Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Scheme in Linguistics and Translation

Sept 2022 Entry

Programme code: JS3230

Duration & Credit Requirement

Duration and Credit Requirement

Mode of Study
Normal Duration

4 years

Credits Required for Graduation

126 (including 3 training credits of Work-Integrated Education)

Fund Type
Consider Second Choice Applications
Scheme/Programme Leader(s)

Programme Leader

Dr LI Dechao

PhD, MA, BA 

Deputy Programme Leader

Dr WU Wing Li

PhD, MPhil, MA, BA

  • Students are allowed to enrol on any awards without being subject to further assessment.
  • 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.

Aims & Characteristics

Aims and 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




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 Detail

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.

Recognition & Prospects

Recognition and 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.

Entrance Requirements

Entrance Requirements

Please click here to view the entrance requirements for international applicants.

Applicants are invited to attend an interview, accompanied by a possible written test in English and Chinese, to evaluate their potential/suitability for admission to the programme, and to examine their communication skills and interest in the field of study. 



For further programme information, please contact:

the General Office (tel.: 2766 7463; email:

Student Message

Student Message

My four years studying in the BACBS programme were very fruitful. I was given many opportunities for development in multiple academic fields and different locations around the world. The course design of the BACBS is both solid and flexible. I chose to focus on subjects related to linguistics and speech sciences while also taking some translation and communication subjects and completing a Minor in Computing. The faculty members in CBS are very supportive of students who are interested in research. I completed several research assistantships during my study, which were very helpful when I was applying for postgraduate programmes. I was also very lucky to have presented my final-year project at several international and regional conferences, which connected me to the international linguistic research community and stimulated my curiosity about research. My undergraduate study also included an exchange semester in Singapore, two summer internships in Beijing and Moscow and a 10-day internship trip to New York. I am very grateful for these humbling experiences, which broadened my vision of the world. Indeed, there are numerous ways to plan your university life in the BACBS programme, and opportunities are abundant if you are eager to explore.


Luo Jin (2017 Graduate)

My four years at CBS were all too brief, but unforgettable. Whilst a lot of graduates feel lost and uncomfortable in their new workplaces, CBS equipped me well to become a well-rounded professional who can face new challenges. Most importantly, we have very kind and patient teachers, who are always helpful to students in need and provide countless opportunities for overseas internships or exchange study (I went to Osaka!). In CBS, only studying your lecture notes does not lead to good grades, as the curriculum is designed to lay the groundwork to develop practical skills such as public speaking and presentations. The experience here provided a robust foundation for me to develop my career as a financial PR professional, which requires you to be well-equipped with both speaking and writing skills and the ability to multitask. The most important thing is precise time management, which you cannot learn from books, but have to develop through experience! Indeed, these skills are not only applicable to communication-related careers, but very useful in all kinds of jobs. CBS gave me a platform not only to develop my essential knowledge of languages, but also to sharpen my skills, giving me the capability to further develop my own career and explore my own diverse possibilities in life. In summary, you might be a blank sheet of paper at the beginning, but over four years at CBS, you will become your own treasure map.

Lum Chun Fu (2017 Graduate)

Looking back over my four-year journey as a student of BACBS, I am glad to have been a part of a family that witnessed my growth and improvement.

The BACBS programme provides a diverse choice of disciplines, including Bilingual Corporate Communication, Linguistics and Translation and Interpreting, and also professional knowledge and practical skills in these specific areas. All of my valuable learning experiences equipped me with enhanced bilingual language proficiency and increased my understanding of the central role of culture in communication. The knowledge and skills I acquired helped me fully adapt to a working environment, in which good language competence is indispensable.

The programme also offers opportunities for experiences overseas. In my third year, I went to Denmark as an exchange student. I made friends from around the world and broadened my horizons considerably. This was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life, and I am thankful that the university provided me with such a valuable opportunity.


Yvonne Wong (2017 Graduate)

The PolyU campus community is built on warmth and affection. From joining the Faculty’s orientation programmes to taking part in activities hosted by various student groups, and through the big family of the Student Ambassador scheme, I have made lifelong friends and encountered many helpful schoolmates. We share our ups and downs, and lend each other a helping hand whenever we face difficulties. Throughout this year, I have been immersed in a multicultural environment with classmates from all over the world, like Austria, Italy, Singapore and Taiwan. By participating in the International Summer School and volunteering in the Buddy Programme for inbound exchange students, I have had various chances to use my communication skills and embrace our cultural differences.

PolyU is an outstanding place for professional development. The Speech and Language Science Laboratory in our department is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and is excellent for conducting various linguistic experiments. I am sure that studying in such a well-equipped and joyful university will help me to become a versatile future talent.

Lee Tsz Ching, Coco

Additional Documents Required

Additional Documents Required

Transcript / Certificate


Interview Arrangement

Interview Arrangement

Date: From November 2021 to May 2022
Mode:Individual/Group interview, with possible written test

To evaluate the potential/suitability of applicants for admission to the programme, and to examine their communication skills and interest in the field of study

Medium:English and Chinese

About 15 minutes for interview


Only shortlisted applicants will be invited to interviews