SOAS University of London

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

Chinese 402: BA Dissertation in Chinese Languages and Cultures

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 4
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective of this module is to provide students with an introduction to important issues, methods, and resources for the study of the modern and premodern languages and cultures of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and their diasporas. This final-year module is the culmination of the language-based research and writing training provided throughout the BA Chinese and Chinese Studies programmes. The main learning outcome is the production of a 9,000 word BA dissertation written in English (with a summary in Chinese).

Dissertation topics should broadly fall within the realm of the humanities (e.g., languages, literatures, arts, history, philosophy, popular cultures and media) and should be agreed in advance with the convenor and the prospective supervisor. Supervisors will be allocated within the Department of China and Inner Asia on the basis of expertise and availability.

Students taking this module must have passed at least one modern language module at 300-level. Those writing a dissertation on pre-modern subjects must have completed Chinese 404 or must take Chinese 404 in the same year.


Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week in term 1 only. In term 2 students will be offered directed supervision with the assigned supervisors up to a maximum of 3 hours.

Scope and syllabus

In term 1 the module is team-taught and by the middle of this term students must hand in a draft research proposal for their dissertation. In the second half of this term students must give a short oral presentation on their chosen topic. 

In term 2 students work on their individual projects with a supervisor. Supervisors will have regular meetings with the students they supervise to discuss their progress.

Method of assessment

One dissertation of 9,000 words due on day 5, week 1 of term 3 (90%). A research proposal and oral presentation in term 1 given on day 1 after reading week, term 1 (10%).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules