A nation that has been increasing in importance and stature throughout recent decades, China is home to a society that bears both striking similarities and differences with Western culture. Our fascination for learning more about different countries and their cultures extends to China, and this fascination is bolstered by necessity, as our communications and reliance on Chinese products and technology has become more prevalent. A Chinese studies degree will cover the Chinese language, society, culture, and business.
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About Chinese Studies
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by the level at which you are studying. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Arts (MA), or a Master of Research (MRes). Depending on the focus of your degree, you may be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Master of Science (MSc). Further research will award a research degree such as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate Chinese studies degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £8,750
It is common for universities to offer language courses that are accessible to students of all levels and experience of language ability. You will likely be placed into a group of students who have a similar level of language skill to you, and these groups normally range from complete beginner to advanced level. At undergraduate level, you will gain a good foundation of knowledge in the Chinese language and culture. You might study modules on contemporary Chinese, Chinese language (Mandarin and/or Cantonese), modern Chinese society, business and marketing, and Chinese politics. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, as well as incorporating practical sessions and field trips. It is also common for foreign language courses to offer study abroad modules or years, as this allows you to experience the culture first-hand, and can often accelerate the learning process. Assessment methods could include written work, speaking tasks, listening tasks and presentations, as well as a dissertation or final research project.
A postgraduate degree, such as an MA, will build on the knowledge gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of the subject, and will likely include learning more advanced Chinese language. Modules and specialisms could include contemporary Chinese literature, ancient Chinese culture, translation, and products of China. Assessment methods might include written work, listening and speaking tasks, presentations, and a final major research project.
The entry requirements for a degree in Chinese will depend on where you choose to study. They will also depend on the level for which you are applying. At undergraduate level, different universities will have different requirements, determined by what level of Chinese language you wish to study. If you wish to study at beginner level, most universities do not have any formal language requirements. Some institutions may prefer that you have studied other language subjects, such as English or a modern foreign language. At postgraduate level, most universities will expect you to have a higher level of Chinese language ability.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAB-BBC
- UCAS Points - 136-112 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Modern Foreign Languages, English, Psychology, Law, Business
- Degree Requirements - 2:2 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Chinese, Chinese Studies, East Asian Studies
Graduates of a Chinese studies degree will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. You will have gained a wide range of diverse and transferable skills, all of which will be somewhat applicable to different industries. If you choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, jobs could include a translator, Chinese teacher, foreign media, business consultancy, marketing and advertising, and a teacher of English to Chinese speakers.