SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

BA Chinese and... (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


Overview and entry requirements

The BA Chinese combined honours degree aims to give a broad understanding of Chinese culture through the study of its language, history and literature from earliest times up to the present, in combination with a solid grounding in another language or discipline.

See China and Inner Asia Department

Combine Chinese with other subjects

You may combine Chinese with other disciplines such as Development Studies, Economics, History, History of Art, International Relations, Law, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology, World Philosophies.

Why study Chinese combined honours at SOAS

  • UK Top 10 in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Modern Languages
  • we have a range of expertise at SOAS, not only in East Asian studies, but also with regard to languages and literatures of other regions - unique in UK institutions.
  • along with proven excellence in other disciplines, such as religious studies, anthropology, art and archaeology, and history, we offer students an unparalleled range of options in choosing their second subject of study.
  • flexible entry requirements for students with various levels of Chinese proficiency, from absolute beginners to GCSE and A-level Chinese.


See SOAS China Institute

See Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Follow us:

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • No preliminary knowledge of the language is required but a foreign language at A-level or equivalent is preferred.
  • Subjects Preferred: A foreign language at A-level, or equivalent, is preferred
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications usually invited
A Levels:
A Level language preferred
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements


Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: AAABB

Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB

Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0

Euro Bacc: 80%

French Bacc: 14/20

German Abitur: 2.0

Italy DES: 80/100

Austria Mat: 2.0

Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Featured events

4 years


Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data



Year 1

Students will take modules to the value of 120 credits from the two subjects

Core Module

This module must be passed in order to proceed to the following year.

Module Code Credits Term
Ch 100: Elementary Chinese 155901440 60 Full Year


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject.

Year 2
Core Module

This module must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study

Module Code Credits Term
Ch 200 Intermediate Chinese 155901467 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules

Students will take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
Contemporary Chinese Society 155901478 15 Term 1
East Asian Imperialisms 155901481 15 Term 2


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject.

Year 3

*Year 3 (from 20/21) Year Abroad: For more information on the year abroad in China, please see the Teaching & Learning tab.

Year 4
Compulsory Modules

Students will take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 15 Term 2
Ch 400: Advanced Chinese 155901468 15 Term 1

Guided Option

Choose modules from List A/List B or Central options (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) to the value of 30 credits


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject.

Year 4 - List A: Guided Option Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Ch 401: Chinese-English Translation 155901469 15 Term 2
Chinese for Business 155903010 15 Term 2
Ch 305: Elementary Cantonese 155901228 30 Full Year
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond 155903011 15 Term 1
Modern Chinese Literary Texts 155903013 15 Term 1
Independent Study Project in East Asian Studies 155901483 30 Full Year
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 1
Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China 155903017 15 Term 1
Chinese Cinema (UG) 155901474 15 Term 2
Year 4 - List B: Language Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese 1 A 155906026 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B 155906027 15 Term 2
Japanese 2 155900875 30 Full Year
Korean 1 A 155906028 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B 155906029 15 Term 2
Korean 2 155901404 30 Full Year
FHEQ Level 6
Module Code Credits Term
Korean 3 155900843 30 Full Year
Korean 4 155901486 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 155901345 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 155901346 30 Full Year

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Modern language teaching involves classroom work and independent study. A few non-language modules are taught by formal lecture. The single and combined degree modules are examined through oral and written examinations and coursework or reports.

Contact hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 60, 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are taught over one term or the full year. It also shows which modules are compulsory and which are optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.

More information is on the page for each module.

Year abroad

Students spend the third year of their BA Chinese degree at Beijing Normal University (BNU).  Single-subject degree students are required to take the following modules: 

  • Newspaper Reading (baokan 报刊)
  • Reading and Writing (duxie 读写) 
  • Conversation (huihua 会话)
  • Listening (tingli 听力)

In order to proceed to the final year, students must pass all four of the language modules taken at BNU. If a student fails one language module, they will be offered a re-entry test in September of the same academic year, to determine whether or not they can continue to Year 4.

SOAS Library

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.

Pre-entry readings

  • Ebrey, Patricia: The Cambridge Illustrated History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996/2010.
  • Mair, Victor H.: The Columbia History of Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.
  • Shei, Chris: Understanding the Chinese Language. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.

Further suggestions

  • Goldman, Merle, Leo Ou-Fan Lee (eds.): An Intellectual History of Modern China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Hong Zicheng: A History of Contemporary Chinese Literature. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
  • Lau, Joseph S. M., Howard Goldblatt (eds.): The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
  • Lovell, Julia: The Great Wall: China Against the World. 1000 BC - AD 2000. New York: Grove Press, 2006.
  • Minford, John, Joseph S. M. Lau (eds.): Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.



As a graduate who specialised in China and Inner Asia, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology,  law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

Skills gained

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include:

  • 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.

Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of China and the Inner Asian region, or to make comparative study with other areas. Chinese may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines.


Recent graduates have found employment in the UK, Europe and East Asia. They work in management research, medicine, English language teaching, import/export, stockbrokerage, multinational corporations, NGOs, libraries, media, law, film production, galleries and museums and merchant banking. Others go on to postgraduate study.


Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including Alcatel-Lucent, Bellville Rodair International, China's Ethnic Groups Magazine, Chongqing Foreign Languages School, Department for Communities and Local Government, EChinaCities, Emerge Poverty Free, Exclusive Analysis, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Global Health Europe, Global Witness, Idealpeople, Impact Investment Shujog, JET Programme, National Health Service, Standard Chartered Bank, Teach First, The Daily Telegraph, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art.


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

  • Project Coordinator
  • Management Accountant
  • English Teacher
  • Assistant Economist
  • Executive Editor
  • Science Communications Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Political Officer
  • Chinese Translator/Researcher
  • Research Associate
  • Architecture
  • Finance Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Proof Reader
  • Journalist
  • Assistant Curator
  • Equity Capital Markets, Analyst

Find out more on our Careers Service website

A Student's Perspective

You might not be able to find a department dedicated to your major... However, because SOAS has many courses that are interdisciplinary, you also might be able to find courses of your interests. For example, for SOAS does not have a dedicated philosophy department, I, a philosophy major, looked for courses in other departments that cover philosophical discourses. My experience here of studying Buddhism and Taoism was highly inspiring.

Dong-Kyung Lee, Korea University

Find out more