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Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Scheme in Linguistics and Translation

Sept 2022 Entry

Programme code: JS3230

Faculty of Humanities
Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Mode of Study Full-time

Normal Duration

4 years

Credit Required for Graduation

126 (including 3 Work-Integrated Education training credits)

Scheme/Programme Intake 37
Fund Type Government-Funded

Scheme/Programme Leader(s)

Programme Leader

Dr LI Dechao

Deputy Programme Leader

Dr WU Wing Li
PhD, MPhil, MA, BA


  • Students will be awarded the following award upon successful completion of the graduation requirements:
    • BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Translation
  • The option of Secondary Major in AI and Data Analysis is available to the students of BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Translation. Admission to the Secondary Major is on competitive basis and subject to different credit requirement for graduation. Please see " Secondary Major Details" section.
  • To recognise the outstanding academic performance of HKDSE students, the Faculty of Humanities will grant entry scholarships to eligible HKDSE students admitted to the programme via JUPAS. The award criteria for the scholarship are provided in the information sheet.

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims 

  • To train language and knowledge professionals for our knowledge-rich and highly connected world, with a special focus on biliteracy and trilingual proficiency.
  • To endow our graduates with highly sophisticated communication skills, especially the following: cultural and domain sensitivity in intercultural and corporate communication; inter-personal skills and empathy in both face-to-face communication and over digital media; and the technological knowhow to master current and future new media.
  • To equip our graduates with a general knowledge of the underlying concepts and profession-specific literacy and skills requirements in linguistics, speech sciences, translation and interpreting, and corporate communication.
  • To equip our graduates with competence in handling data analytics for language content and with the ability to extract and distil relevant trends and information from big linguistic data sets to meet the needs of society.


Programme Characteristics

  • Leveraging the combined strengths of linguistics and translation to create a synergy of theories, applications and professional training.
  • Capitalising on advanced information and communication technologies (ICT) to prepare language professionals for digital applications across a wide range of language-related professions (e.g., machine translation/interpreting and automatic tools for text and speech processing).


Medium of Instruction

  • English and Chinese*


* Putonghua by default; Cantonese only used in Elective Subjects on the Cantonese language

Recognition & Prospects

Career Prospects

With their strong language proficiency and competence in technology, BALT graduates can pursue careers in various professions, local and overseas, including but not limited to the following:

  • Linguistic research
  • Speech sciences+
  • Translation/interpreting
  • Administration and management
  • Education
  • Corporate communication
  • Language data analysis
  • Digital/social media content creation and editing
  • Social/cultural analysis
  • Editing and publishing
  • Civil service
  • Marketing and sales


+ Postgraduate study such as the Master of Speech Therapy in CBS or other recognised programmes must be pursued to become a registered speech therapist in Hong Kong.


Credit Requirements

The overall credit requirements for BALT are as follows:

Part I General University Requirements (GUR) 30 credits
Part II Discipline-Specific Requirement (DSR) 75 credits + 3 training credits
Part III Minor or free Electives 18 credits
Credit requirement for graduation 123 credits + 3 training credits


There are three academic pathways for students to pursue:

  1. Major and Minor/free Electives
  2. Single Discipline Major
  3. Double Major (BALT and BAEAL)


Compulsory Subjects (18 subjects + 3 training credits)

Introduction to Translation; Introduction to Linguistics; Work Integrated Education (WIE); Introduction to Bilingual Communication; Academic and Technical Chinese Writing; Introduction to Modern Chinese; Introduction to Interpreting; Consecutive Interpreting; Translation for Corporate Communication; Translation for the Media in the Digital Age; Programming and Data Analysis for Language Studies; Semantics: Meaning in Language; Sounds and Sound Systems of Language; Pragmatics: Language in Use; Project in Language Studies; Translation Studies, Comparative and Contrastive Studies of Chinese and English Grammar; English for Advanced Academic Writing


Elective Subjects (excluding subjects in the Minor in Japanese and Minor in Korean within CBS)

Corporate Communication: Theory and Practice; Intercultural Communication in Corporate Context; Translation for Science and Technology; Translation for Legal Work; Simultaneous Interpreting; Literary Translation; Translation Criticism; Language and Society; Varieties of Chinese; Cantonese Linguistics; Fundamentals of Computational Linguistics; Syntax; Phonetics and Phonology; Corpus and Language Technology for Language Studies; Advanced Putonghua Communication Skills; Psycholinguistics; Language, Cognition and Brain; Language Acquisition; Analysis of Language Samples: Clinical Implications; Child Communication Disorders and Special Education Needs; Communication Disorders Across the Life Span; Language and Speech Production: Anatomical and Physiological Perspectives; Techniques in Language Sciences; Statistics for Language Studies; Programming Fundamentals; Data Structures

Secondary Major Details

The option of Secondary Major in AI and Data Analytics is available to the students of BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Translation.


Students who pursue this pathway will complete 75 academic credits + 3 training credits for the Primary Major (BALT) and 36 credits for the Secondary Major (AIDA).  Certain credits including the Integrated Capstone Project can be double-counted between the Primary and Secondary Majors. The list of compulsory and elective subjects for the Primary Major (BALT) is almost the same as the existing programme BALT.  The only difference is in the capstone project: students will complete an integrated capstone project (involving both BALT and AIDA) instead of the BALT regular capstone.  The minimum credit requirement of BALT + AIDA is at least 132 credits.


BALT curriculum focuses on the analysis of linguistic structures (speech sounds, words, sentences, and discourses in both Chinese and English), language processing by humans, and multiple functions of language in society. The curriculum also includes computer programming, text processing, computational linguistics, and language data analytics. This creates a natural connection with the AIDA curriculum. By extending BALT students’ exposure to include a cluster of more specialized subjects on IT and big data analytics, they will be in a privileged position to apply linguistic and data analytics skills in an increasingly bilingual professional workplace, thus enhancing their employability.


An important learning outcome of BALT is to train the students with empirical data analysis tool and computational methods. In the digital era, linguistic and IT-mediated skill sets are evidently in great demand. BALT graduates can make meaningful contributions to various sectors in the society (e.g. business, marketing, journalism and media, education, healthcare, public services, academic research) by analyzing social sentiments, spotting emergent trends, generating predictions, and providing corpus-based insights to facilitate corporate and administrative decision-making.



There is no professional accreditation for BALT+AIDA.

Entrance Requirements and Subject Weightings

Satisfy the University's General Entrance Requirements.

There is no compulsory subject requirement. Preferred subject(s) with the highest weighting for admission score calculation include(s):

  • Chinese Language
  • English Language

Admission Score Calculation Mechanism for the Current Admission Exercise

Chinese & English Languages + Any Best 3 Subjects

Average HKDSE Scores of Admittees

2021/22: 21.2 (Chinese & English Languages + Any Best 3 Subjects)


For further programme information, please contact:
the General Office (tel.: 2766 7463; email: cbs.enquiry@polyu.edu.hk).