BA (Hons) in English and Applied Linguistics


Program Description

What are English and Applied Linguistics?

  • Build your practical skills and subject knowledge
  • Increase your career opportunities as you become a proficient and confident English user
  • Develop your ability to communicate professionally across media and contexts
  • Satisfy your curiosity about languages and cultures

Programme aims

Our programme aims to nurture graduates:

  • who have a firm grounding in linguistic sciences which can be critically and creatively applied in a variety of business and management contexts;
  • who are capable of exercising judgment and developing intellectual curiosity to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • who will have the potential to become future leaders and entrepreneurs excelling in communication for professional purposes;
  • who possess a high level of professional communicative competence in English;
  • who have an awareness and understanding of intercultural communication in multilingual settings that enhances their global outlook and cultural appreciation as socially responsible global citizens; and
  • who can apply strong communication skills to solve real-world problems effectively in local and global multilingual professional / business settings.

Programme characteristics

  • The programme promotes the all-round development of students’ potentials to the fullest extent for the English language profession.
  • Along with a major in English Studies, students can also take a minor in another discipline offered by the University.
  • A variety of teaching and learning methods are adopted, including language and computer laboratory work, online English language databases, role-plays, simulations, talks by guest speakers, and workplace visits and placements.
  • Students explore the global and cultural dimensions of the subjects studied and further develop themselves professionally through participating in summer programmes abroad and credit-earning student exchange programmes overseas.
  • The emphasis placed by the programme on self-directed learning, project-based learning, and group work helps to develop students’ sense of entrepreneurship, leadership, and teamwork.
  • Students will acquire a set of essential skills, such as research and study skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, language and communication skills, self-reflection, peer evaluation, and teamwork, to facilitate their life-long learning journey.

Recognition by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong

The programme is currently being considered for recognition by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong and its Standing Committee on Language Education and Research as an English Language Major Degree Programme that meets the Hong Kong government’s Language Proficiency Requirement. Registered students will soon be eligible to apply for the Scholarship for Prospective English Teachers offered by the Education Bureau. The Scholarship for local and non-local students is HK$50,000 and HK$80,000 per year, respectively.

Career prospects


Graduates of the Department of English are successful in their careers and excel in various industries and professions in Hong Kong. Fresh graduates find employment in media and journalism, retail, human resources, public relations, marketing and advertising, publishing, education, and the civil service, where a high level of competence in English and professional communication is needed. 

According to PolyU’s 2018 & 2019 Graduate Employment Surveys, 92% of our graduates* were employed full-time within their year of graduation or pursued further studies. The average starting salary of our graduates is higher than the average salary of Hong Kong tertiary graduates**. Below are the top three careers by earning capacity:

Administration & Management   $17,802 
 Teaching & Research  $16,911
 Literary & Creative Work  $14,910

Some of our graduates proceed to further studies in Hong Kong or abroad in the fields of linguistics, applied linguistics, translation and interpreting, communication, and public and environmental policy studies.

* Only includes graduates employed on a full-time basis.
** Source: “Employment Status of Hong Kong’s Tertiary Students 2019 Survey” by JobsDB (

The 4-Year Curriculum

General University Requirements (GUR) [30 credits]

  • Language and Communication Requirements
  • Freshmen Seminar for Language Professionals
  • Leadership and Intra-Personal Development
  • Service-Learning
  • Cluster Areas Requirements
  • Healthy Lifestyle (non-credit bearing)

Discipline-Specific Requirements (DSR) [75 credits + 3 training credits]

Major study subjects in three focal areas [60 credits]
- Language Sciences
- Global Communicative Competence
- English for the Professions
Click here for more details of the subjects.

Major study elective subjects [15 credits]
Click here for more details of the subjects.

Work-Integrated Education (WIE) [3 training credits]
You should complete a mandatory Work-Integrated Education (WIE) placement in Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, or overseas. WIE is work-based learning experiences which take place in an organisational context relevant to a student’s future profession or to the development of general skills that will be valuable in that profession. WIE can take dierent forms, such as an internship in a company or organisation in Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, or overseas during the semester or in summer. Students can also find a wide range of international WIE placements in over 18 countries, including Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the USA through the Oce of Careers and Placement Services of the University.

Free Electives / Minor [18 credits]

  • Free elective subjects from any PolyU academic departments, including the Department of English; OR
  • A Minor from a PolyU academic department

Your Study Options

The programme allows you to pursue one of the following three study options:

  • Single discipline major
    BA (Hons) in English and Applied Linguistics (BAEAL) as a single degree programme (4 years; 123 credits + 3 WIE training credits)
  • Major / Minor option
    BA (Hons) in English and Applied Linguistics (BAEAL) under the Major / Minor option with English as the Major and a Minor from another discipline (4 years; 123 credits + 3 WIE training credits)
  • Double majors
    BAEAL and BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Translation as Double Majors (4 years; 156 credits + 3 WIE training credits)

Entrance Requirements

Local Applicants

For applicants admitting through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS), the minimum entrance requirement are the same as those of PolyU’s:

  • Level 3 or above in English Language and Chinese Language;
  • Level 2 or above in Mathematics and Liberal Studies; and
  • Level 3 or above in two elective subjects.

The following subjects will be given the highest weighting in the calculation of admission scores:

  • Chinese Language
  • English Language

International Applicants

Please click here to view the entrance requirements for international applicants.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

In the Department of English, our primary mission is to provide applied English language studies for the professions, and we aim to be recognised internationally as a leading provider of undergraduate ... Read More

In the Department of English, our primary mission is to provide applied English language studies for the professions, and we aim to be recognised internationally as a leading provider of undergraduate and postgraduate studies focusing on professional communication. Read less