BA Chinese (combined)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

The Chinese combined honours degree aims to give a broad understanding of Chinese culture through a study of its language, history and literature from earliest times up to the present in combination with a solid grounding in another language or discipline.

The range of expertise in SOAS, not only in East Asian studies but also with regard to languages and literature of other regions is unique in UK institutions. Along with proven excellence in other disciplines, such as religious studies, anthropology, art and archaeology, and history, this offers students an unparalleled range of options in choosing their second subject of study.

May be combined with:

  • Development Studies,
  • Economics
  • History
  • International Relations, (LB23 BA/IRC)
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Politic
  • Social Anthropology
  • World Philosophies

Who is this programme for?

The programme has flexible entry requirements for students with various levels of Chinese proficiency, from absolute beginners to GCSE and A-level Chinese. The department also offers elective modules in Chinese on various levels for students wishing to obtain or improve Chinese language skills in the context of other degree programmes.


As a graduate who specialised in China and Inner Asia, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of China and the Inner Asian region, or to make a comparative study with other areas. Chinese may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page.

Recent graduates have found employment in the UK, Europe and East Asia. They work in management research, medicine, English language teaching, import/export, stock brokerage, multinational corporations, NGOs, libraries, media, law, film production, galleries and museums and merchant banking. Others go on to postgraduate study.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Bellville Rodair International
  • China's Ethnic Groups Magazine
  • Chongqing Foreign Languages School
  • Department for Communities and Local Government
  • EChinaCities
  • Emerge Poverty Free
  • Exclusive Analysis
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Global Health Europe
  • Global Witness
  • Idealpeople
  • Impact Investment Shujog
  • JET Programme
  • National Health Service
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Teach First
  • The Daily Telegraph
  • Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

  • Project Coordinator
  • Management Accountant
  • English Teacher
  • Assistant Economist
  • Executive Editor
  • Science Communications Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Political Officer
  • Chinese Translator/ Researcher
  • Research Associate
  • Architecture
  • Finance Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Proof Reader
  • Journalist
  • Assistant Curator
  • Equity Capital Markets, Analyst


Two-subject degree students must take and pass a minimum of 150 credits in Chinese, including all core modules, over the course of their four-year programme, in addition to the modules taken during the year abroad.

Year 1

Core Modules

Students will take modules to the value of 120 credits from the two subjects:

  • Ch 100: Elementary Chinese


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject.

Advanced entry students

Students under advanced entry do not take Ch 100: Elementary Chinese but instead, take 30 credits of Modern Chinese (Chinese 3 or higher) and an approved guided or open option module.

Year 2: (Compulsory year in Beijing)

Please see the Teaching & Learning tab for more details on the year abroad valued at 120 credits.

Year 3

Core Module(s)

Choose a module(s) from List A below to the value of 30 credits.


Compulsory Module(s)

Choose a module(s) from List A or List B to the value of 30 credits.


Second Subject Compulsory Module(s)

Choose a module(s) from the second subject to the value of 60 credits

Year 4

Compulsory Modules

Choose a module(s) from List C below to the value of 30 credits.


Choose a module(s) from List B or List C to the value of 30 credits.


Choose a module(s) from the second subject to the value of 60 credits.

List of Modules (subject to availability)

  • List A
    • Ch 301: Intermediate Modern Chinese Language (Reading)
    • Ch 302: Intermediate Modern Chinese Language (Writing)
    • Ch 303: Intermediate Modern Chinese Language (Translation)
    • Ch 304: Intermediate Modern Chinese Language (Listening and speaking)
  • List B
    • Introduction to Classical Chinese
    • Ch 306: Traditional Chinese Language and Literature
    • Ch 403: Traditional Chinese Language and Literature (Advanced)
    • Ch 305: Elementary Cantonese
    • Elementary Spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese)
    • Tibetan (Modern) 1 A
    • Tibetan (Modern) 1 B
    • Chinese Cultures on Screen and Stage
    • New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond
    • History and Memory in East Asian Cultures
    • Literature and Social Transformation in Contemporary China
    • Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China
    • Reading Contemporary Chinese Literary Text
    • Reading Modern Chinese Literary Text
    • Culture and Society of Taiwan
    • Identity and social relations in Japanese
  • List C
    • Independent Study Project in Chinese Languages and Cultures
    • Ch 401: Advanced Modern Chinese Language (Listening and Speaking)
    • Ch 402: Advanced Modern Chinese (Reading and Writing)
    • Ch 404: Styles of Modern Chinese Literary Language

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

Entry Requirements

No preliminary knowledge of the language is required but a foreign language at A-level or equivalent is preferred.

  • Subjects Preferred: A foreign language at A-Level, or equivalent, is preferred.
  • A-Levels: AAB-ABB A-Level language preferred
    IB: 35 (6/6/5)
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications usually invited.

Alternative entry requirements

  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 5 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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