Chinese Studies

About the major

China is one of the world’s great civilisations, comparable to nthe European and Middle Eastern traditions. The Chinese Studies program will provide 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 program caters for students with a wide range of language abilities: complete beginners, advanced learners, and speakers with background in both standard and non-standard forms of vernacular Chinese. The program focuses on developing effective communicative skills at the lower and intermediate levels, including Chinese for professional purposes. At the advanced levels, we teach research and academic writing skills in the Chinese language, including classical Chinese, which is essential for understanding Chinese tradition. The teaching of classical Chinese is integrated with the study of the literature and thought of pre-modern China.

All students, regardless of prior experience of the language, 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 have an HSC at some level of Chinese language, or are a background-speaker, you can major in Chinese Studies and go on to complete an honours year or postgraduate study in the subject. Graduates may go on to future careers in international relations, multinational corporations, media, tourism, NGOs, academic research, and education relating to China.

Requirements for completion

A major in Chinese Studies requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level language units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units

A minor in Chinese Studies requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level language units

First year

First year units in Chinese Studies are focused on student participation, communication, and cultural immersion. Students come to the department as beginners in the Chinese language. First year units will help the students develop basic communicative Chinese language skills and gain the background knowledge necessary to understand the diversity of Chinese speaking societies today.

Second year

Building on the foundational knowledge provided in first year, second year units develop intermediate level communicative Chinese language skills, and provide more background knowledge necessary to understand the diversity of Chinese speaking societies today and over time. Students can enter the programs with an HSC in Chinese, or as heritage learners. Through the language and culture program students will be provided with the methodological tools, critical thinking, analytic and communication skills required for the field of Chinese Studies.

Third year

Third-year units in Chinese Studies provide advanced levels of Chinese language skills and cultural topics that develop from the thematic specialisations of second year. Units of study develop deeper understandings of greater China and also provide training in transferable and transcultural skills through learning experiences which include collaborative learning activities, independent research and practical project based learning.

Honours

The Honours program in Chinese Studies will provide you with an opportunity to engage in in-depth study of social, political, cultural, literary or linguistic topics related to Chinese Studies.

All students with good academic records in Chinese Studies should consider an honours year. There will be a range of options for students with different levels of Chinese language proficiency and research interest. However, the more Chinese you have learned before you start, the more interesting the options that will be available to you.

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours requires a major in Chinese Studies with an average of 70 percent or above. You are advised to consider taking ASNS3690 Approaches to Research in Asian Studies, in the semester before you intend to commence Honours.

If you commenced your degree in 2018: Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Chinese Studies with an average of 70 percent or above. You are advised to consider taking ASNS3690 Approaches to Research in Asian Studies, in the semester before you intend to commence Honours. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

Advanced coursework

The requirements for advanced coursework in Chinese Studies are described in the degree resolutions

Contact/further information

Undergraduate Coordinator:
Dr Wei Wang ()

In-country Studies Coordinators:
Dr Irene Shidong An ()
Dr Joshua Stenberg ()

Exchange Coordinator:
Associate Professor Christine Ji ()

Honours Coordinator:
Dr Joyce Nip ()

Postgraduate Coordinator:
Dr Xiaohuan Zhao )

Chair of Department:
Professor Yingjie Guo )

Example pathways

The Chinese major has three pathways (beginner, intermediate, advanced) depending on your Chinese language background when you begin your study.

The Beginner pathway will follow a 2-3-3 model = 2 Language units at Level 1000; 2 language + 1 culture unit at Level 2000; 2 language +1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level
Sample
Year 1: CHNS1101 + CHNS1102
Year 2: CHNS2601 + CHNS2602 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000
Year 3: CHNS3601 + CHNS3602 + 1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level

The Intermediate pathway will follow a 2-3-3 model = 2 Language units or 1 culture unit at Level 2000; 2 language units at Level 3000 +1 culture unit at Level 2000; 2 language or culture units at Level 3000 + 1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level
Sample
Option A: HSC Learners (non-heritage)
Year 1: CHNS2601 + CHNS2602 or 1 culture unit at Level 1000 + CHNS2601 or CHNS2602
Year 2: CHNS3601 + CHNS3602 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000
Year 3: 2 language or culture units at the 3000 level + 1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level
Option B: Heritage Learners
Year 1: CHNS2001 + CHNS2002 + 1 culture unit at Level 1000 + CHNS2001 or CHNS2002
Year 2: 1 culture unit at Level 2000 + CHNS3603 + CHNS3604
Year 3: 2 language units (CHNS3605 + CHNS3606) or culture units at the 3000 level + 1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level

The Advanced pathway will follow a 2-3-3 model = 2 culture unit at Level 1000; 2 language unit at Level 3000 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000 OR (1 language unit + 2 culture unit at Level 3000); 2 units at Level 3000 + 1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level
Sample
Option A: Education Focus
Year 1: CHNS3000 + CHNS3001 or 1 culture unit at Level 1000 + CHNS3000 or CHNS3001
Year 2: CHNS3611 + CHNS3612 +1 culture unit at Level 2000
Year 3: 2 units at Level 3000 + 1 Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level
Option B: Culture Focus
Year 1: 2 culture unit at Level 1000
Year 2: CHNS3611 + CHNS3612 or CHNS3600 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000
Year 3: 2 culture units at Level 3000 + Interdisciplinary Project unit at 3000 level

Note: Students with a focus on Education should enrol in 2 language units in the second year, while students not focusing on Education may enrol in one language unit and one culture unit in the second year.

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate levels of mastery of the Chinese language for the purposes of understanding, expression and communication. The extent of language proficiency upon completion of the major will depend on the appropriate relevant stream of study:

  • beginners will demonstrate competency with full-form and simplified characters, use dictionaries and language registers discerningly, and confidently express ideas and arguments in effective Chinese
  • intermediate /heritage learners will be able to discuss complex subject matter in both spoken and written Chinese, and demonstrate an understanding of a broad range of literary and non-literary texts
  • advanced/native Chinese speakers with advanced literacy will be able to use spoken and written Chinese to present ideas in an academic context and attain familiarity with specialised uses of the language in a variety of genres.

2. Demonstrate a confident knowledge of the major cultural, historical, social, political and other trends and issues relating to China
3. Demonstrate familiarity with emerging methodologies in Chinese Studies, such as digital literacy.
4. Demonstrate a solid understanding of Chinese society and culture that will allow them to function with confidence in the Chinese-speaking world.
5. Conduct individual and collaborative research in Chinese studies competently and confidently.
6. Exhibit an understanding of China through their use of various approaches drawn from the arts, humanities and the social sciences as tools to approach Chinese social and research issues.
7. Effectively apply knowledge and approaches from Chinese Studies to issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context.