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SOAS Language Centre

Beginners Chinese (Mandarin)

Duration: One year of three terms, 10 weeks per term, 3 hours per week


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

This new course is part of a wide range of Chinese language courses and activities available at SOAS Language Centre.

Beginners Chinese (Mandarin) runs over three terms, with 30 contact hours per term. It aims to provide complete beginners of Chinese with a solid foundation in all four key skills. It introduces basic grammar and essential vocabulary as well as Chinese characters. Participants of the course will have opportunities to practise communicating in Chinese in class on daily topics. By the end of the course, participants are expected to be able to recognise a limited number of Chinese characters and read simple short texts in Chinese. If participants wish to continue their studies, they can join a class in Lower Intermediate Chinese, also offered by the Language Centre.


The course is taught in English and Chinese Language and includes coverage of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and a good balance between understanding the systems of Chinese Language grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills of comprehending and producing Chinese Language in speech and writing, guided practice in language usage and use and authentic communicative activities. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow intensive interactive practice with individual feedback and advice on progress.



Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course. Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop bookshop@soas.ac.uk


Classes will be held at the Bloomsbury or Kings Cross campus of SOAS. 

See our online store to book a place on this course.

Language Centre How To Apply

You can enrol:

Not a complete beginner?

If you are not a complete beginner, you will need to complete an assessment for course placement, allowing us to decide which course is right for you.

To apply for an assessment please complete our Needs Analysis Form (pdf; 187kb) and send to the relevant email inbox where a Course Officer will contact you for scheduling.

Course Fees and Discounted Rates

An overview of our Short Course Fees and Discounted Rates.

If you are eligible for a discount, you will not be able to complete your transaction on the Online Store. You will need to bring a paper Application Form (pdf; 462kb) , including your Staff/Student card for us to make a copy of, after which we can process your application at the discounted rate.

Returning students

If you are a returning student, you will have received a letter informing you of the procedures for rejoining prior to the start of the registration period. You can pay using any method indicated above. Returning students, if they are continuing onto the course indicated as the progression course, do not need to be assessed.