For business or pleasure, studying Indonesian at UQ will enhance your connection with the people of Australia’s closest neighbour.

Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) has more than over 250 million speakers, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Indonesia has hundreds of different ethnic groups, each with its own culture and language. For many Indonesians their first language is their regional language, but Indonesian serves as a focus for national unity and is used in all government and public domains, including education, commerce and the mass media.

Why Choose

Because Indonesian is based on Malay, learning Indonesian not only gives students knowledge of the language of the world’s largest Muslim-majority country’, but also provides access to three other countries in Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

At UQ you’ll learn about the country’s history, politics, cultures and society while developing spoken and written languages skills from a wide range of authentic, contemporary sources. It is available for beginning, intermediate and advanced students as a major or an elective. 

Australian graduates with expertise in Indonesian are posed to make the most of opportunities in the 21st century. As Indonesia emerges as one of the world’s top 10 economies, the existing demand for Indonesian studies graduates will only increase.

In addition to the personal benefits of language study, graduates with Indonesian language skills have a wide choice of careers options in many areas of government, business, mining and industry and in environmental and development careers. Our recent graduates are working as teachers, researchers, diplomats, translators and lawyers.




Streams and Pathways

Students may study Indonesian courses as electives in their degree, or complete a major or extended major in Indonesian.

Indonesian majors and extended majors can be undertaken by students from:

Stream A - introductory level (no previous knowledge of Indonesian) 

Stream B - intermediate level (for students with Senior Indonesian or equivalent) 

Separate course starting points and pathways apply for students in each stream.

A sample pathway for stream A and B that shows courses over 3 years is available.

View pathway

Courses available in each stream are also listed on UQ's Courses and Programs site.

Unsure where to start?

Go to our online language course placement advisor and answer a short questionnaire. In most cases the system will recommend the starting course you should enrol in. For more complex cases, you will be advised how to proceed.

Language Course Placement Advisor

Looking for an elective course?

Courses concerning Culture, literature, history, and society can be studied as electives within your degree, or some may count towards the Major in Indonesian. To find out more about the other courses offered, please consult the Courses and Programs site.


Research Programs                                                                                     

Coursework Programs                                                                                            

What our graduates are doing

Matt Eckersley - humanitarian and entrepreneur

After finishing his degree in Indonesian Matt moved on to a degree in medicine at UQ. Since graduating he has worked as a doctor on Christmas Island, and now as a locum doctor part time. The other half of the time he spends in Yogya, Indonesia where he is setting up a business and also looking to develop further medical help for street children.

"I look back and I think of the influence that studying Indonesian at UQ has had on my life and I think it's fantastic. Choosing to study Indonesian has been one of the greatest decisions of my life and has broadened things greatly on a number of levels.

I am fluent in another language for starters however it is so much more than that. It's a deeper understanding of the people, culture and workings of a nation of 250 million people - the 4th largest on the planet! - that is our direct neighbour."

Matt has a Bachelor of Arts (Indonesian) and a Bachelor of Medicine from The University of Queensland.

Get involved

As a student at UQ, you have many opportunities to get involved and enhance your language learning experience, including exchange, joining clubs and participating in conversation classes.


There are a number of school events and seminars held throughout the year which students are encouraged to attend. Details for these events are published on the School Events page.

Pojok Indonesia and Conversation Group

Pojok Indonesia is an Indonesian Cultural exchange group run by Dr Annie Pohlman in the School which runs things such as conversation groups, balinese dance lessons and a Facebook Group.

There is a Pojok Indonesia Facebook Group for anyone interested in Indonesian a UQ and posts Indonesian related news, articles and events occurring in the wider community. The Indonesian language conversation group meets each week during semester. Everyone is welcome, and it doesn't matter if you've only started learning Indonesian, or if you're a native speaker - anyone can join in. Details are posted in the Facebook Group and also mentioned in tutorials at the start of semester.