Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Language Applications


Program Description

Linguistics and Language Applications

  • Major: Linguistics and Language Applications
  • Degree / Award Title: Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Language Applications
  • Offering Academic Unit: Department of Linguistics and Translation
  • Mode of Study: Full-time

Aims of Major

This major aims to educate students so that they will become language professionals who are familiar with linguistics and language-related applications.

Students will also develop an analytical, critical and creative mind and an open attitude towards people from different cultures.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Major (MILOs)

Upon successful completion of this Major, students should be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of linguistics, language skills and modern language technology to their professional careers.
  • Perform, as proficient, effective and versatile communicators with a good understanding of the nature of language, language-related applications in a competitive and multilingual workplace.
  • Benefit from their exposure to world languages and cultures when working with people in an international and culturally diverse workplace.
  • Think analytically, critically and creatively, and apply their training in knowledge discovery, evaluating alternatives and formulating ideas, which may be innovative, to their study, work and life.
  • Continue to develop intellectually in a life-long learning process.

Degree Requirements



  1. For students with recognised Advanced Level Examinations or equivalent qualifications.
  2. For Associate Degree/Higher Diploma graduates admitted as senior-year intake students.

Professional Recognition

Linguistics and Language Applications-major is recognized by the Education Bureau as an English language major degree for the purpose of teaching in Hong Kong.

Additional Information

Besides being a well-established academic discipline in its own right, linguistics, the scientific study of language, often plays an important role in curricula of language-related majors in universities of the world. In Hong Kong, linguistics degrees are in general recognized as English language majors for the purpose of teaching in schools. Linguistics students may have their strengths in other languages and may choose careers in various language-related fields. Coupling language with information technology also gives students an advantage in the modern world.

Start Your Career Here

This major provides students with an education in linguistics and language applications. Students will develop an analytical mind and an open attitude towards people from different cultures, which will prepare them for careers that require knowledge of both language and information technology. This programme is recognised by the Education Bureau as an English language degree for the purpose of teaching in Hong Kong.

What You Will Be Studying

There are two main subject areas: Linguistics and Language Applications.

  • Core Linguistic courses include Linguistics, Language in Society, Language and Mind, Phonetics, Phonology, Syntax and Semantics.
  • Core Language Applications courses include Introduction to Electronic Publishing, Language Technology, and Computational Linguistics.
  • At a more advanced level, students can choose to study courses such as Computer Assisted Language Learning, Conversation Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, First Language Acquisition, Instrumental Phonetics, Machine Translation, Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Second Language Acquisition, Sociolinguistics, Text Linguistics, Language and Cognition, etc.

Bonus Features

Participating in the internships and other co-curricular activities offered provides valuable job experience in fields that require knowledge of languages, linguistics and language applications.

Exchange programmes provide students with opportunities to gain experience of studying and living abroad for a semester, by paying the local tuition fees.

Did You Know?

With the growing popularity of the Web and apps as information resources and means of interaction, the field of language applications is advancing as academic institutions and industry partners work together to realise the growing potential of linguistically sophisticated applications.

Language professionals are needed not just for teaching jobs at all levels, but also for vacancies in the private sector such as editors, technical writers, translators, reporters, journalists, anchorpersons, PR personnel, etc.

In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, Linguistics of the City University of Hong Kong ranked 26th in 2017 and 2018.


Department of Linguistics and Translation (options: BA Linguistics and Language Applications, BA Translation and Interpretation)

  • Year of Entry: 2020
  • Mode of Funding: Government-funded
  • Admission Code: 1105 Department of Linguistics and Translation (options: BA Linguistics and Language Applications, BA Translation and Interpretation)
  • Mode of Study: Full-time
  • Indicative Intake Target (subject to change): direct application places
    • Local Students: 7 for the Department of Linguistics and Translation
    • Non-Local Students: Direct Application route for international and mainland Non-Gaokao students: around 250. NUEE route [全国普通高等学校统一招生计划(统招)] for mainland Gaokao students: around 225
  • Normal Duration of Programme: 4 years
  • Direct/Non-JUPAS Application Deadline: 2 January 2020 (Local & Non-local)

Department of Linguistics and Translation

The Department of Linguistics and Translation offers programmes of study at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels designed to address the growing needs of Hong Kong and other Chinese communities for language professionals well versed in linguistics and language applications, translation and interpretation.

At the undergraduate level, our programmes include B.A. in Linguistics and Language Applications and B.A. in Translation and Interpretation. In addition, the Department also offers minors in Linguistics and Language Applications, and Translation.

At the postgraduate level, the Department offers a non-Government funded M.A. programme: M.A. in Language Studies (with streams of Corpus and Empirical Linguistics, Pedagogical Linguistics, General Linguistics, and Translation and Interpretation).

Apart from the taught programmes mentioned above, the Department also offers research degree studies toward M.Phil. and PhD degrees in the core research areas of the Department.

The Department encourages and promotes research in such areas as general linguistics, language technology or intelligent linguistic applications and translation and interpretation studies. According to QS World University Rankings by Subject, Linguistics at the City University of Hong Kong has been ranked among the top 50 universities worldwide for 8 consecutive years (from 2011 to 2018) and has risen to 26 since 2017. Research emphases in the Department include corpus and empirical linguistics, computer-assisted language learning, computational linguistics, discourse analysis, interpreting, translation (machine and human), syntax, semantics, phonetics and terminology.

The Department also maintains links with The Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies (HCLS). Besides, the Department is operating three laboratories. The Language and Cognition Laboratory (LCL) is established to be one of the best equipped cognitive/neurocognitive laboratories of language studies in the region. It has all the research tools, basic as well as advanced, and state-of-the-art research facilities for carrying out cognitive/neurocognitive research in various aspects of language-related human cognitive capabilities. The Phonetics Laboratory was established in 1995. Its main research interests include phonetics and typology of the sounds of Chinese dialects, phonetic explanations for sound changes in Chinese, and phonetics in second language acquisition. It has a collection of research tools for the investigation of the acoustical, articulatory, perceptual, and physiological properties of speech sounds. The Department also has a multipurpose laboratory with the most advanced equipment and facilities designed for professional training in simultaneous and consecutive interpretation as well as for language learning.

Admission Arrangements for Direct/Non-JUPAS Applicants

Applicants to this programme (admission code: 1105) will be considered for admission to first-year studies at the Department of Linguistics and Translation. Students will enter a major (current major options: Linguistics and Language Applications, Translation and Interpretation) after one year of study. The top 40% of students# will have a free choice of majors offered by the Department. The other 60% of students will be allocated a major within the Department, subject to the availability of places and the selection criteria set by individual majors.

# Based on CGPA with no failed grades and completion of at least 30 credit units including College/Department required course.

Applicants seeking advanced standing entry can submit an application for the following programmes:

  • BA Linguistics and Language Applications (admission code: 1236A)
  • BA Translation and Interpretation (admission code: 1248A)

Entrance Requirements for Direct/Non-JUPAS Applicants

To be considered for admission, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements.

First-Year Curriculum

During their first year, students will study a broad range of Gateway Education (GE), College foundation and specified courses, as well as Department foundation-year courses in linguistics and translation.


Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

Welcome to City University of Hong Kong (CityU). We are a dynamic university established in 1994 and uniquely located in the heart of Hong Kong, Asia's world city. Our goals are to pursue high levels ... Read More

Welcome to City University of Hong Kong (CityU). We are a dynamic university established in 1994 and uniquely located in the heart of Hong Kong, Asia's world city. Our goals are to pursue high levels of excellence, promote innovation and nurture creativity with the aim to improve people's lives. In a city where East meets West, our vision is to become globally recognised for professional education, one that emphasises the mutual enrichment of different cultures and intellectual traditions, and for research that makes a real difference. Read less