Asian Studies

Undergraduate study | Chinese

Learn modern standard Chinese in the context of Chinese and East Asian 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.

Specialising in teaching students with little or no prior knowledge of the language, Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland to offer undergraduate honours programmes in Chinese. You will learn to read, write and speak modern standard Chinese while exploring Chinese and East Asian history, literature and culture, past and present.

You’ll be part of a 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 a wide range of other subjects.
  • In addition to the Chinese language, you will have the opportunity to learn about China's modern and pre-modern history, its politics and society and culture, including specialist courses on literature and film.
  • As well as modern standard Chinese using both simplified and traditional form characters, most programmes involve learning to read classical Chinese and developing translation skills.
  • 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 experienced language tutors and research-active staff who will pass on the same passion and world-class expertise that gained us excellent results in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF).

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

This information was last updated in February 2020 for prospective students wishing to start studying with us in September 2021. 

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

There’s lots of information about our undergraduate Chinese Studies programmes on the University of Edinburgh website. For example, you can find out about entrance requirements, English language requirements, fees, and funding opportunities.

Take me to the University of Edinburgh web page on undergraduate programmes in Chinese Studies

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Take me to the University of Edinburgh web page on making a UCAS application

Visit us

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great chance to find out about student life in Edinburgh from the people who know it best: our students and staff. Our next Open Days will be for students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2021. Recognising the rapidly evolving impact of Covid-19, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the Undergraduate Open Day scheduled for 15th June. As it stands, we hope to hold the Open Days scheduled for 26th September 2020 and 10th October 2020. We are also working to develop an online alternative.

Keep up to date with Open Day information on the University of Edinburgh website 

 

Student representation

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