Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Chinese and Linguistics

UCAS code: TQ11

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Chinese and Linguistics

This programme offers you the opportunity to study Chinese while exploring how language is acquired, produced and understood.

Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland to offer both single and joint honours undergraduate honours programmes in Chinese, enabling you to learn modern standard Chinese in the context of Chinese history, literature, culture, politics and international relations, past and present, and alongside Linguistics.

We specialise in teaching students with little or no prior knowledge of the language.

On this programme, you will learn to:

  • read, write and speak modern standard Chinese to an advanced level
  • develop translation skills

You will also acquire a broad knowledge and understanding of:

  • how language develops
  • how language functions in interaction between individuals and in society
  • about language's abstract structure and representation in the brain
  • how language changes over time

You will spend Year 3 at a university in China or Taiwan.

Year 1

You will study Chinese 1, an introduction to modern spoken and written Chinese. If you already have some knowledge of the Chinese language, you may qualify to enrol in Chinese 2A, an intermediate-level Chinese course.

Besides Chinese language classes, you will also have an opportunity to take courses which cover modern East Asian history, or literature and film in modern China. Alternatively, you can choose courses from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

You will take two semester-long introductory courses in linguistics.

Linguistics and English Language 1A offers a brief introduction to the study of language in general and of English in particular.

Linguistics and English Language 1B will help you develop the tools and knowledge needed to investigate the different subsystems of language in a systematic way.

Year 2

You will continue to learn Chinese language and explore Chinese culture.

You will also have the opportunity to begin learning classical Chinese and modern Chinese translation, as well as to complete an independent project on a topic within Chinese studies.

You will take one course looking at linguistic theory and another concerning cross-linguistic variation.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad, either in China or Taiwan, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Chinese and East Asian culture.

Besides developing your language and cross-cultural communication skills in an immersive environment, you will expand your research skills through assignments on a range of topics. These could include Chinese history, politics, contemporary society, literature and visual culture.

You will also undertake work for your Year 3 project in language sciences.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered alternative ways of engaging with your subjects. This will allow you to meet your learning outcomes and prepare for your final year.

Year 4

You will continue to study Chinese language, focusing on advanced skills in speaking, reading and writing, and building on your existing translation skills.

Alongside the Chinese language, you will be able to choose from courses on film, politics, modern and pre-modern history, literature, contemporary Chinese society and economic history.

You will also study specialist language sciences courses.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2021/22)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources
  • support services
  • social spaces

Linguistics

We also provide specialist linguistics and phonetics equipment, which ranks among the best in the world. This includes:

  • recording studios
  • experiment booths
  • a perception laboratory

Events and activities

We have great links to the Confucius Institute for Scotland, and a regular Asian Studies seminar series featuring visiting speakers from around the world. Student societies include the:

  • Linguistics Society
  • Association of British and Chinese University Students
  • Chinese Dance Society

Our Chinese Studies Peer Support Group is a valuable social learning resource. Our Students' Association also provides opportunities to get involved in social learning through its Tandem Language Exchange Programme.

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include the University's Chinese and East Asian Studies Collection of 50,000 print and digital resources.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 (a minimum of 30 weeks) at a university in China or Taiwan.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in East Asian culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Chinese

Chinese language is taught by qualified and experienced native and non-native speakers. Class size varies depending on the language skills being taught.

Cultural courses, such as Chinese history or literature, are taught by experts in their respective fields through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials

Linguistics

Teaching in linguistics involves lab sessions for some courses, as well as:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials

How will I be assessed?

Over the course of your programme, you will be assessed using a combination of written exams, in-class exercises and coursework, including:

  • essays
  • reports
  • projects

Employers look for the breadth of training and experience demonstrated by our graduates, who are in high demand in a wide variety of sectors. These range from finance and banking through to non-profit organisations.

Studying Chinese and Linguistics can lead to varied careers in:

  • media
  • tourism
  • culture
  • government
  • civil service

Many Chinese-speaking graduates are currently recruited by companies based in East Asia, an increasingly powerful player in the global economy.

With Scotland's strategy to enhance engagement with China, opportunities for employment are increasing closer to home, too. These include opportunities in:

  • translation
  • interpreting
  • education

Further study

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Throughout the degree programme, you will learn a range of research skills which are necessary for further study, but which are also highly transferable.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: a language other than English at A and English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at A or 7 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at 6 and English at 5.

Additional requirements

Native speakers

Please note that the Chinese degrees involve beginners language study and are not suitable for native or near-native speakers.

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

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

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Chinese and Linguistics

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend September to July of Year 3 enrolled at a university in Taiwan or China. This is a compulsory part of your programme.

Costs will vary according to the location. Some scholarship money may be available from external sources, on a competitive basis, for students studying in China.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding