Asia Pacific Studies and Chinese BA

Year of entry

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
BCC at A Level with A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in Language Zone

China has become one of the world’s largest economies and plays a pivotal role on the world stage. China and the Asia Pacific region are culturally, politically and economically dynamic and vital to our global understanding.

You’ll explore the culture, history, politics and economics of the region and its interactions across the Pacific and beyond. You’ll combine this with intensive language study to become proficient in Chinese – a major world language. We teach Chinese from beginner level, but if you already have some knowledge of the subject we can normally accommodate you.

You’ll study at one of our partner universities for a year to refine your language skills and gain experience of life in China. Core modules will build your skills in Chinese and you’ll select modules to explore the wider Asia Pacific region, from Japanese literature to religion in East Asia.

With the international outlook, expertise and language skills you’ll develop, you’ll be prepared for a global career.

Specialist facilities

Leeds has excellent library facilities for Asia Pacific studies, and the University Library runs a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

With over fifty years of acquisitions, the Chinese section housed in the beautiful Brotherton Library has a vast collection of modern Chinese books available to you. The University Library also has impressive holdings of books in English about China, supported by a range of digital materials.

For independent language study, you’ll have access to the Language Zone – the University language resource centre – with books, DVDs, magazines, audio/ video resources and language learning software. To practise your speaking skills, you can participate in language groups with other students or a language exchange with a native speaker.

Course details

Your first year will include intensive Chinese language tuition to prepare you for your year abroad, as well as introducing you to the political, social and economic landscape of the Asia Pacific region more broadly. You will learn both simplified and traditional Chinese characters from your first year.

In your second year, you’ll study at a university in mainland China or Taiwan (subject to travel restrictions) where you’ll be immersed in Chinese culture, giving you the opportunity to improve and sharpen your language skills.

When you return to Leeds in your third year, you’ll continue studying the Chinese language to refine your skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. You’ll choose from a range of optional modules allowing you to focus on China specifically, or explore the Asia Pacific region more broadly from historical, political, religious and cultural perspectives.

This study continues into your final year when you’ll also be communicating in Chinese at a high level to explore key social and cultural issues. You’ll put your language, research and critical analysis skills into practice by working on an independently researched dissertation, translation or digital documentary to present your analysis on a topic of your choice. With advanced language skills and contextual knowledge of the region, you’ll be in a great position to consider career options in a wide range of fields.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Asia Pacific Studies and Chinese BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Basic Chinese Language 1 20
Basic Chinese Language 2 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
China in East Asian History 20
Modern China: History and Culture 20
Japanese History and Society 20
Foundations of East Asia 20
Introduction to East Asian Religions 20
Basic Thai Language and Culture 1 20
World Histories 20
Intercultural Competence: Theory and Application 20
Politics, Culture and Society 20
Discourse, Culture and Identity 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Year Abroad in China 120

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 2A 20
Chinese 2B 20

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Developing Your Professional Identity: Preparing for a Career in Within The Arts, Heritage and Creative Industries 20
China Since 1979 20
Japan's International Relations 20
Classics of Chinese Literature and Thought 20
Society and Culture of Early Modern China 20
Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World 20
An Introduction to Cantonese (1) 10
Intermediate Japanese (1) 20
Politics in Contemporary Japan 20
Women and Family in Chinese Society 20

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 3: Advanced Skills 20

Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Death and Religion in Japan 20
Advanced Chinese to English Translation 20
Buddhism: A Lived Tradition 20
Representing the Holocaust: Transgression and the Taboo 20
Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption 20
Social Movements across Cultures 20
Minoritised Languages, Dialects and Cultures from Past to Present 20
Linguists into Schools 20

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their teaching is informed by their own research, meaning what you’ll learn on this course is based on the latest findings in each field.

To help you get the most out of your tutors’ expertise, we use a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops.

Independent study is also central to this degree, as it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You’ll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year project on a topic of your own choice.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use different methods to assess your progress. Exams and essays are usually the main elements, but oral presentations and group work may also be assessed depending on the modules you choose. A wealth of support is available: we run extra classes throughout your time at Leeds on issues such as essay structure, public speaking and exam technique.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

GCSE: 4/C in a foreign language

Other course specific tests:

If you’re taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) you may receive an alternative offer alongside a standard offer. In this case, the typical offer would be BBB at A Level plus grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.
You’ll also need a Grade 4/C in a foreign language at GCSE.
An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.


We also consider other BTEC qualifications. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall.
(Including 16 at Higher Level and 4 in a foreign language at Standard Level.)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers
B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers
AABBBB in Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we’d strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 75%

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer:
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
BCC at A Level with A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Tuition fees for your study abroad year
On your study abroad year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree in Asia Pacific Studies and Chinese equips you with an appreciation of the cultures and communities in one of the world’s most vibrant and rapidly growing regions. It also gives you command over a major world language which continues to increase in importance.

Your studies will equip you with a range of transferable skills: teamwork, presentation, independent research and critical thinking. You’ll be able to form your own opinions from the evidence in front of you and communicate them clearly.

It’s no surprise that graduates have gone into a wide range of careers. Many are working in Asia Pacific, while recent graduates have moved into careers in business, journalism, tourism publishing, diplomacy, teaching, aid work, the media, and language-specific roles in translation and interpreting.

Others have continued to study languages and East Asian cultures to Masters level, either as a stepping stone for a PhD and career in academia or to further their knowledge.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Residence abroad

You’ll spend your second year studying at a partner university in China – a fantastic opportunity to surround yourself with Chinese culture, build your language skills and meet new people. For many of our students, it’s the real highlight of their degree. You’ll benefit from further language classes, but you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to travel and explore the region.