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Shaping the world with words

We are deeply saddened to announce that Professor Jae Jung Song died unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night, 23 April.  The Department is putting in place arrangements to continue his teaching and supervisions, and all of his students will be advised as those plans are finalised. Tutorials and lectures will continue as scheduled.  We know this news is shocking because we feel the shock ourselves. The University provides support for students through the Chaplaincy services, student health and OUSA support. Please feel free to contact any of these groups if you would like to talk about what has happened or feel you would like some extra support.

Studying English helps you read more deeply, in fiction, poetry and critical prose, and take in the sounds and signs of language in the world around you. Linguistics is the discipline that directly addresses questions about language and its nature, structure, use and development.

The Department of English and Linguistics at the University of Otago has a distinguished record of teaching and research. It was ranked in the top one hundred departments in the world for English language and literature in the 2016 QS World Rankings by Subject. It also ranked first in the field of English language and literature for the number of research-active teaching staff in the most recent Performance Based Research Funding Assessment of New Zealand universities.

The department offers both a major and a minor in English literature, a major and minor in Linguistics and a minor in Writing, and hosts the Scottish and Irish Studies Programme

You can find out more about the 2018 Summer School papers from English and Linguistics here.

You can gain work experience while you complete your English or Linguistics Major, by enrolling in our internship programme, HUMS301/401, a one-semester paper where you get to work for one day per week with a business or organisation, gaining valuable skills and knowledge about the workplace.

A number of prizes are awarded to outstanding students in many areas. 

New, in 2017, is a University of Otago City of LIterature PhD Scholarship for a doctoral project in literary studies.


Learn concepts and techniques for analysing texts, improve your communication skills and sharpen your perception.


Linguistics studies language and its nature, structure, use and development.

Centre for Irish & Scottish Studies

Short overview of Irish Scottish Studies and studying it at Otago.


Master Class with Professor Rita Felski

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Department of English and Linguistics invites postgraduate research students and early-career academic staff to attend a master class with Professor Rita Felski, who is visiting Otago as the 2017 Margaret Dalziel Lecturer.

2017 Dalziel Lecture: Rita Felski - Getting it: Art and attunement

Thursday, 7 September 2017

This year's Margaret Dalziel Lecture will be presented by Rita Felski, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia, Editor of New Literary History, and Niels Bohr Professor at University of Southern Denmark.


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Vickie Saunders

Vickie Saunders thumbnail

"The communication and analytical skills that I developed during my Linguistics studies, combined with an acquired learning aptitude and enthusiasm for learning new languages, are invaluable tools in my present role."