China has a recorded history of 3,500 years. The range of Chinese achievements in philosophy, literature, art, science and technology compares with those of a whole continent rather than a single country.

You will learn Classical Chinese, the medium through which traditional Chinese culture has been transmitted, and the contemporary language, which gives access to the world's most populous state.

At Oxford, you may choose to focus entirely on Chinese for a BA in Chinese, or to study it in combination with Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan.

BA Chinese

The BA Chinese is a four-year course. The main emphasis in the first year is on building a sound basic knowledge of contemporary written and spoken Chinese.

You will spend your second year in China or Taiwan. In the third and fourth years of the degree programme the focus is on further developing linguistic skills, detailed study of texts, and developing a broad understanding of Chinese society.

The course includes a wide choice of options covering literature, history, anthropology, politics, and art.

You do not need to have any prior experience of Chinese in order to apply to study this language at undergraduate level.

Visit the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies course page for more information.

Chinese with a subsidiary language

If you wish to combine Chinese with another language you may choose from one of the following subsidiary language options:

  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Tibetan

The subsidiary  language will give you the opportunity to study the second language to intermediate level and learn about the society and culture. This option will lead to a degree which combines the two, eg BA Chinese with Japanese.

Chinese as a subsidiary language

Chinese may also be studied as a subsidiary language (ie as a second subject) alongside Japanese as a main subject.

This will lead to a BA in Japanese with Chinese.

Learning to write in Chinese

At Oxford, you will learn to write in Chinese in both its traditional and simplified forms. Mastering the ability to handwrite in Chinese is a core requirement for all students on which they will receive teaching and be examined.

If you have any concerns about your ability to satisfy this requirement please contact the department at [email protected].