[skip to content]

SOAS China Institute

Politics and Society of China and Chinese Language

Duration: 5 Weeks


Featured events

This course has been cancelled

This combined language and politics course enables students to study Chinese language alongside a comprehensive introduction to Chinese politics and society. Students will undertake one of two levels of Chinese language; Beginners Chinese (level 1) is designed for ab initio learners and does not require any prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese or Beginners Chinese (level 2) which is a continuation of Beginners Chinese 1 and completes the coverage of the major grammar and syntax of Modern Chinese. As well as the language students will be focusing on the transformations within society and politics that have taken place since the Communist Party came to power in 1949. In addition to providing a historical overview and factual information, the course aims to promote critical understanding of Chinese political events and social structures. An important aim of the course is to encourage students to move beyond the often one-sided image of China presented in the Western media.



Social Programme 社交活动

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party. A guided tour of historical Bloomsbury where SOAS is situated will help you find your way around the campus area.


Dates 日期

The summer school will run from Monday, 23 June - Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fee 费 用

Discounts 折扣

Early bird discount of 10% extended from 15 April to apply to course fees before Friday, 23 May 2014. 2014年5月23日 星期五前支付费用,可享受10%的折扣优惠。

20% discount for current SOAS students.

Tuition 学费

A tuition fee of £2,500 will be charged per 5-week programme. 
5周的课程学费为2500英镑, 不包括住宿费用。

Accommodation 住宿 

from £300/week
Rooms can be booked at the Intercollegiate Halls which are located in the heart of Bloomsbury.

从£300/week 起;为数有限的客房可以在位于Bloomsbury中心的伦敦大学宿舍进行预订。

Application fee 报名费

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £55 will be charged to cover administration costs.


Terms and Conditions

Credits 学分

Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution. However the summer courses remain non-accredited by SOAS. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol.


We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.


Contact 联络方式

For more information, please contact Dr Hongping Annie Nie, SOAS China Institute



The course will be delivered Monday - Thursday over the 5 weeks except in the first week, when it will be Tue-Fri (with Monday, 23 June devoted to an induction). The total number of contact hours for the whole course will consist of 100 hours of lectures and seminars, plus extra activities such as study skills and trips and throughout the five weeks.

本课程将在周一 至周四授课,共5个星期 (除了第一周的周一6月23日专门用于开学典礼和介绍)。五个星期的课程包括总数为100小时的讲座和研讨会,以及其他活动,如学习技巧和旅行等。

Politics and Society of China 中国政治与社会

2 hours per day, 4 days per week (total time 40 hours over five weeks)

每天2小时,每周四天 (五周共40小时)

WeekDescription 课程安排
1From socialism to postsocialism 从社会主义到后社会主义
2Rule by Campaign: Shaping Chinese Politics, Society, and Culture in the Socialist Period 运动与统治:社会主义阶段中国政治社会和文化的形成
3Everyday Life and Social Changes 日常生活与社会变革
4International Relations 国际关系
5Recent Changes and Future Prospects 当前的变化与未来的前景

Beginners Chinese (Level 1)*

3 hours per day for 4 days a week (total time 60 hours over five weeks)

1Introduction of Chinese sound system (pinyin) and students are required to transcribe given sounds to the pinyin system accurately. The Chinese writing system will be introduced to build up an awareness of Chinese characters. Common country names and cities will be taught. Students will also learn basic greetings and how to introduce themselves.
2Basic sentence structures of Chinese will be introduced, i.e. S+ Stative verbs; SVO; S+MV+Verb, S+Neg+Verb, etc. Students will learn how to manage a short talk, such as on the weather.  They will be able to state their likes and dislikes
3Question patterns, measure word system, number and monetary expressions will be introduced in this week. Students will learn how to initiate short conversations by using various questions, such as asking a price.  
4Numbers, time expressions and relevant aspect markers will be introduced in this week. Students will be able to talk about their experiences in the past and plans for the future.
5The extended usage of ‘wh-‘words and some usage of ‘le’ will be introduced.  Students will be able to exchange information about daily routines and give general comments on a topic they discuss.

Beginners Chinese (Level 2)*

3 hours per day for 4 days a week (total time 60 hours over five weeks)

1General revision and summary of basic grammar and vocabulary. Various comparison sentences will be introduced and students will be able to manage more complicated dialogues such as shopping for clothes/shoes, purchasing tickets, etc.
2Structure of words (such as VO word) and verb complements will be introduced. Selected topics in which these patterns are commonly present will be used for language practice.
3 ‘ba’ structures will be introduced. Students should be able to talk about topics such as cooking and moving house in which the ‘ba’ structure is commonly applied.
4Learn more about university life (attending class, choosing electives, using the library)  and modern China in Chinese. Authentic material will be used.
5Learn more vocabulary relating to Chinese culture. Students are expected to become familiar with Chinese festivals & customs, famous films, literature and so on. They will be able to read some authentic material and be able make simple comments on relevant topics.
*Suggested Textbooks

Teaching is principally based on the course books:

  • Tung & Pollard, Colloquial Chinese, Routledge, 1982
  • Liu Xun, New Practical Chinese Reader, Beijing Language and Culture Press, 2005
  • Zhang G, Chinese in Steps, Sinolingua, 2011

Additional learning materials will be provided wherever necessary.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Beginners Chinese (Level 1)

This course is designed for ab initio learners and does not require any prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.  On completing the course, students should be familiar with Pinyin system and achieve a working knowledge of 200-300 characters (simplified form) and of basic grammar and sentence patterns. They should be able to read, write, listen to, and understand simple Chinese sentences and dialogues.

Beginners Chinese (Level 2)

This course is a continuation of Beginners Chinese 1. It completes the coverage of the major grammar and syntax of Modern Chinese. On completing the course, students should be able to manage daily communications with a working knowledge of 600-700 characters (simplified form).

How to apply

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:

  • IELTS (www.ielts.org), 7 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in all subscores.
  • iBT 105+ with 22 in all subscores or 100 overall with no less than 25 in writing and no less than 22 in any other subscores.
  • Or equivalent.

1. 雅思(www.ielts.org)总分为7分以上,或者所有单项分数至少为6.5
2. 托福总分为105 分以上, 各单项分数为22分, 或者总分为100分,写作不低于25分,其他单项不得少于22分
3. 或同等学历

The course has been cancelled. 

A Student's Perspective

the fact that I was following this distance learning programme was acknowledged as a positive sign of my commitment to become a good development worker

Rob Stoelman, Bangladesh