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BA Chinese and Japanese / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

Our BA Chinese and Japanese joint honours degree will give you excellent proficiency in writing, speaking and understanding the Mandarin Chinese and Japanese languages.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Mandarin Chinese and Japanese are spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

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 and in professional environments in Japan and several Chinese-speaking countries, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can study for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

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.

Societies

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'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, 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.

Language learning

The first and second-year language courses include an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.

The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years.

In your final year, the language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Chinese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.

Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive and that a great deal of time is required for this throughout the course (extending through the summer period between Years 1 and 2, particularly for beginners). In Year 1, you will have approximately 18 contact hours in formal study sessions (9-12 hours of which will be dedicated to Japanese).

The first few weeks may be particularly intensive for those who have not encountered Japanese script, and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned at least the hiragana script prior to Week 1 of teaching; guidance on materials to help with this can be obtained from language tutors.

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);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from each discipline.

Chinese

  • In Chinese you will study the core module `Introduction to Chinese Studies' plus Chinese language.
  • The Year 1 language course includes an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.

Japanese

  • The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years.

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
Chinese Language 1 CHIN51011 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 2 CHIN51022 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 1 JAPA51011 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 2 JAPA51022 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema CHIN12122 20 Optional
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Optional
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10152 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You may choose to study up to two thirds from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

Chinese

  • In addition to continuing your study in Chinese language you may choose to develop your studies of China via a choice of courses in areas across the Humanities faculty such as literature, film, history, religion, society, culture, economics, anthropology and business, as well as begin to prepare for residence abroad.

Japanese

  • The Japanese language courses in Year 2 continues to build competence and the Independent Language Learning Portfolio and learning partnerships remain central to this process.
  • In addition, students develop their studies of Japan via a choice of courses in areas such as Japanese history, religion, society and culture, and begin to prepare for 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
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Mandatory
China's Borderlands: Culture, Ethnicity and History CHIN20061 20 Optional
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN22521 20 Optional
Introduction to Classical Chinese CHIN28572 20 Optional
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Optional
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Optional
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Optional
Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics JAPA20121 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional
Science and Civilisation in East Asia JAPA23002 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

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

Course content for year 4

You may choose to divide your studies equally between both languages or study up to two thirds from either language.

Chinese

  • You can select from various modules from Chinese studies in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Chinese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.

Japanese

  • Students will select from various Japanese modules in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Japanese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.
  • In your final-year, you can also opt to write a research dissertation in a topic of your choice, supervised by an expert in the field -an experience that many students find extremely rewarding.

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
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Mandatory
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Mandatory
Japanese Language 6 JAPA51060 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 7 JAPA51071 20 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
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Optional
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Optional
Additional Chinese for Final Year Students CHIN51111 0 Optional
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31202 20 Optional
Dissertation in Japanese Studies JAPA30000 40 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 4

Facilities

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: dass@manchester.ac.uk