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Bachelor of Communication (Linguistics)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available at Wellington
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Best of both worlds

If you love language and want to broaden your career options, the Bachelor of Communication (Linguistics) offers the best of both worlds.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Communication parent structure.

What is it like?

In the Bachelor of Communication (Linguistics) you will explore how the brain manages language and the unwritten rules of interaction. You’ll also uncover the underlying structures that shape our understanding of language and communication in settings as different as boardrooms, newsrooms, social media and living rooms. For example, you might examine murderers’ text messages, provide a commentary for a sports match, construct an alien language, listen to global hip hop to track the influence of African-Americanisms, and observe people talking to dogs.

The BC (Linguistics) gives you enhanced language skills for both the social and professional worlds. You will gain an understanding of the functions of language and the cultural implications of how we communicate in media, socio-political and legal contexts.

Skills sought-after by employers

You will learn transferable skills that employers seek - your own personal excellent written and oral communication skills and an ability to understand the subtexts of communication from others and diagnose unintended effects or communication ‘bottlenecks’.

Employment opportunities

85% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation. These graduates are employed across nine different industry categories with more than 60 different job titles.

At the heart of our lives

Language is at the heart of communication. Linguistics, the study of human languages, helps you understand how language has evolved, how it is structured and how it is used today to communicate in our working and personal lives.

Gain a relevant qualification

Massey University’s linguistics major offers courses that specifically examine language in New Zealand and the Pacific, ensuring relevant, local context. Other courses like forensic linguistics will help you understand corporate-related areas such as intellectual property and authorship identification. You will enjoy studying towards an interesting, relevant qualification.

International recognition

Massey University’s communication and media studies programmes are ranked in the top 150 world-wide (by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings).

We are ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 in the world for our business administration and communication programmes by ShanghaiRanking.


A good fit if you:

  • Have a curious mind
  • Love to know how things work
  • Are interested in the ways language can help or hinder successful communication in both social and professional spheres.
Rebecca Forrest
Bachelor of Communication
(Linguistics) Minor in Communication Management
Graduated in 2013
Digital Project Manager, Vinad Media, Vietnam

“I have found the skills I learnt from the degree to be hugely valuable across the different fields I have found myself in…”

Almost immediately after finishing my final course (three weeks!) I flew out to Korea where I taught English for seven months. I worked with students aged between 6 and 17 years old. I taught comprehension, phonics, carried out testing and provided coaching for speech competitions. I worked alongside the head teacher and interviewed new foreign teachers. It was amazing to see the cultural components of the degree really come to light during my time at the school.

A few weeks after my return to New Zealand, I got a job at a not-for-profit where I really got to put my communication skills to use. I wrote a brochure, engaged in website planning, edited policies, formal templates wrote letters or publics and initiated the development of a quarterly newsletter to improve the organisation profile.

I was at the not-for-profit just shy of six months before being approached by a private business. I was invited on board to provide internal management assistance to support business expansion. The role was been designed to rotate me through different areas of small business operations.

After a year back in New Zealand I couldn’t shake my affections for Asia and thirst for something more.

So I packed up my life once again and set off to China. I decided to call Shanghai home. I first started out as a teacher in public schools. After six months, a bit of proactivity and a little networking, I scored a marketing internship at international branding consultancy; Added Value. Turns out they are actually the agency behind the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign! I worked there over the summer and continued to teach on the side for extra income.

As the cooler months started to roll around, my teaching chapter came to an exciting close at the beginning of 2016 when I found my dream job. Landing a paid position as a communication strategist for global social media marketing agency; We Are Social. My role was varied and busy, my days were long exciting; copywriting, coming up with campaign activations, coining compelling hashtags, and even the odd appearance in client videos from time to time.

However, given the erratic nature of visa regulations in China, my stint there ended sooner than I’d hoped. I headed out to Vietnam where I now work in digital marketing.

Saigon is so different to Busan, to Shanghai, and miles different to Sydney. The people are so warm. The rainy season is beyond anything I've experienced or could have ever imagined. The food (obviously) is delicious. I'm eating everything! I'm very happy for now and will stay here for as long as it makes sense, I guess!


Massey University's linguistics major prepares graduates to work in a growing number of fields where an understanding of the systems, structures, functions and contemporary uses of language strengthens knowledge of communication.

Career flexibility

This degree gives you a skill-set that is attractive to employers, but also provides flexibility for career pathways.

Careers could include work as a technical or specialist writer, in market research and analysis. Large technology companies seek graduates to work on natural language processing, speech analysis and data collection. Your highly sought-after skills will also be useful for roles in communication, writing for the web and editing, in fact with any position that deals with human language.

Skills you will learn:

  • Analytical skills
  • Logical thinking
  • Ability to produce clear communication
  • Ability to diagnose communication effects and processes
  • Ability to advise on the role of specific language strategies as part of a broader communication strategy
  • Ability to understand language structures at the root of all languages, not just English, thereby enhancing cross-cultural communication and foreign language learning

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