Practice degree programme?

Again, yes. The Department of Linguistics, in cooperation with the national Department of Arts and Culture, offers attractive bursaries for students wishing to enrol for the BA degree programme in Language Practice. In addition to registering for the two compulsory majors, Linguistics and Language Practice, bursary holders must enrol for an indigenous language as a third major. This bursary covers students’ full tuition fees as well text books and printing costs.

How can I contact the Department of Linguistics at UJ?

You are welcome to phone Ms Trudie Strauss at +27 11 559 2694 or you can send an e-mail to


Where can I get an application form?

You can contact the University of Johannesburg’s Enrolment Centre on +27 11 559 4555. Application forms are also available on the UJ website:​.


By when should I apply for the BA Language Practice degree programme?

International students must apply before 31 August. The closing date for other applications is 31 October.


Where can I get more information about the bursary scheme?

You can visit the website of the Faculty of Humanities at or the Department of Linguistics at There is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the bursary on this website.

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