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About this major

China is one of the world's great civilisations, alongside the European and Middle Eastern traditions. The Chinese Studies major provides you with a solid understanding of Chinese society and culture, the foundational language skills essential to function with confidence in the Chinese-speaking world, a basic ability to work in China-related professions and the competence to conduct research in Chinese studies.

The modern Chinese language major caters for a wide range of language abilities, from complete beginners to those with background in both standard and non-standard forms of Chinese vernacular. It focuses on developing effective communicative skills at the beginner and intermediate levels, including Chinese for professional purposes. At the advanced levels, we teach research and academic writing skills in the Chinese language. The teaching of classical Chinese is integrated with the study of the literature and thought of pre-modern China.

Regardless of your prior experience of the language, you will have access to the full range of units of study offered by the department including the opportunity to go on exchange or attend an Intensive Summer Program at Peking University.

Whether you are an absolute beginner in the language or you are a background-speaker, you can major in Chinese Studies and go on to complete an honours year or postgraduate study in the subject. As a graduate you may have a career in international relations, multinational corporations, media, tourism, NGOs, academic research, and education relating to China.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

Students will follow the appropriate pathway specified in the unit of study tables, based on their individual language level. Students completing any of the pathways for a major will be awarded a major in Chinese Studies.

Appropriate language units are determined either by language level and grade therein achieved in Higher School Certificate (as listed in the pathways linked above) or International Baccalaureate, and/or by one-on-one interviews prior to commencement. If you are unsure of your language level or which pathway is appropriate for you, please contact the Department for advice.

The Chinese Studies (Advanced) pathway is suitable for HSC Continuers more than 80 or HSC Extension, or native speakers who have passed HSC Chinese (Background) or have completed a major part of their secondary education in China.

Graduate opportunities

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers. Examples include:

  • Communications and media officer
  • Foreign affairs or trade officer
  • Journalist
  • Language specialist or educator
  • Teacher
  • Researcher
  • Translator and interpreter
  • Travel and tourism consultant
Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.