Studying LINGUISTICS at UFS at undergraduate level

  • Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Linguists study things like language structure (syntax & morphology), speech sounds (phonology & phonetics), meaning (semantics & pragmatics), sociolinguistics (language contact, language in education, language rights,…), historical linguistics, typology, or applied linguistics  (first or second language acquisition, speech impairments), psycholinguistics…  Linguists also document and describe languages or help speech communities to do so.
  • You can take linguistics as a major (as part of the BA General programme) or minor or take linguistics modules as electives.
  • Career pathways include:
    • work with dictionaries (lexicography)
    • work for the government
    • work for IT companies (like Google) that hire trained linguists for programming, (machine) translation and multilingual implementations
    • work for an advertising or branding company
    • work on language documentation or conduct fieldwork
    • work in the publishing industry, as a technical writer, or as a journalist
    • work for a testing agency
    • teach a foreign or second language
    • become a consultant on language in professions such as law or medicine
    • become an actor or train actors
    • become an academic (lecturer/researcher)

    Linguistic work specifically need in South Africa includes:

    • work on endangered languages (Khoisan)
    • work on documenting variation
    • work on improving materials (e.g. studying how children learn based on different types of orthographies, varieties used)
    • study language teaching and learning in the South African context
    • work on issues related to language contact, multilingualism and contact languages

Linguistics modules:

  • HLIN1514: Introduction to linguistics
  •  HLIN1644: Sociolinguistics
  • HLIN2614: Phonology, morphology, syntax
  • HLIN2644: A linguistic survey of the African continent
  • HLIN3718: Semiotics, semantics, and pragmatics
  • HLIN3728: Language acquisition

Degree pathways including Linguistics:




Majors to be taken in all three academic years:

Students select one minor from the following (to be taken in academic year one and two):

Students choose one elective from the following (subject which has not been chosen as major or minor, to be taken in academic year one, and one semester of academic year two):

Major 1 – compulsory:

  • Linguistics

Major 2 – Choose one of:

  • Afrikaans and Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German*
  • Sesotho (mother tongue)
  • South African Sign Language
  • Philosophy
  • Language Practice
  • Communication Science


  • Afrikaans and Dutch
  • Afrikaans (non-mother tongue)
  • Afrikaans for the Professions
  • Communication Science
  • English
  • English Skills
  • French
  • German
  • Language Practice
  • Philosophy
  • Sesotho (mother tongue or non-mother tongue)
  • South African Sign Language

Linguistics MUST be taken as a Minor with: Language Practice

Linguistics CAN be taken as a Minor with:
Afrikaans and Dutch; Classical Studies; Communication Science; English; French; German; Greek; Hebrew; Latin; Philosophy; Sesotho (mother tongue); South African Sign Language

Linguistics can be taken as an elective with: Art History and Image Studies History


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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