The Department started as a sub-Department under the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures in 1974. In 1978, it produced its first set of graduates. In 1981, it gained its autonomy as a fully fledged Department. Dr. P.A. Nwachukwu (as he then was) was its pioneer Head of Department. The Department was until 2005 called and referred to as Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages. In 2005, the Senate approved a new name for it (as above entitled). The Department has since its inception graduated about 50 doctoral, hundreds of Masters and thousands of bachelor degree candidates who are well placed in the development of the nations.

The Department has progressively designed and redesigned its programmes to meet the challenges of the society. The programme is now expanded to include other Nigerian languages such as Yoruba, Hausa and Ibibio. This means that the Department will have the capacity to produce graduates in these languages. These programmes are designed to suit candidates with School Certificates and General Certificates in Education and those with Certificates in Education and Diplomas in relevant areas as approved by the University Senate. Each of the programmes can therefore be run in three years or four years depending on the qualification of the applicant.


Our main objectives include:

a)   To expose students to various aspects of the study of Igbo linguistics, Igbo literature and culture with a view to helping them to achieve greater competence and sophistication in their understanding and appreciation of the values inherent in these aspects.

b)     To train them to be able to apply their knowledge for the advancement of their society.

c)     To prepare them for further studies in the discipline and for other relevant careers

d)     To be able to engage in simultaneous broadcasting and translation and interpreting in Igbo

e)     To be efficient Igbo editors and publishers with the skills acquired through the study of the Igbo grammar

f)   To equip students with a sound knowledge of the principles and current theories and practices of linguistics.

g)     To train them to be able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in solving language related tasks and problems, particularly in their environments.

h)     To prepare them for further studies in teaching, media, speech and hearing remediation and language engineering.

i)       To prepare them for further studies in the discipline and for other relevant careers

j)       To be able to engage in simultaneous broadcasting and translation and interpreting

k)     To be efficient editors and publishers with the skills acquired through linguistics

  1. The programme is designed to effectively combine the objectives of the B.A. Linguistics and all other Nigerian languages and cultures as listed above



In keeping with the motto of the University of Nigeria, the philosophy of the Department is to enable man to know and understand himself and his environment through the study of linguistics and language. The discipline exposes the students to the multi-disciplinary and interlocking nature of the human society in their use of language. The programme furnishes the students with a live-long education that they can adapt in infinite ways to their chosen careers in life. It lays emphases on linguistics and the Nigerian Languages.



The programmes lead to the award of B.A. Igbo Studies, B.A. Linguistics, B.A. Linguistics and Igbo Studies, B.A. Linguistics and Ibibio Studies, B.A. Linguistics and Hausa Studies and Linguistics and Yoruba Studies. For the standard four year programme, the students are first introduced to the general principles and concerns of linguistics before they are introduced into the many areas of specialisation where linguistics is practiced theoretically or where it forms the superstructure of the areas of specialisation. Participation of students in field work and laboratory practice is mandatory.

Introductory courses in Linguistics are available as service courses in the first year for students of English, Languages, Mass Communication and other departments which need them.


Departmental Administration 


The Head of Department is in charge of administrative and academic issues concerning staff and students. As such, official complaints and suggestions are expected to be address to or through the head of Department for official response.


Departmental Academic Organogram 

The department consist of staff and students. The ranking of academic staff is as follows:

Head of Department


Senior Lecturer

Lecturer I

Lecturer II

Assistant Lecturer

Graduate  Assistant


 Departmental Board 

The Board holds meetings at regular intervals to consider sensitive matters and deliberate on the way forward of the department. Under the chair ship of the Head of the Department with members of academic staff.


Departmental Facilities

The department has the following facilities for the students and staff:

Departmental library (E-library), Phonetics laboratory, Cultural room, and four lecturer rooms for the undergraduate students and a Postgraduate class room. In recognition of students as stake holders in the department, a secretariat is allotted to them. The department also procured modern power point machines for visual presentations during seminars and public lectures.