Welcome to the Department of Chinese Studies

A very warm welcome to our website and our department! We look forward to teaching you, and to trying to communicate our own enthusiasm for Chinese Studies.

We are a language department, and we aim to give you the best opportunities we can of learning Chinese - one of the most important languages in the world today, and also one of the most fascinating. But we are not "just a language department." You cannot really learn a language without also studying the society and culture of that language’s home country (or countries). When you go to China, you will probably find that people will appreciate it if you have taken the trouble to learn about Chinese culture. In any case, the richness of China's cultural heritage invites the attention of all discerning students.

Chinese is a wonderful language, but learning it does take hard work. With any university program, how much you get out of it depends on how much you put in, and Chinese is no exception. You can't just "absorb" the characters; you have to memorize them. At least in your first two years of studying Chinese, it's a good idea to test yourself each day on every character you've ever learned. For each unit of study, we recommend a certain number of hours of private study time. Please take this advice seriously. If you are not able to commit the number of hours that we recommend, perhaps you should consider studying a different subject?

It's our job to challenge all our students. We hope that you will find the program stimulating and rewarding enough to make you positively want to put in all the effort!

Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney

The department of Chinese Studies provides undergraduate, Honours and postgraduate teaching in Chinese language and Chinese studies. We teach both Modern Standard Chinese and Classical Chinese from beginner level, as well as providing options for students who can already read Chinese fluently. Our research interests represent the disciplines of cultural studies, history, linguistics, literature, political science and sociology. While contemporary and twentieth-century China is a major focus within the department, the study of ancient, early, medieval and late-imperial China are also important features of our program.