SOAS University of London

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

Introduction to Classical Chinese

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1 or Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2

This module is taught in term 2 and 3 and it offers an introduction to Classical Chinese.



Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module a student should have a basic understanding of Classical Chinese grammar, read simple texts from the Warring States and Han periods, and appreciate aspects of Chinese culture through texts.


Total 12 weeks of teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a one hour lecture and a two hour tutorial per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (100%).

Suggested reading

  • Billeter, Jean Francois: The Chinese Art of Writing. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1990
  • Chiang, Yee: Chinese Calligraphy. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1961
  • Dawson, Raymond: A New Introduction to Classical Chinese. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984
  • Graham, Angus: Notes on Classical Chinese Grammar (unpublished manuscript; copies made available at the beginning of term 2)
  • Liu, Y. C.: Fifty Chinese Stories. London: Lund Humphries, 1967
  • Pulleyblank, Edwin G.: Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 1995
  • Wang Hongyuan: Hanzi ziyuan rumen [The Origins of Chinese Characters]. Beijing: Huayu jiaoxue chubanshe [Sinolingua], 1994


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules