SOAS University of London

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

MA Chinese Studies (Literature Pathway)

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

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 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

2018 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Incoming students will be expected to have completed at least the equivalent of two years of undergraduate Chinese language study.

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  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Start of programme: 2018/19

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

This programme enables students to engage critically with the varied aspects of Chinese literature.

This programme covers both pre-modern and modern literatures of China. It includes the study of literary works written in the original languages, as well as an introduction to literary theory.

For students on this programme the dissertation must be on a subject in Chinese Literature.



Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation, 30 credits of core modules, 30 credits of compulsory modules, and the remaining 30 credits can be from the list of optional modules.

All modules are subject to availability.

Compulsory Dissertation

The dissertation must be on a subject in Chinese Literature.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia 15PCHC999 60 Full Year
Core Module

Students must take 30 credits from the list below. You may take more.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC004 30 Full Year
Modern Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC002 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules

Students must take the following module.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 30 Full Year

30 credits from the list below. You may take more.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Classical Documentary Texts 15PEAC006 30 Full Year
Modern Documentary Texts 15PEAC007 30 Full Year
Optional Modules

Students may take 30 credits from the list below. Please note that some of the modules listed below may have a language requirement.

China and Inner Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Core Aspects of Chinese Studies 15PCHH028 15 Term 1
Connections and Intersections: Core Aspects of East Asian Studies 15PJKH025 15 Term 2
Practical Translation: Chinese to English 15PCHH004 15 Term 2
Practical Translation: English to Chinese 15PCHH005 15 Term 1
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) 15PCHH001 15 Term 1
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 15PCHH002 15 Term 2
Reading Seminar: Masterpieces of Modern Chinese Literature 15PCHH029 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Reading Seminar: Modern Chinese Literature and the World 15PCHH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Sinological Methodology 15PEAC005 30 Full Year
Japan and Korea
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Modern Japanese Literature (Masters) 15PEAH012 15 Term 2
Japanese Traditional Drama (Masters) 15PEAH013 15 Term 1
Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 1 (PG) 15PJKH028 15 Term 2
Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 2 (PG) 15PJKH029 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Readings in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH021 15 Term 2
Literary Traditions and Culture of Korea (Masters) 15PJKH005 15 Term 2
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1
Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 30 Full Year
Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 30 Full Year
Modern Arabic Literature and the West 15PNMC002 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arabic Popular Literature: Themes, Genres & Theory 15PNMC045 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
A Modern Arabic Literary Genre: Themes and Techniques 15PNMC046 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Classical Arabic Prose Literature and Adab 15PNMC047 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature 15PNMC347 30 Full Year
Social and Political Trends in 19th Century Turkish Literature 15PNMC373 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Selected Topics in 20th Century Turkish Literature 15PNMC374 30 Full Year
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG) 15PNMC379 30 Full Year
Arabic Poetry and Criticism 15PNMC048 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 30 Full Year
Identity and Language in Hebrew Literature 15PNMC412 30 Full Year
Classical Ottoman Literature (Masters) 15PNMC385 30 Full Year
Classical Persian Poetry (Masters) 15PNMC401 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Literature 15PSAC003 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Sanskrit Texts from the Hindu Tradition 15PSAC014 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Literatures of South Asia 15PSAC284 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) 15PSAH005 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asia Literatures in Translation (Masters) 15PSEH009 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
The Urban/Rural Divide in South East Asian Literature 15PSEH012 15 Term 1
English Literatures of South East Asia 15PSEH013 15 Term 2
Under Western Eyes: European Writings on South East Asia (PG) 15PSEH017 15 Term 1
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 30 Full Year
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 30 Full Year
Elementary spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese) (PG) 15PCHC007 30 Full Year
Japanese 1 (PG) 15PJKC008 30 Full Year
Japanese 2 (PG) 15PJKC009 30 Full Year
Korean 1 (PG) 15PJKC022 30 Full Year
Korean 2 (PG) 15PJKC024 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC294 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC306 30 Full Year


This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. 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. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information is on the page for each module.

Learning Outcomes

  • To obtain a solid knowledge of the texts and contexts of modern and traditional Chinese literature.
  • To translate and interpret different writing styles and genres.
  • To obtain a thorough grounding in the theories and techniques of comparative literature.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students should become able to assess data and evidence critically from manuscripts and digital sources, solve problems of conflicting sources and interpretations, locate materials, and use research sources.
  • Students should become aware of culturally essentialist and/or Eurocentric models of analysis of non-Western literatures and cultures and related intellectual debates, and acquire the intellectual skills to assess them critically.
  • Students should become aware of and think through the problems involved in applying a mainly “Western” body of literary theory to Chinese texts.
  • Students should become able to question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence independently.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Communicate effectively in writing.
  • Present seminar papers in an effective manner.
  • Discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes.
  • Exercise and increase their reading ability in modern and/or classical Chinese.
Transferrable skills

The programme will encourage students to:

  • Write good essays and dissertations.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Understand unconventional ideas.
  • Study a variety of written and digital materials that they will not have been exposed to as undergraduates.

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 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

HSBC SOAS Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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


A postgraduate degree in Chinese Literature 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 the indepth study of Chinese Literature, both pre-modern and modern and the study of literary theory in relation to this literature.  

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.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

The best thing about my time here is that there has been a huge improvement in my language skills and I have become more aware of people from various backgrounds. 

Alice Yuen


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