Diploma in Languages

If you're undertaking an undergraduate (bachelors) degree at the University, you may also choose to study a concurrent diploma. A concurrent diploma can enhance your employability and allow you to develop detailed knowledge in an area outside your main area of study.

What is a Concurrent Diploma?

A concurrent diploma is a diploma qualification, taken at the same time as your undergraduate degree. While it usually adds a year onto your study, you may be able to cross-credit some of the study in your undergraduate degree to your diploma and take a 'fast track' to completion, potentially completing the diploma in the same time it takes to complete your undergraduate degree.

Please note: The Diploma in Languages is also available for graduate students. For more information please visit the Graduate Coursework Diploma in Languages web page.

Diploma in Languages

The Diploma in Languages will generally add an extra year of full-time study to your degree. However, fast-track opportunities are available to complete both your degree and the diploma in three or three and a half years of full-time study, or equivalent part-time study.

The Diploma in Languages is one of five concurrent diplomas offered to students enrolled in the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B-ARTS)
  • Bachelor of Environments (B-ENVS)
  • Bachelor of Biomedicine (B-BMED)
  • Bachelor of Music (B-MUS)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (B-COM)
  • Bachelor of Science (B-SCI)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B-ENG)
  • Bachelor of Design (B-DES)

The Diploma in Languages comprises a 100 point sequence of Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 language subjects. You will study the diploma subjects concurrently with the subjects of your bachelors course in an integrated sequence of study. Completing the diploma will normally add one year to the duration of your studies. The diploma will be awarded on completion of your degree.

While it is possible to commence the diploma at various points within your Bachelor degree, you are strongly recommended to commence your chosen language in the first semester of your course. This will provide the greatest flexibility in both meeting course requirements and controlling the duration of your studies.


Language proficiency and streams

The diploma may be studied by students with no prior knowledge of a language as well as those who have completed several years of study. You will commence the language at the entry point appropriate to your previous experience. The language programs conduct proficiency tests prior to each semester for incoming students. Refer to the Handbook (above) for details.

Take the test


It is possible to 'cross-credit' up to 50 points of language studies undertaken within your bachelor degree towards the diploma. The subjects are credited to both your bachelor degree and your diploma. This way you can complete your degree and your diploma with the addition of only 50 points (one semester). To take advantage of cross-crediting, delay commencing the diploma until you have completed the language subjects you wish to cross-credit within your bachelor course. With the approval of your home faculty it is possible to cross-credit subjects from the diploma to the bachelor course provided that suitable spaces remain in the bachelor course structure. The 50 points of cross-credited subjects may include those completed while on exchange.

Subjects completed prior to commencing your bachelor course or while on the Study Abroad program cannot be cross-credited from your bachelor course to the diploma. They may, however, be credited directly to the diploma. If you are planning to go on Study Abroad, you will need to apply for the diploma before going overseas and enrol in the language subjects within your diploma.


For local students completing a new generation undergraduate degree, the final 50 points of the Diploma in Languages is Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) free.

Please note: This is not available to students completing the Bachelor of Engineering or to students in a full-fee place.

You must have completed the first 50 points of your diploma language subjects either within your current bachelor course or within the diploma itself to be eligible for 50 points of HECS sponsorship. Credit/advanced standing received for subjects completed in other courses* that was credited to your substantive course or the diploma is not included for the purpose of the HECS sponsorship.

* This includes all external courses, other University of Melbourne courses, the Community Access Program and The University of Melbourne Extension Program.

Structuring your degree and diploma

You can commence the diploma at the start of your Bachelor course or at a later point, such as at the end of first year or in second year. It is important to consider the implications of entering the diploma at various points in your degree.

Financial and time considerations

Commencing the language in the first semester of your substantive course and the diploma in your second or third year will allow cross-crediting of subjects. On the other hand, commencing both the language and the diploma at the start of your substantive course will preclude cross-crediting: you will pay for all your language subjects, and the duration of your studies will be extended by one year.


Commencing the language in the first semester of your substantive course and the diploma in your second or third year will allow you to change your study choices later on. Conversely, commencing the diploma at the start of your substantive course will restrict your options later on. For example, you might commence the diploma at the start of your degree but subsequently decide to discontinue it and credit your completed language studies back to your substantive degree. In this situation there may not be space within your study plan for the completed language subjects.


Fast track mode and course completion

If you maintain a grade point average of 70% across your studies it is possible to fast-track completion of the diploma by undertaking a course overload (studying an additional subject) each semester. The diploma will be awarded on completion of your degree. It is not possible to be awarded the diploma without award of the degree.

Further study

If you complete the Diploma in Languages at an appropriate standard, you may be eligible for consideration for entry to the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) if you are a BA student, or for a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts if you are a non-BA student in your completed language discipline.

Please note: A major in Chinese commencing at Entry Point 1/Beginners level requires completion of 125 points of Chinese subjects. Accordingly, students who complete the Diploma in Languages in Chinese commencing at Entry Point 1/Beginners level will need to complete an additional two subjects in their bachelors course in order to complete the equivalent of a major in Chinese.

How to apply

Applications open twice each year for start-year (semester one) and mid-year (semester two) entry. It is also possible to commence the diploma in the summer semester if required. A place in the diploma cannot be deferred. You must apply for the diploma prior to the semester in which you wish to commence it.

Apply for the diploma within the Admin tab of the Student Portal

Go to Student Admin, then Enrolment, then New Course Applications and Offers and select Apply for another University of Melbourne course.

Application deadlines

For more information please see the Students Concurrent Diplomas web page.