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A photo of the futuristic Shanghai skyline, at day, taken from the ocean.

Department of Chinese Studies

Understanding and appreciating the language of the future

Traversing history, philosophy, linguistics, translation, literature, gender and film, our academics are experts in Chinese language and culture. 

Our expertise covers a diversity of disciplines including Chinese linguistics, Chinese pedagogy, second language acquisition, media in Chinese society, social and political changes in China, multiculturalism and multilingualism in China, minority education, East Asian thought and East Asian Buddhism.   

We teach both Modern Standard Chinese (Standard Mandarin/Putong Hua) and Classical Chinese from beginner level, and we provide options for students who can already read Chinese fluently. We also offer opportunities to study topics as diverse as language, linguistics, translation, literature, gender and film.

In partnership with the China Studies Centre, our Sydney China Visitors program invites innovative and respected researchers in Chinese Studies from around the world.

Our study offering

Chinese Studies delivers a solid understanding of Chinese society and culture and the foundational language skills essential to function with confidence in the Chinese-speaking world. Studies in this area have exchange and summer study opportunities, including to Peking University.


*Available as a major and minor within the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies  degrees.  

Chinese In-Country Study

We offer a semester-based program of study (normally intermediate or advanced Modern Standard Chinese language) at a tertiary institution in China or Taiwan.  


Our research 

We have research strengths across these broad areas:

  • Modern Standard Chinese language education
  • Classical Chinese language
  • Chinese linguistics, discourse studies, and translation studies
  • Chinese literature, classical and modern
  • Chinese media and communication
  • Chinese history.


Our advanced exchange programs provide life-changing experiences in China where students exercise their language skills and develop an understanding of cultural intricacies first hand. 

  • Fudan University, Shanghai
  • Nanjing University
  • National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Peking University, Beijing 
  • Shandong University, Jinan 
  • Tsinghua University, Beijing

Our people

Sydney China Distinguished Fellows

The Sydney China Distinguished Fellowship features senior scholars specialising in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, Culture or Translation Studies. Co-hosted with the China Studies Centre, the Sydney China Visitors program invites innovative and respected researchers in Chinese Studies around the world.

The fellowship is enabled by the vision and generosity of Mr James Lee, a University of Sydney alumnus now based in Hong Kong.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are actively working with our 2020 Distinguished Fellows to reschedule their visits. We will continue to share updates on this page.


See our school's calendar for a full listing of upcoming events.

Department Chair


  • School of Languages and Cultures, Room 506, Brennan MacCallum Building A18, The University of Sydney NSW 2006

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