University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Hebrew (Modern)

About the major

Modern Hebrew is the standard form of Hebrew used today, spoken by about nine million people.

The Modern Hebrew program is a holistic language learning program which covers the five skills of language in-use: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. Throughout the major you will develop and expand your proficiency in these five language and cultural skills. The language you will use is, primarily, spoken daily speech; yet over the course of the major you will have opportunities to study a range of genres and text types both spoken and written, from media to prose and poetry.

By the end of your major you will have mastered the ability to use Modern Hebrew in a wide variety of contexts and situations and you will gain an understanding of how to discuss and analyse the linguistic features of Modern Hebrew, as well as the literature and culture associated with the language.

The program offers several entry points depending on your previous knowledge and usage of the language. Following the completion of a placement test, you are directed to the unit best suited for your level of knowledge. Once in the program you will enjoy a clear learning progression.

Due to the close congruency between the local Modern Hebrew program and the programs offered by the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, you will have the opportunity to complete some of your studies at the Hebrew University.

Requirements for completion

The Hebrew (Modern) major and minor are available via the pathways indicated below.

Students will follow the appropriate pathway specified in the unit of study tables, based on their individual language level*. Students completing any of the pathways below will be awarded a major or minor in Hebrew (Modern).

* Appropriate language units are determined either by language level and grade therein achieved in Higher School Certificate (as listed in the pathways linked above) or International Baccalaureate, and/or by one-on-one interviews prior to commencement. If you are unsure of your language level or which pathway is appropriate for you, please contact the Department for advice.

Please note: A ‘gap’ year after Year 12 does not normally affect placement.


The honours year affords you an even broader exposure to Modern Hebrew which involves a high level usage of the language as well as a deeper understanding and knowledge of its linguistic features. It allows you to take advanced seminars and it culminates with the completion of a research thesis on a topic of your choice, which you can write in either English or Hebrew.

All students may qualify for the honours year, regardless of the language level at which they commenced

Honours admission requirements
If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: admission to honours requires a major in Modern Hebrew with an average of 70% or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018 or later:
- Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Modern Hebrew with an average of 70% or above.
- Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Hebrew (modern) honours units of study page.

Advanced coursework

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies through the School of Language and Cultures prepares students to actively engage in the complex and culturally diverse contemporary world. Students will utilise linguistic and methodological skills developed in their previous studies to develop their knowledge of institutions, practices and ideas that permeate different cultures in the local and global context. They will be offered opportunities to participate in projects on translation, acculturation and self-reflexivity and to examine textual and social real-world problems related to topics which include translation, migration studies, cultural diversity and social integration.

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the Hebrew (modern) advanced coursework units of study page.

Contact and further information

Website: Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies

For further information contact:
Dr Yona Gilead