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

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offers advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Student and Academic Services Office for information on admission, qualifications and courses, course advice and selection criteria, exemptions and prerequisites.

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

Rachel McKee
Programme Director
Phone: 0-4-463 5626

Related subjects and careers

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List of courses

Please note: the list of courses displays undergraduateā€“level courses for this subject.

View list of courses