Asian Studies

Undergraduate study

Learn Mandarin in the context of Chinese history, literature and culture, past and present.

Why study Chinese in Edinburgh?

One of the world’s earliest civilisations, China is once again a major economic and political global power; one whose scale makes an understanding of regional and cultural differences essential.

Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland to offer undergraduate honours programmes in Chinese, enabling you to learn Mandarin in the context of Chinese history, literature and culture, past and present. We’ll also teach you to read and write classical and modern standard Chinese.

You’ll be part of a small, friendly community of staff and students in Asian Studies, with its own Chinese Studies Peer Support Group, great links to the Confucius Institute for Scotland, and a regular seminar series featuring visiting speakers, all within a School passionate about languages, literatures and cultures from around the globe.

You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh in a world-leading festival city with excellent links to China, a thriving East Asian cultural scene, and fantastic libraries, language learning facilities, and collections, including the EUL Chinese and East Asian Studies Collection of some 50,000 print and digital resources.

The small class sizes in Chinese mean you quickly become a tight-knit group. It also allows lecturers to properly get to know you and your individual strengths and weaknesses.

Laura FindlayMA (Hons) Chinese and Economics student

Your learning at a glance

  • You can take Chinese as a single honours subject, or jointly with one of 10 other subjects.
  • Our programmes are designed for beginners, with regular classroom tuition from native Chinese speakers, and supported access to an extensive range of media resources.
  • You’ll learn to speak Mandarin and to read and write classical and modern standard Chinese. You’ll also take courses on Chinese and East Asian society, literature, history, culture and philosophy, from earliest times to the present day.
  • You’ll complete a four year MA degree, with your third year spent in full, or in part, in either China or Taiwan.
  • You’ll engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise thereafter. Our courses are taught by research-active staff who will pass on the same passion and world-class expertise that gained us excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Learning Chinese has given me lots of opportunities, from working part-time as a translator, to competing in the UK semi-finals of the Chinese Bridge competition. Without studying Chinese, not only would I not have had these great opportunities, but I wouldn't have met so many wonderful friends from all around the world."

Leah Duncan-KarrimMA (Hons) Chinese student

What and how you’ll study

Degree combinations, teaching methods, and a year-by-year guide to your learning.

Where might Chinese take you?

Career opportunities for graduates of Chinese.

Find out more and apply

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. There’s lots of information about the application process on the University of Edinburgh website, including detailed entrance requirements and fees.

Go to the University of Edinburgh web page on how to apply for undergraduate study

Student representation

Find out more about class representatives and student representation in our School (secured)