Studying Myanmar

Myanmar borders Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. This geostrategic location, coupled with its recent democratisation and prospective economic growth are increasingly attracting international attention. While being a Buddhist country, Myanmar embraces many ethnic groups and a diversity of cultures.

The Australian National University is one of the world’s leading centres for research and teaching on Myanmar. We offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on campus in Canberra, and in Myanmar.



Burmese is the official language of Myanmar, which has a population of 54 million, around 70 percent of who are native speakers of the language. Burmese is also the main lingua-franca in the country as well as in Burmese communities worldwide. Burmese also has a long history of use in literary works and music, and now the language is increasingly widely used on the internet.

Our two-year program, consisting of four language proficiency levels, is designed to equip students with a solid foundational knowledge of Burmese reading skills as well as daily conversational ability, while also including awareness of Myanmar’s culture, society and history.

We focus on understanding spoken Burmese and introducing a basic knowledge of literary Burmese, as used in authentic materials, to help students further their research on Myanmar. Our teaching emphasises the development of listening comprehension skills through many audio-lingual materials, focusing on the joy of listening.

ANU has a strong history of Myanmar research, and our students will be invited to academic events organised by the ANU Myanmar Research Centre.

Our Burmese language courses: • Can be studied online course-by-course through Open Universities Australia • Can be studied as an elective, minor or major as part of an ANU degree • Cross-institutional and non-award offerings available.


These language courses are open for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at ANU, and students attending through cross-institutional programs.
For those who wish to simply learn the language, we suggest enrolling via Open Universities Australia (OUA) as their tuition fee is very reasonable.

Undergraduate Students:

Burmese Language Minor within the Bachelor of Asian Studies

Postgraduate Students:

Master of Asian and Pacific Studies: up to four courses of Burmese

Master of Engaging Asia: up to three courses of Burmese

Optional study:

Information about ANU programs that offer Burmese language study as an option.


ANU School of Culture, History and Language

ANU College of Asia and The Pacific - CAP Student Centre T 02 6125 3207

Updated:  7 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, Myanmar Research Centre/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team