MA Chinese Studies
Duration: One calendar year (full-time); Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time
Who is this programme for?: Students who take this degree come from many countries and have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. While some wish to broaden their previous studies or experience of China, others approach the course without having a Chinese element to their first degree, but with a desire to focus their previous training on the region.
The MA Chinese Studies provides an exceptional opportunity to take advantage of the wide range of disciplinary approaches to the study of Chinese societies available at SOAS.The main emphasis is on modern and contemporary China, although it is also possible to study aspects of pre-Modern China.In addition to the courses on offer, students develop their own particular area of specialisation by writing a dissertation in their major discipline.
When applying, applicants are asked to specify their preferred major subject, and asked to give an alternative as practical considerations such as time tabling and availability of courses may limit freedom of choice. Once enrolled, students have two weeks to finalise their choice of subjects and have the opportunity of sampling a variety of subjects through attending lectures etc.
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.
Students take three taught courses, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major. As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students are required either to select
their three courses from three different disciplines OR two minor courses from the same discipline and the major from a different one.
China and Inner Asia
- Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora - 15PCHH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Modern Chinese Literature (MA) - 15PCHC003 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Chinese Literature in Translation - 15PCHC002 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Traditional Chinese Language and Literature - 15PCHC005 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2013/2014
- Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation - 15PCHC004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) - 15PCHH001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
Available as a minor only
- Modern Documentary Texts - 15PEAC007 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Society and Culture in Taiwan - 15PCHH003 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Language (minor only)
Only one language course may be taken.
- Special Course in Chinese 1 (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC008 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Special Course in Chinese II (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC011 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Special Course in Chinese 3 (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC009 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Special Course in Chinese IV (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC012 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Special Course in Chinese: Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC010 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Special Chinese: Advanced Chinese for Business and Management - 15PCHH006 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Elementary spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese) (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC007 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2013/2014
- Practical Translation: Chinese to English - 15PCHH004 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Practical Translation: English to Chinese - 15PCHH005 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Intensive Elementary Tibetan (Postgraduate) - 15PCHC018 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Styles of Modern Chinese Literary Language - 15PCHC016 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Art and Archaeology
- Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road - 15PARC032 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Ancient Chinese Civilisation - 15PARC026 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2013/2014
Available as a minor only
- Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries - 15PARH046 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Anthropology and Sociology (minor only)
- Culture and Society of China - 15PANC089 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Media and Film Studies
- Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli - 15PJKH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde - 15PJKH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- East Asia and globalisation - 15PDSH025 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Economic problems and policies in modern China - 15PECC035 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Economic development of modern Taiwan - 15PECH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Economic dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region - 15PECC334 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Politics and International Studies
- Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations - 15PPOC252 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- State and society in the Chinese political process - 15PPOC012 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- China and international politics - 15PPOC018 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- International politics of East Asia - 15PPOC251 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Available as a minor only
- Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan - 15PPOC253 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Chinese law and human rights - 15PLAC139 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Chinese commercial law - 15PLAC106 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) - 15PMUH014 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) - 15PMUH016 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- African Missionaries - 15PSRH043 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- East Asian Buddhist Thought - 15PSRH018 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Chinese Buddhism in the Pre-Modern Period - 15PSRC160 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2013/2014
- The Great Tradition of Taoism - 15PSRH036 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2013/2014
- Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar - 15PSRH038 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Locating China I: China and other Worldviews before 'Westernization' - 15PSRH025 (0.5 Unit) - Not Running 2013/14
- Locating China II: Missionaries and Misfits in the British Construction of China - 15PSRH026 (0.5 Unit) - Not Running 2013/14
- Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China - 15PHIH024 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China - 15PHIH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Teaching & Learning
Teaching & Learning
Students are exposed to a wide range of topics through participation in the seminars, general lectures and specialised workshops organised by the Centre of Chinese Studies.
Lectures and Seminars
The style of teaching in the Chinese Studies programme varies according to subject and teacher, but in most courses there is one 2-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or student presentation.
At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.
The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.
A postgraduate degree in China and Inner Asia studies from SOAS equips students with essential skills such as competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.
Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including 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. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
China Central Academy of Fine Arts
CTBI China Desk
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK
French Embassy in China
|Fu Xin Contemporary Art Gallery|
Government Offices of Sweden
Inter Committee of the Red cross ICRC
KPMG LLP UK
Macmillan Cancer Support
Overseas Development Institute
The Amity Foundation Hong Kong
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
Global Learning Program Associate
China Industry Specialist
Foreign English Expert
|Policy Officer Environment/Climate Change|
Expert on Media-Chinese language
Lecturer in Modern Chinese Culture and Language
Professional Speaker & Director
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
With some of the West’s leading experts on Taiwan’s political economy, SOAS was the ideal place for me to study cross-Strait relations