Postgraduate study

Chinese Society and Culture MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Chinese Society and Culture

This programme is based at the University’s Scottish Centre for Chinese Studies, which has an international reputation for research excellence in modern Chinese literature, media and mass culture.

It provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of cultural issues of modern China, and allows you to develop analytical skills as you apply cultural and literary theories to the context of modern China.

You will be trained in the study of Chinese texts, and learn to assess them in the context of current academic discourse in Chinese studies, leading to an understanding of changing perceptions of key issues in Chinese cultural studies.

The impact of COVID-19 on this programme

The challenges of COVID-19 have caused the University – along with every other Higher Education institution across the world – to adapt quickly to best support our students. For next year we are planning a hybrid approach – a blend of on campus teaching and digital elements.

In practical terms this means that if you can’t make it to Edinburgh for part of the academic year, we will use technology to keep you close to us (socially and intellectually) despite the physical distance until you are able to join us. If you can be in Edinburgh, then we will be welcoming you on campus for classes and using that same technology for certain aspects of your teaching. There will be some face-to-face teaching, supported by expanded digital resources, as well as academic and pastoral support.

Making these changes and ensuring that we continue to teach the core elements of the degree will let us maintain the highest standards. The core aims and objectives of the degree programme will remain the same and the graduate qualities and attributes will enable you to achieve the same excellent outcomes.

*(Revised 29 May 2020 with COVID-19 update.)

Over two semesters, you will take compulsory and option courses, plus research skills courses. You will then complete an independently researched dissertation.

Compulsory course:

  • Keywords of Chinese Modernity

Option courses may include:

  • Contemporary Chinese Literature
  • Chinese Silent Cinema: 1920-1935
  • Gender, Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Cinema
  • Introduction to Chinese Society and Culture
  • Literary Criticism and History in Modern China
  • Chinese Religions: Confucianism, Daoism and 'Popular Religion'
  • Theories and Methods of Literary Study

You will be thoroughly trained in studying modern Chinese texts and in assessing them in the context of current academic discourse in Chinese Studies. You will be able to understand changing perceptions of key issues in Chinese cultural studies and reflect critically on your own academic research.

You will gain a foundation on which you may choose to pursue doctoral studies, potentially leading to an academic career. Your skills will also be suited to a career in a number of fields that are concerned with Chinese issues.

Alternatively, you may choose to apply the transferable skills you gain in project management, research and communication to an unrelated career.

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in Chinese or a relevant subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements. Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH