Vast and diverse, China has become one of the world’s major economic powers and boasts a rich and varied cultural heritage.
This degree offers you the chance to develop your Chinese language skills while exploring China’s social, cultural, political and historical context.
Compulsory modules will allow you to build your spoken and written Chinese, while a variety of optional modules will enable you to discover the aspects of Chinese politics, society and culture that interest you. You can even study modules covering the wider Asia Pacific region, such as Japanese literature, history and development in East Asia, or East Asian religions.
East Asian Studies at Leeds offers flexible and varied language degrees that focus on modern cultures and societies – but don’t neglect their historical roots either.
This four-year course includes a year abroad.
Created over 50 years, the Chinese collection housed in the Brotherton Library is one of the best collections of modern Chinese books in the country. The University Library also has impressive holdings of books in English about China, backed up by a wide range of digital materials. You’ll have access to free classes and workshops so you can learn how to use them.
As well as our great library resources, our Language Zone gives you access to free learning resources, including space for personal study, language learning software, and video, audio, books and magazines.
Take a look around our libraries:
Compulsory modules in your first year will give you a firm foundation in basic Chinese language skills, while your choice of optional modules will allow you to explore different areas of Chinese culture – such as contemporary Chinese literature and the history of Imperial China – and the wider Asia Pacific, such as East Asian religious traditions or Japanese cultural history. You’ll learn both simplified and traditional Chinese characters from your first year.
You’ll then build on these skills by spending a year at a university in China or Taiwan (subject to travel restrictions), immersing yourself in the local culture to get a sense of life in the country. It will give you a new perspective on your studies for when you return to Leeds, combining advanced language study with an even broader range of cultural modules.
In your final year, you’ll apply the critical and research skills you’ve developed to produce your Final Year Project – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Basic Chinese Language 1||20|
|Basic Chinese Language 2||20|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China in East Asian History||20|
|Modern China: History and Culture||20|
|Japanese History and Society||20|
|Foundations of East Asia||20|
|Introduction to Religious and Philosophical Texts of East Asia||20|
|Introduction to East Asian Religions||20|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Year Abroad in China||120|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|China Since 1979||20|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Japan's International Relations||20|
|Classics of Chinese Literature and Thought||20|
|Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World||20|
|Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers 1||10|
|Japanese Development Assistance in a Globalising World||20|
|Topics in Contemporary Asia Pacific Societies||20|
|Pre-Modern Chinese Fiction and Drama||20|
|Modern Japanese History||20|
|Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present||20|
|Global Environmental Humanities||20|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Chinese 3: Advanced Skills||20|
|Final Year Project||40|
Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Classics of Chinese Literature and Thought||20|
|Chinese Oral and Performance Traditions||20|
|Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China||20|
|Modern Documentary Chinese: Politics and Law||10|
|Chinese Language for International Trade and Business||20|
|Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World||20|
|Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan||20|
|Final Year Project: Dissertation||40|
|Adventures of the Imagination: Crime and the Fantastic Across Continents||20|
|Minoritised Languages, Dialects and Cultures from Past to Present||20|
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
However, independent study is a key part of your course – it allows you to develop your research skills to find relevant information, and encourages you to think critically about the material in front of you. Leeds has excellent library resources to help you manage this, and the University Library runs a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of it.
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 also use various types of assessment. Exams and essays are a significant part of this, but in some modules you may also be assessed on components such as group work, reports, or oral presentations. We offer support in these areas as well – for example, we run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam technique that you’ll be able to attend throughout your time at Leeds.
GCSE: 4/C in a foreign language
Other course specific tests:
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.
We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.
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. Grade 4/C in a foreign language at GCSE is required. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.
M1, M1, M2
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, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or AABBBB in Highers.
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 would 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.
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were 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.
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)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
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.
This course is taught by
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions
A degree in Chinese will give you valuable communication skills in the Chinese language as well as deep cultural awareness. That will open a number of doors into a range of different careers, both within China and around the world.
It will also equip you with valuable transferable skills that are highly sought by all kinds of employers. You’ll be able to work independently and research topics thoroughly, critically reflecting on what you have found and drawing your own conclusions – which you’ll then be able to clearly present and defend.
As a result, graduates have gone into a range of careers in business, journalism, publishing, diplomacy, tourism, teaching, broadcasting, overseas aid work, PR and language-based roles such as translation and interpreting. They work around the world, throughout China, Hong Kong and Taiwan but also across East Asia, the UK, Europe and the United States.
Postgraduate study in East Asian studies at Leeds or elsewhere provides an opportunity to continue to learn more about this region at an advanced level, bringing with it stronger career prospects, or it can prepare you for a PhD and a career in academia.
We are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies careers and employability support includes promoting internships, providing opportunities to work for the School and employer-led workshops and events.
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
After your first year you’ll have the opportunity to spend a year studying at a university in either China or Taiwan (subject to travel restrictions).
You’ll take language courses provided by our partner universities, a great opportunity to improve your spoken and written Chinese. But for many, it’s the highlight of their course because of the opportunity it gives them to be surrounded by Chinese culture and get a real sense of life in the country.