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SOAS China Institute

MA in Advanced Chinese Studies

Duration: 2 Year Full Time

Overview

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Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

The two-year MA Advanced Chinese Studies offers comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Students on the programme take four taught courses at SOAS during their first year, including a team-taught core course provided by a range of SOAS China experts as well as a text-reading seminar allowing students to integrate their Chinese reading skills into their disciplinary studies. Further courses can be selected from available disciplines including Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Cinema, Cultural and Regional Studies, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Music, Politics, and Study of Religions.

In their second year, students will undertake an extended period of study at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, where they will follow a tailor-made bilingual programme in Chinese Studies. Options for short-term internships with local companies will be made available.  The second half of the second year will be taken up with the writing of the dissertation under close supervision back in London.

The programme is aimed at students pursuing careers in the academic world, business, government and the media that require a skill set which encompasses disciplinary rigour, comprehensive area knowledge and cultural and linguistic fluencies. Applicants should have at least intermediate-level proficiency in modern Chinese (HSK Level 4). The language element of the training will be tailored to meet the needs of students’ existing language skills. Alternative elements are available for applicants not in need of further Chinese language training, such as native speakers of Chinese.

Structure

In the first year at SOAS students on the programme take the team-taught core course provided by a range of SOAS China experts Approaches to Chinese Studies - 15PCIC001 and two taught courses (2 Units) from the list given below.  In addition a text-reading seminar (1 Unit - 15PCIC003) allowing students to integrate their Chinese reading skills into their disciplinary studies. 

In their second year, students will undertake a Period of Study at Partner University  (15PCIC004) at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, where they will follow a tailor-made bilingual programme in Chinese Studies. Options for short-term internships with local companies will be made available.  The second half of the second year will be taken up with the writing of the dissertation under close supervision back in London (Extended Dissertation in Chinese Studies 15PCIC999).

Thee courses should be chosen in close consultation with the programme convenor.

Core Course
China and Inner Asia
Available as a minor only
Taiwan Studies
Language (minor only)

Only one language course may be taken.

Art and Archaeology
Available as a minor only
Anthropology and Sociology (minor only)
Media and Film Studies
Development Studies
Economics
Politics and International Studies
Available as a minor only
Law
Music
Religion
History

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Lectures and Seminars

Most courses require students to attend two or three hours of classes each week. This time will be spent in lectures, seminars, tutorial discussions and student presentations: the exact mixture of activities varies somewhat from course to course. At Masters level there is a particular emphasis on students’ contributions and presentations, and students are also expected to read extensively and prepare for each class in advance.

Language courses typically involve more hours of contact time, especially at elementary level, and regular homework.

The assessment on most courses consists of two or three coursework essay assignments and an unseen written examination, sat in April or May. However, some courses are assessed purely on the basis of coursework, including essays and reaction papers.

Dissertation

A 20,000-word dissertation will be written by each student on this programme after his/her return from China, for submission in September of the second year. The dissertation will be on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.

Learning Resources

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. The China and Inner Asia collection consists of approximately 200,000 volumes and 5,000 periodicals.

A Student's Perspective

One of the most memorable things I did outside of SOAS was to sign up for a homestay – it’s free through SOAS, it’s just for the weekend, and it gives you a taste of English life outside of London.

Nancy Wang, Williams College