University Librarian

Department of Linguistic & Communication Studies

Name of Ag. Head Of Department: Dr. B. H. Isaac
Contact E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Phone Number(s): 07064621575


Vision/ Philosophy of the Department

        The guiding philosophy of the Department is to study and promote human dignity through language and communication. This will lead to the production of the following categories of people:

i)                  Practising linguists equipped with the basic tools to deal with matters concerning language;

ii)                 Professional communicators for both electronic and print media;

iii)                Public relations officers, editors, book publishers, advertisers, press secretaries, librarians and others concerned with documentation, etc.


Aims and Objectives:

        The major aims and objectives of the department are:

  1. to respond urgently to the global challenge to up-date the curricula in linguistics and communication-related programmes, so that they can meet the demands of the changing world;
  2. to provide students both with the basic techniques of linguistic analysis and with the practical tools for communication in the global village of today and tomorrow;
  3. to produce graduates with  well-rounded education, who are not only professional communicators, but also experts in their working language (in our own case – English), and
  4. to produce high-level manpower who are well-grounded enough to assume responsibilities as editors, book publishers/printers, journalists, public relations officers, advertising officers, practicing linguists, (press) secretaries, communications officers, language teachers, etc.
  5. to give students a broad understanding of the scientific study of human communication system in both theory and practice.


Programmes offered by the Department (at a glance)

1.         Certificate Course in Communication Studies

Areas of Emphasis:

•           Mass Communication

•           Public Relations

•           Advertising & Publishing

•           Linguistics

-           Descriptive Linguistics

-           Applied Linguistics

2.         Certificate Course in Nigerian Languages

3.         BA Linguistics & Communication Studies

Areas of Emphasis:

•           Linguistics

•           Communication Studies

4.         BA Linguistics & a Nigerian Language

Areas of Emphasis: Igbo, Ikwere, Izon, Kalabari, Kana or any other Nigerian language

5.         Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies   

6.         MA & PhD Linguistics

Areas of Emphasis:

•           Descriptive Linguistics

•           Applied Linguistics

-           Language Teaching

-           Clinical Linguistics

•           Sociolinguistics

•           Historical Linguistics

7.         MA & PhD Linguistics & a Nigerian Language

Areas of Emphasis: Igbo, Ikwere, Izon, Kalabari, Kana

8.         MA & PhD Communication Studies

Areas of Emphasis:

Communication Theory/International Communication

Development/Cultural Communication

Public Relations/Advertising

Broadcast Media Research

Print Media Research


A Brief History of the Department

        The University of Port Harcourt started with a School system. In the original academic structure, the School of Humanities had three disciplines: History, Language, and Literature. Linguistics was conceived as the theoretical core of the discipline of Language, which would be closely related to the study of actual languages: English, the official language of Nigeria as well as an international language; Kiswahili, an international African language; French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, international languages which are past and/or present official languages in Africa; Igbo, the nearest major Nigerian language; Ikwere, Izon, Kalabari and Kana, the four largest languages of former Rivers State, used in the regular news broadcasting; and all other Nigerian languages, with particular emphasis on the development of the languages of Rivers State, where the University is situated. Close interdisciplinary co-operation was expected, such that the literary aspect of all these languages would be taught by the discipline of Literature. In the few years of its operation, graduates were produced in the discipline of Language with emphasis on English, Kiswahili, French German, and Portuguese.

        The interdisciplinary importance of Language was also expressed by the discipline of Language offering two GES courses: Communication Skills I (= Use of English) and Communication Skills II (= Introduction to a Nigerian language other than the student's mother-tongue, designed to increase inter-ethnic understanding).

        Popular demands soon led to a restructuring into a conventional Faculty/Department system. The two disciplines of Language and Literature were re-structured into three departments:


•       English Studies: both language and literature

•       Foreign Languages & Literatures: both language and literature

•       Linguistics & African Languages: both language and literature


Thus, the Linguistics programme was now restricted to Linguistics as the core, and was related chiefly to Kiswahili on one side and Nigerian languages on the other, though students of English continued to take a number of Linguistics courses as an optional or compulsory part of their programme. Emphases were planned giving scope for Linguistics with Igbo/Ikwere/Izon/Kalabari/ Kana, but because of lack of specialized staff these programmes have not taken off. The Linguistics programme is therefore a fairly conventional one, but still lays some emphasis on students acquiring proficiency in writing their own languages as well as English; we do not expect to graduate students illiterate in their own language.

        In GES, Communication Skills in English has of course continued as required by the NUC, while the innovative second course which was renamed Study of a Nigerian Language and Culture, has been dropped.

        At the time of the first NUC accreditation exercise, some minor changes in the programme were made to accommodate requirements by the NUC or to improve sequence. The programme continues to produce good graduates who perform well in the graduate programmes of this and other universities.

        A few years ago, a need was felt to further modify our programmes due to the increasing global need to achieve a unified theory of communication which draws input from all the disciplines concerned with the study of communication systems. Experts have come to realize that there is a vacuum in the linguistics and communication studies interface that needs to be filled. It is now obvious that neither linguistics nor any of the social sciences such as mass communication, communication arts, journalism, information studies and library studies can provide all the insight in communication. Consequently, there has been a global trend to up-date the curricula in linguistics and communication-related programmes, so that they can meet the demands of the changing world. So, what we have done is to synthesize the latest developments in communication technology with the basic insights of linguistics, and to apply this synthesis to the study of the languages used by Africans as they interact with the global situation.

        These modifications necessitated the change of the name of the Department from Linguistics and African Languages to Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies.

        The Department now offers the following programmes:

  • Certificate Course in Communication Studies (Full-time)
  • Certificate Course in Nigerian Languages
  • BA Linguistics & Communication Studies (Full-time/Part-time)
  • BA Linguistics/Igbo, Ikwere, Izon, Kalabari, Kana or any other Nigerian Language (Full-time)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies
  • MA & PhD Linguistics
  • MA & PhD Linguistics/Igbo, Ikwere, Izon, Kalabari, Kana
  • MA & PhD Communication Studies

Organizational Structure

    The decision making organ of the Department is the Academic Board. The meeting of the Board is headed by the Head of department and every academic staff is allowed to contribute to deliberations after which the consensus is reached and the Head of department implements the outcome of the Board’s decision


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