• Total units 48 Units
  • Major code ICOM-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
International Communication Major

In the contemporary globalised world, where the tempo and intensity of international contacts are continually strengthening, international communication has become increasingly crucial. This interdisciplinary major is intended to help students understand cross-cultural and cross-linguistic issues involved in international communication and a working knowledge of another language.

International communication is inseparable from intercultural communication - in the era of ‘global English’ more than ever, since one ‘international English’ can conceal deep differences in cultural assumptions and understandings. This major will introduce students to issues involved in interaction between speakers from different language backgrounds and equip them with conceptual tools to explore those issues.

The major will include either two years of language study (for beginners) or one year of language study (for non-beginners), one compulsory course (for everyone), and for beginners one other course from a list of eight and for non-beginners three other courses from the same list.



Due to structural changes in the undergraduate program rules in 2012, the courses that make up the new 2012 majors may be different to the pre-2012 majors, and therefore some courses cannot be counted between majors.  Students are advised to contact the CASS Student Office if they are unsure about their Majors.


Learning outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this minor, the students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the complex and multifaceted relations between communication, culture, language and identity;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the limits of translatability of key concepts across languages, and the implications of these limits for international communication;
  • analyse cultural assumptions underlying expressions such as “the ideals of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law” (Obama 2006: p. 284) and explain their linguistic underpinnings;
  • explain the sources of miscommunication between speakers of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds who communicate using English as a lingua franca;
  • demonstrate an understanding of potential sources of miscommunication within multilingual and multi-cultural societies such as Australia.
  • Students will have working knowledge of another language sufficient for effective communication in many contexts and for good understanding of the issues that can arise in international communication due to linguistic differences.
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, of which:

A maximum of 12 units may come from completion of 1000-level courses


The 48 units must include: 

6 units from completion of LING2021 Cross Cultural Communication (L)


A minimum of 12 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ASIA1001 Language in Asia

ASIA2001 Language in Asia

HUMN2001 Hashtag humanities: text and beyond in the digital age

LANG2103 Acquiring Pragmatics of a Second Language

LANG3001 Translation across Languages: the translation of literary texts

LANG3002 Translation across Languages: specialised material

LANG3003 European Narrative

LANG3004 Language and Society in Latin America

LANG3005 Language and Identity in a European Context

LANG3040 Critical Readings for Translators

LING2015 Language, Culture, Translation

LING2022 Language Policy and Language Politics

LING2027 Language and Society in Latin America

LING2103 Language Power and Identity

AUST1001 Learning an Indigenous Australian Language

AUST2008 Learning an Indigenous Australian language 2


A maximum of 6 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ANTH1003 Global and Local

ANTH2049 Filming Cultures

ANTH2129 Crossing Borders: Diasporas and Transnationalism

HIST2121 Electric Citizens: The Rise of the Modern Media in the United States, 1865-2000

INDN 3007: Intro SEAsian Performing Arts 

PHIL2111 Global Citizens

SOCY3022 Identity, Difference and Ethnicity


24 units from completion of the courses from the following subject areas:

ARAB Arabic

BURM Burmese

CHIN Chinese

FREN French

GERM German

HIND Hindi

INDN Indonesian

ITAL Italian

JPNS Japanese

JAVA Javanese

KORE Korean

LAOT Laotian

PASI Pacific Languages

PERS Persian

RUSS Russian

SKRT Sanskrit

SPAN Spanish

TETM Tetum


TURK Turkish


VIET Vietnamese

AUST Australian

PORT Portuguese

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