Available on the Potchefstroom Campus


Language technology is an interdisciplinary field that includes most subdisciplines of linguistics, as well as computational linguistics, natural language processing, computer science, mathematics, and statistics. When humans need to interact with computers in natural (human) language, the language they use needs to be handled and processed by computational means. This often requires broad knowledge not only about linguistics and how languages work, but also about computer science and related fields.

Why study Language Technology?

Within the modern technology-oriented world, where natural language is used more extensively to facilitate not only face to face, but also computer-based interactions between customers and companies, an urgent need exists for trained experts in the field of natural language processing. Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to apply their trade in any industry or business in South Africa that uses computers to enable interaction with customers. Graduates can also apply for positions at various international companies that have natural language research and development groups, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and the like.

Course information

The BA in Language Technology has been designed to provide the opportunity for study in Computational Linguistics and training in concepts and research methods of natural language processing. As the only institution in South Africa offering a BA in Language Technology, the NWU is a national leader in the field of language technology. Since the degree does not focus exclusively on one language, it also promotes the use and continued use of most of the official languages of South Africa, the latter being both a national government priority and an important cultural necessity.

The three-year course is presented only full-time at our Potchefstroom Campus (PC). Students must take 14 core modules from Statistics, Mathematics, Programming and Language Technology. In addition, students have to complete ten elective modules from the list of available elective language modules (Afrikaans and Dutch, English, Setswana, French or German).

Successful completion of this qualification will allow vertical articulation into the Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in the specialised fields of Language Technology or Linguistics at NQF Level 8, and further towards the cognate master’s degree at NQF Level 9.

Please note: Only 10 students who apply for this course will be selected for admission in 2021.

If more applications are received than can be accommodated, students will be ranked according to their APS score and admitted from the highest to the lowest score. This means that not all students who meet the requirements will necessarily be accommodated in the qualification.

Possible career opportunities

  • Academia & research
  • The industry that uses computers to enable interactions with customers

Natural language processing research and development groups, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM

Interesting links