Skip to main content
A photo of the futuristic Shanghai skyline, at day, taken from the ocean.
Faculties and schools_

Department of Chinese Studies

Understanding and appreciating the language of the future

Traversing history, philosophy, linguistics, translation, literature, gender and film, our academics are experts in Chinese language and culture. 

Our expertise covers a diversity of disciplines including Chinese linguistics, Chinese pedagogy, second language acquisition, media in Chinese society, social and political changes in China, multi-culturalism and multi-lingualism in China, minority education, East-Asian thought and East-Asian Buddhism. 

In partnership with the China Studies Centre, our Sydney China Visitors program invites innovative and respected researchers in Chinese Studies from around the world. 

We teach both Modern Standard Chinese and Classical Chinese from beginner level, and we provide options for students who can already read Chinese fluently. We also offer opportunities to study topics as diverse as language, linguistics, translation, literature, gender and film. 

Our study offering

Chinese Studies delivers a solid understanding of Chinese society and culture and the foundational language skills essential to function with confidence in the Chinese-speaking world. Studies in this area have exchange and summer study opportunities, including to Peking University.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  


Our research 

We have research strengths across these broad areas:

  • Modern Standard Chinese language education
  • Classical Chinese language
  • Chinese linguistics, discourse studies, and translation studies
  • Chinese literature, classical and modern
  • Chinese media and communication
  • Chinese history.


Our advanced exchange programs provide life-changing experiences in China where students exercise their language skills and develop an understanding of cultural intricacies first hand. Partner institutions include:

  • Fudan University, Shanghai
  • Nanjing University
  • National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Peking University, Beijing 
  • Shandong University, Jinan 
  • Tsinghua University, Beijing 

Our people


Visit the What's On calendar to see our upcoming events and seminars.

Empire, Commerce and Religions: Buddhism under the Reign of Empress Wu (655–705)

When: Wednesday, 5 December 2018, 6–7.30pm
Where: New Law School Lecture Theatre 104, Level 1, New Law Annexe Building (F10A), University of Sydney NSW 2006

Professor Jinhua Chen (University of British Columbia) will deliver a public lecture on the controversial legacy of Empress Wu (formally reigning 690–705, but actually in power 655–705), which arose from the Empress’ ambition to build a transcontinental Buddhist empire through fostering religious and commercial ties among East Asia, Central Asia and South Asia.

Learn more

Department Chair (Acting)

Headshot of Dr Wei Wang

School of Languages and Cultures

Featured news