Deaf Studies

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.


What language is indigenous to New Zealand and is used by more than 26,000 people? It's New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), the language of the Deaf community, which became New Zealand's third official language in April 2006.

Deaf Studies at Victoria is the study of the language, community, and cultural experiences of Deaf people from a variety of research disciplines which address human interaction, language, cognition, education and social organisation. You cannot major in Deaf Studies, but can add these courses to many degree programmes, and postgraduate research opportunities are available.

Victoria caters for both learners and teachers of NZSL. Courses in NZSL attract undergraduate students from a wide range of Humanities, Social Science, and Science majors, while other Deaf Studies courses are designed for members of the Deaf community.

Undergraduate information

Deaf Studies is not a major, but may contribute to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or be included in other degrees by arrangement with the relevant faculty.

Two consecutive NZSL courses are offered at 100 level. They provide a practical foundation in understanding and using NZSL in a variety of contexts. They also introduce you to aspects of Deaf community and culture. There are two further courses at 200 level.

How to find out more

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

Related subjects and careers

Related subjects Careers

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List of courses

Deaf Studies courses are taught within the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Levels 2 and 3, von Zedlitz Building.

Please note: the list of courses displays undergraduate–level courses for this subject.

View list of courses