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BA Chinese Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

You will study Chinese language throughout BA Chinese Studies. The core language teaching in Chinese enables you to develop various linguistic skills, including:

  • speaking and writing accurately;
  • understanding and analysing audio, video and written material;
  • using different registers;
  • speaking to a group with confidence;
  • translating with appropriate sensitivity.

At the same time, you can choose China-related topics in:

  • literature;
  • film;
  • cultural studies;
  • politics;
  • history;
  • linguistics;
  • economics;
  • development studies;
  • business.

You will draw on the wide range of research expertise in Chinese Studies across the Faculty of Humanities, tailoring the course according to the development of your interests.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, a compulsory third year abroad will give you an unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.


 BA Chinese Studies aims to:
  • Provide you with a firm grounding in Chinese and in contemporary Chinese culture, society, economy and politics, as well as China's changing relations with the West.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can study abroad for up to a year to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers you the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Francaise - home of French language and culture.


The University is home to over 30 international and language-related student societies offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials. 

You will spend approximately 12 hours each week in formal study sessions, and for every hour spent at the University you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre. We'll provide individual learning support to help you take control of your learning and develop your confidence.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research).

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

All Year 1 students take the core unit Introduction to Chinese Studies, plus language. Students on a single honours degree also take units in Chinese culture, literature and history, and then choose from a range of optional units.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Chinese Studies CHIN10050 20 Mandatory
Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema CHIN12122 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 1 CHIN51011 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 2 CHIN51022 20 Mandatory
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10152 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Optional
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In addition to continuing your study in Chinese language, you will develop your studies of China via a choice of course units in areas across the humanities, such as literature, visual cultures, classical Chinese, religion, film, history, society, economics, anthropology and business. You will also begin to prepare for your residence abroad.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Classical Chinese CHIN28572 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
China's Borderlands: Culture, Ethnicity and History CHIN20061 20 Optional
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN22521 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad  under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

For Single Honours students, you will undertake a dissertation in Chinese studies to work on an area of particular interest in depth.

Both Single and Joint Honours students will also select from various units in cultural, historical, religious and social science areas.

The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Chinese, and includes work on translation as a practical skill.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation in Chinese Studies CHIN30000 40 Mandatory
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Mandatory
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Mandatory
Dissertation in Chinese Studies CHIN30000 40 Optional
The Environment in Chinese Literature and Film CHIN30242 20 Optional
Religious and Political Ideologies of Modern China CHIN30311 20 Optional
Socialism and Post-Socialism in China CHIN32012 20 Optional
Chinese Translation and Interpreting CHIN32112 20 Optional
Business Chinese CHIN38682 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 4

Scholarships and bursaries

Residence Abroad Support We offer dedicated financial support packages of up to £2,000 for residence abroad students, based on household income. You will be automatically assessed for this, based on your Student Finance finance assessment - you just need to make sure you apply for a financial assessment in the academic year in which your residence abroad will take place.

RWS Brode Scholarship You may be eligible for this scholarship if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your qualifications were achieved at a state-funded school in the UK
  • your total household income does not exceed £60K (as verified by the Student Loan Company)
  • You achieve high marks in your A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), usually AAB or above
  • You apply to (and remain on) either a single honours Language programme, or a dual-language programme

Awards will be made according to a sliding scale, benefitting those who have the achieved the highest marks, whilst being from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.  Again, you will be automatically assessed for this, after you have registered on your degree programme. You simply need to make sure you allow the University access to your records when applying for your Student Loan (we cannot otherwise assess your eligibility).


The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: