BA English Language and Chinese / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Our BA English Language and Chinese course will enable you to investigate the sounds, words and grammar of the English language, and discover the origin of English, its development and variation across the UK and beyond, and how it is used in different situations. 

You will acquire the skills required for analytical language study alongside the means to apply those skills to the study of historical and present-day English. 

In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation. 

The course allows students to achieve near-native proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and to study the language within its cultural and historical context. 

You can start either as an absolute beginner or with up to A-level standard Chinese and go through to an advanced level over four years. 

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 Chinese is 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 a Chinese-speaking country, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Special features

Study or work abroad

Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a Chinese-speaking country and further develop your language skills.

Learn from language experts

Language courses are mainly taught by native speakers of each language, giving you a richer learning experience.

You'll have the opportunity to access cutting-edge resources, including one of the largest holdings of linguistics texts in the UK, and to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections.

Get involved with interesting projects

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively.

For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK and storyboards for the use in fieldwork.

Benefit from links with the Chinese community

We have close links with the Confucius Institute , which fosters interaction between Manchester's large community of Chinese native speakers, our University students and representatives of the wider Chinese-speaking world.

Teaching and learning

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

For every hour spent at university, you will be expected to complete a further two to three 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 .

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

English Language

  • You'll study the foundations of English grammar and be introduced to the history of English and varieties of English in the UK and further afield. You may also choose additional optional units, including those in which you learn about the study of meaning or of sounds, or learn how to investigate English using corpus methods.


  • All Year 1 students take the core module `Introduction to Chinese Studies' plus language. Students on a single honours degree also take modules in Chinese History and comparative politics, and then choose from a range of optional units.

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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
Chinese Language 1 CHIN51011 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 2 CHIN51022 20 Mandatory
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Mandatory
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN12522 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 HIST10151 20 Optional
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

English Language

  • Tailor your degree to suit your interests. While studying two compulsory units in subjects like language change, sociolinguistics, stylistics or pragmatics, you may additionally choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in specialist fields such as phonology and experimental phonetics, and psycholinguistics.


  • In addition to continuing your study in Chinese language, you will 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.

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
China's Borderlands: Culture, Ethnicity and History CHIN20061 20 Optional
Introduction to Classical Chinese CHIN28572 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20342 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 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

English Language

  • Have complete freedom of choice among a wealth of different course options spanning subjects as diverse historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, child language development, formal semantics and syntax, and forensic linguistics.
  • You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth.


  • You will undertake a dissertation in Chinese studies to work on an area of particular interest in depth as well as selecting from various modules 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.

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
Dissertation in Chinese Studies CHIN30000 40 Optional
Business Chinese CHIN38682 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
English Phonology Past and Present LELA30441 20 Optional
The Study of the Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Language Policy and Planning LELA30752 20 Optional
Minimalist Syntax LELA30972 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA32011 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA32022 20 Optional
Computational Linguistics LELA32051 20 Optional
Discourse as Social Practice LELA32062 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 4


As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre , a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources.

There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

For your English language studies, you will benefit from access to a wide range of technical facilities, online resources, and unique collections at the John Rylands Library.

Learn more on the facilities pages for  Linguistics and English Language  and  Modern Languages and Cultures .

Disability support

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