SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia

MA Chinese Studies

One calendar year (full-time); Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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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.



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.

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
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 15PCHH002 0.5 Unit Term 2
Modern Chinese Literature (MA) 15PCHC003 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Modern Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC002 1 Unit Full Year
Traditional Chinese Language and Literature 15PCHC005 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
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
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Modern Documentary Texts 15PEAC007 1 Unit Full Year
Taiwan Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Culture and Society of Taiwan 15PCHH003 0.5 Unit Term 1
Language (minor only)

Only one language course may be taken.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Special Course in Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 4 (PG) 15PCHC012 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese: Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (PG) 15PCHC010 1 Unit Full Year
Advanced Chinese for Business 15PCHH027 0.5 Unit Full Year
Elementary spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese) (PG) 15PCHC007 1 Unit Full Year
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 (PG) 15PCHC018 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Styles of Modern Chinese Literary Language 15PCHC016 1 Unit Full Year
Art and Archaeology
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road 15PARC032 1 Unit Full Year
Available as a minor only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries 15PARH046 0.5 Unit Term 1
Anthropology and Sociology (minor only)
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 0.5 Unit Term 2
Media and Film Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
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
Development Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Economic problems and policies in modern China 15PECC035 1 Unit Full Year
Economic dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region 15PECC334 1 Unit Full Year
Politics and International Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
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
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOC253 1 Unit Full Year
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Modern Chinese Law and Institutions 15PLAC139 1 Unit Full Year
Chinese Commercial Law 15PLAC106 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 0.5 Unit Term 2
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Colonialism and Christian Missions in Africa: Readings from the Archives 15PSRH043 0.5 Unit Term 1
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 0.5 Unit Term 2
The Great Tradition of Taoism 15PSRH036 0.5 Unit Term 1
Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar 15PSRH038 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China 15PHIH024 0.5 Unit Term 1
Asian Wars : World War II and the End of Empire, 1942-1960 15 PHI H038 0.5 unit Unit
Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China 15PHIH022 0.5 Unit Term 2


Important information for 2017/18 applicants

For the 2017 academic year, SOAS has introduced a new academic framework for all of our postgraduate taught courses. The new model will mean that taught programmes are now made up of four units each worth 30 credits – our current structure is based on three units – plus dissertation. This approach is in line with PG programmes in most other universities.

In practice this means that there will be additional choice of modules for students taking PG taught programmes in 2017. The modules set out here represent the options available in the programme in 2016. In most cases, our 2017 programmes will contain these options plus additional modules – broadening the range of what is available on your programme.

Programme Specification


Teaching and 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.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
£8,785 £18,075 £4,393 £9,038 £2,928 £6,025
Bernard Buckman Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


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:

Africa-Asia Confidential
Asia Society
China Central Academy of Fine Arts
CSR Asia
CTBI China Desk
Deloitte UKEMP
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
Linklaters LLP
Macmillan Cancer Support
Overseas Development Institute
Shelter UK
The Amity Foundation Hong Kong

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

Chartered Accountant
Global Learning Program Associate
News Editor
China Industry Specialist
Artistic Director
Foreign English Expert
Policy Officer Environment/Climate Change
English Teacher
Internal Auditor
Consultant/Account Manager
Expert on Media-Chinese language
Lecturer in Modern Chinese Culture and Language
Professional Speaker & Director
Assistant Professor

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

Daniel Mojahedi


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