Our Head of Department says:
"China's economic growth over recent decades, its growing importance as a major political power in international affairs, its relationship with Hong Kong, along with increased contact between China and the West, has seen a corresponding rise of interest amongst Western audiences to travel to, or learn about the cultural and social life, of the region. UK school children now have opportunities to learn Kung-fu or study Mandarin; and Chinese food, TV and film, fashion and computer games have become a fascinating part of global popular culture. Since 1950, Tibetan Studies has been taught at SOAS (the first UK Higher Education Institution to offer it) and the popularity of ‘Mindfulness’ classes shows the widespread reach of Tibetan Buddhism. Yet, despite such increasing familiarity, and the motivation to learn about the rich diversity and dynamism of present day or pre-modern literary, religious, artistic and philosophical cultures, many stereotypes remain about China and Taiwan, their cultures and their languages. Our degrees aim to shatter these stereotypes, to allow you to master the languages, and to gain a deep and comprehensive understanding of the historical development of the cultures of China, Tawain and Tibet and their place in the modern world. The teaching of the Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien) and Tibetan languages occupies a major and important part of the undergraduate syllabuses."