School of Language Arts and Media





Did you know?

Approximately 25% of the world’s languages are spoken in the Pacific region, by less than 1% of the world’s population! Papua New Guinea has more languages than any other country in the world, while Vanuatu can boast the highest number of languages per person. USP is an exciting place to study linguistics, and the logical choice for Pacific linguistics.

Study Linguistics at the heart of the world’s most multilingual region

You can study Linguistics as part of an undergraduate degree in: 

  • Linguistics
  • Pacific Language Studies 
  • Literature and Language 
  • BAGCED / BEd with a teaching subject in Literature and Language

Linguistics courses are also available as electives to students in other programmes.

At postgraduate level, you can pursue a:

  • Postgraduate diploma in Linguistics
  • Postgraduate diploma in Applied Linguistics & ELT
  • MA in Linguistics or Applied Linguistics
  • PhD in Linguistics

Linguistics graduates go on to work in fields that include language teaching, journalism, translation, editing, marketing, policy and planning, business, tourism, and research.

Courses in Linguistics

Courses in Linguistics

LL118    The languages of the Pacific
LL122    Introduction to language studies
LL211    The structure of English
LL216    Language use in the 21st century Pacific
LL311    English in the Pacific
LL317    Applied linguistics
LL319    Selected topics in linguistics

AL400    Research methods (for linguistics)
LL413    Sociolinguistics
LL416    Language acquisition and multilingualism
LL418    Integrating the four skills in English
LL419    Technologies, texts and techniques for English language teaching
LL426    Advanced language analysis

BA Linguistics  
LL118, LL122, LL211, LL216, LL311, LL317, with LL319 as an elective

BA Pacific Language Studies 
Core courses: LL118, LL216, LL317
Plus one of the following Language tracks:
Fijian: LL161, LL162, LL261, LL262, LL362
Hindi: LL171, LL172, LL271, LL272, LL372
French: LL122, LL141, LL241, LL341, LL342
Chinese: LL122, LL181, LL281, LL381, LL382
Cook Islands Maori: LL191, LL215, LL291, LL391, LL392
Languages of the region: Two from LL166, LL196, LL176, LL141, LL181, plus three from a list of option courses

BA Literature and Language 
LL118, LL211, LL216, LL317 plus 4 Literature courses (please see the handbook for details) 

BAGCED / BEd with a teaching subject in Literature and Language
LL118, LL122, LL211, LL311 plus 4 Literature courses (please see the handbook for details)

Postgraduate diploma in Linguistics
AL400, LL413, LL416, LL426

Postgraduate diploma in Applied Linguistics & ELT (See Frequently Asked Questions)
LL416, LL418, LL419, LL426

MA Linguistics 
EITHER: thesis only  
OR:     a supervised research project, plus two further 400-level courses, which may come from Pacific Studies, Applied Linguistics, or another appropriate discipline as approved by your supervisor

MA Applied Linguistics 
EITHER: thesis only (AL400 is a pre-requisite before starting this programme) 
OR:     a supervised research project, plus AL400 and LL413

Our Graduates

Our Graduates

Mereseini Tuivuniwai graduated in 2005 with a BA in Literature & Language and Management & Public Administration. She has since travelled the world working as Communications Officer at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.


Priestley Habru graduated in 2002 with a BA in Journalism and Literature & Language. He is currently the owner and editor of the Island Sun newspaper in the Solomon Islands.


Sheena Mala
graduated in 2010 with a BA in Literature/Language and Education. She now puts her degree into practice as a senior English teacher on her home island of Ambae, Vanuatu, where she is also studying towards a postgraduate diploma in Linguistics.


Wilfred Fimone was a gold medallist in Linguistics in 2014. He progressed straight onto a PG Diploma in Linguistics and is currently pursuing a Masters, focusing on his own language, Rotuman.


Hilda Vukikomoala is working on her Master’s in Literature, and her research aims to shed light on the neglected contributions of Pacific Island women towards the establishment of Pacific Literature. Her main repository of research will be Pacific journals and periodicals from the 1960s-1990s. Her research aims to identify shared themes, styles and approaches in the literature of the women writers, to investigate the impact of women writers and their published works on the decolonisation processes then occurring across the Pacific Islands, and to think regionally (citing Epeli Hauofa’s “Our Sea of Islands”) but also to look at nation-specific issues and contexts. 

Sanjaleen Prasad is pursuing her PhD in English Literature. Her thesis, as a study of literary representation, will examine the phenomena of cruel optimism in relation to diaspora, exploring fictional narratives produced by South Asian writers. The study will investigate the characters' object of longing and reasons their relationship to these objects can be characterized as cruelly optimistic, and will also endeavor to determine how and whether these characters are successful in negotiating their ambitions and reconcile the ideal and actuality. The psychoanalytical approach will be considered together with diaspora theory. Sanjaleen is currently a lecturer at The University of Fiji in the Department of Language, Literature and Communication. 

Jane Glynne Maefuaka Kanas is working on an interdisciplinary PhD that draws on frameworks from both Linguistics and flexible learning. She hopes to identify a model for the flexible delivery of Pacific language courses that is driven by learner needs, pedagogical and technological considerations. The model will be piloted through the development of courses in one particular language, Bislama.


Manpreet Kaur is pursuing her PhD in English Literature. Her thesis, as a study of literary representation, extends to home, migration and the formation of a new identity. Focusing on the South Asian diaspora, the thesis will explore the motifs of acculturation, cultural assimilation, hegemony, identity, diaspora, globalization and threshold when demarcating home, migration and migratory patterns. Manpreet is currently a lecturer at The University of Fiji in the Department of Language, Literature and Communication.

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Page updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018
School of Language Arts and Media (SLAM)
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji,
Tel: +679 323 2214
Fax: +679 323 1500