SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Chinese (Mandarin) Beginners Course

Duration: 3 terms, 10 weeks per term, 20 hours blended learning. Each term courses are subject to quorum requirements.

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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Course fees quoted are per term of 10 weeks.

Chinese Beginners aims to provide students with a basic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese and focuses on the acquisition of practical communicative skills. It covers basic grammar and essential vocabulary, allowing participants to communicate in Chinese on a limited range of daily topics. Participants will have opportunities to learn to recognise and write simple Chinese characters. If students wish to continue their study of Chinese after the first term of study, the following term is entitled Chinese Beginners 2. This will be scheduled in the autumn term.


The course is taught in English and Chinese and includes coverage of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and a good balance between understanding the systems of Chinese grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills of comprehending and producing Chinese in speech and writing, guided practice in language usage and use and authentic communicative activities.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page 


Course materials, if not supplied, are not included in the fee but can be purchased from SOAS bookshop

We strongly recommend to wait until your course is confirmed before purchasing the textbook.

Entry Requirements and Progression Route

For the first stage of Chinese Beginners (i.e. Chinese Beginners 1), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Beginners 2 or 3 you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (20 hours blended learning per each sub-level). The progression route from Chinese Beginners 1 is to Chinese Beginners 2; from Beginners 2 to Beginners 3. Upon successful completion of Chinese Beginners 3 you will be able to progress to an Elementary level course in Mandarin Chinese.

Timetable Information:
Related Information

See more information on the Chinese language and courses in Chinese offered at SOAS Language Centre on the Chinese Language Homepage.

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