Undergraduate Courses in Chinese Studies at Oxford

Taoist Temple, Dengfeng, Henan Province

Taoist Temple, Dengfeng, Henan Province

China is home to a quarter of all the people in the world. It not only has the longest continuous culture surviving from ancient times but is all set to be of enormous influence in the politics and economics of the twenty-first century. The course in Chinese at Oxford will give you a sound grounding in modern and classical Chinese and will introduce you to many aspects of Chinese society. It is possible to take Tibetan, Japanese or Korean as options in the degree.

Principal Features of the Undergraduate degree:

  • A Four-Year Course
  • Modern and Classical language
  • A year in China at Beijing University
  • A wide choice of options covering literature, history, politics, art or another language.

The Humble Administrator's Garden (or Zhuozheng Yuan) in Suzhou is considered one of the finest gardens in China.

FAQs about admissions to the Undergraduate Course in Chinese

What kind of A or S-levels should I have to read Chinese?
Almost any combination is acceptable, although most of our students have done at least one language. Even a wholly science-orientated combination is acceptable, although the student may find they need to work harder at writing essays.

Which College should I apply to?
Pembroke College, St Anne's College, St Hilda's College, The Queen's College, and Wadham College take most of the applicants, but other colleges are interested in good candidates too, such as University College, New College, Balliol and Harris-Manchester (for mature students).

Is it possible to do Chinese with another subject?
It is possible to do Japanese, Korean or Tibetan studies as a subsidiary for the Honours course.

Do students spend any time in China and is it an additional expense?
Students spend the whole of their second year in Beijing at Peking University where they attend a course especially designed for our students. At present we have substantial grants available to assist students during their year-abroad and it does not involve students in any additional expense.

What is the level of attainment that I can expect to reach in the Chinese language after completing the course?
It depends on the individual, but the majority of students can converse in Chinese, can read newspapers from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and can understand broadcasts in Chinese. They can read any text in modern Chinese and many texts in Classical Chinese, with the help of a dictionary.

What kind of jobs do graduates get on getting their degree?
All kinds, not dissimilar from any graduate in the humanities. Some go into the City, joining banks, consultancies, or multinational firms. Others go into journalism and the Civil Service, or take further training in Law and Accountancy. Many find that they can make use of their Chinese in their careers, and increasingly they find employment in China.