Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Chinese

Why choose Chinese at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are ranked 14th in the world for arts and humanities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 by Subject.

  • The University offers 16 languages for study at degree level and more than 140 joint language programmes. This creates a diverse and uniquely exciting and stimulating environment for language study.

  • You will have access to study opportunities in China and Taiwan.

  • Our teaching staff are also highly active researchers, passing on to you the same passion and world-class expertise that gained excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Our Chinese research was part of the Area Studies submission in which 73 per cent of our publications rated either world-leading or internationally excellent on the overall quality profile.

  • We are the only university in Scotland to offer honours programmes in Chinese.

  • We introduce and teach both classical and modern Chinese.

Study abroad

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 Findlay 2nd year MA (Hons) Chinese & Economics
Laura Findlay 2nd year MA (Hons) Chinese & Economics

A knowledge of Chinese language and culture is increasingly important as China becomes a bigger global player, economically and politically. China currently has the largest population in the world and the world's second largest economy.

Studying Chinese will provide you with an insight into the development of China's rich history, culture and literature. You will learn Mandarin Chinese and learn to read and write Classical and Modern Standard Chinese.

You will spend Year 3 in China or Taiwan where you will develop your language skills and experience the countries' rich culture. There are also opportunities for home stays with local families during your year abroad.

Native speakers

Please note that our Chinese programmes involve beginners' language study and are not suitable for native or near-native speakers.

Year 1

You will study Chinese 1, an introduction to modern spoken and written Chinese, and Modern East Asian History, an introduction to modern East Asian history. A range of other courses, including Modern China in Literature & Film, is available.

Year 2

You will continue to learn Chinese and will explore Chinese culture further in Chinese 2A and Chinese 2B. You may also take Pre-Modern East Asia to 1600, to learn more about classical and pre-modern Chinese history and culture, in preparation for your year in China.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 studying abroad, where you will develop your language skills and follow courses in Chinese literature and culture.

Year 4

You will continue to study Chinese language alongside your choice of courses in film, politics, modern and pre-modern history, literature, philosophy and economic history.

Are there additional costs?

You will spend September to July of Year 3 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.

Our facilities

The majority of the teaching takes place within the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, located within the University’s Central Area. You will have access to the University’s libraries and computer facilities and the School’s language labs.

Study abroad

Students will spend Year 3 studying abroad.

How will I learn?

Most of the cultural courses are taught through lectures and tutorials. Languages are taught in small classes that use computer-assisted learning.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams, class exercises and coursework.

Chinese graduates are in demand in the media, commerce and the civil service, and many are recruited by companies based in east Asia.

Graduates of Chinese can use their language skills to work as translators, interpreters or teachers.