Chinese and Russian A BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2022
Delivery type
On campus
5 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students in the Language Zone

Learn two major world languages and deepen your understanding of China and Russia, their culture, history, and their important roles on the world stage.

Through core and optional modules, you’ll become proficient in both languages while gaining an understanding of Russia, China and East Asia more broadly. You’ll develop language skills in Chinese while exploring the society and culture of one of the world’s major economic powers, and build your proficiency in Russian while exploring its rich culture and history.

In this five-year degree you’ll have the opportunity to spend a year in China and a second in a Russian-speaking country, taking language classes and gaining first-hand experience of local culture.

If you’ve never studied Chinese before, this degree will allow you to learn it from beginner level. If you have A-level Russian or equivalent, this degree will improve and refine your language skills.

Specialist facilities

The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. Our additional library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

You’ll also 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.

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Course details

In your first year you’ll study core modules to develop your spoken and written Chinese and Russian, and choose optional modules which will introduce you to the history and cultures of Russia, China, and the wider Asia Pacific region. You will learn both simplified and traditional Chinese characters from your first year.

A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects. You could take one of our cornerstone modules in Year 1 to draw your subjects together, or even study a third language.

In your second and third years, you’ll study abroad. You’ll study language classes for a year at a university or language institute in mainland China or Taiwan (subject to travel restrictions), and spend another year in a Russian-speaking country, studying Russian language and culture.

After developing your skills and gaining insight into local culture, you’ll return to Leeds in year four to study advanced language classes and topics such as Russian literature, linguistics, Sino-Japanese relations, or Japanese cinema.

During your final year, you’ll refine your language skills, choose optional modules that interest you, and develop your knowledge though an independent research project, translation or documentary on a topic of your choosing.

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 Chinese and Russian A BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Basic Chinese Language 1 20
Basic Chinese Language 2 20
Core Russian Language 1 20
What is Russia? An Introduction to Russian Studies 20

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

Module Name Credits
Persian for Beginners 20
Turkish for Beginners 20
Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 1) 20
Modern China: History and Culture 20
Beginners Korean 20
Beginners German 20
German Language Awareness and Skills 20
Introduction to Audio-Visual Culture 20
World Histories 20
Intermediate Portuguese Language 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Year Abroad in China 120
Russian Year Abroad 120

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

Module Name Credits
Year Abroad in China 120
Russian Year Abroad 120

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 2A 20
Chinese 2B 20
Core Russian Language 2 20

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

Module Name Credits
China Since 1979 20
The Making of Modern Thailand 20
Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World 20
Women and Family in Chinese Society 20
Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present 20
Black Europe 20
Digital Communications Across Cultures 20
Applied Russian Language 2 20
The Sounds of Russian 20
Gender and Sexuality in Russia 20

Year 5 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 3: Advanced Skills 20
Core Russian Language 3 20
Final Year Project 40

Year 5 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Classics of Chinese Literature and Thought 20
Religion in China 20
Modern Documentary Chinese: Politics and Law 10
Chinese Literature 1912 - 1949 10
Pre-Modern Chinese Fiction and Drama 20
Japanese Cinema in the World 20
Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption 20
Decolonial Approaches 20
Russian Advanced Translation 20
The Spaces of Russian Literature 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.

We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials or occasionally workshops. You’ll also build your language skills in practical classes, and as you progress, some modules may be taught in your target languages.

Independent study is central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You will 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 also use different types of assessment. Usually we use a mixture of exams and essays, but you may also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking if you need them.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB including B in Russian

including B in Russian

Other course specific tests:

When 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 including Russian and grade A in the EPQ.

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. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.


We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2 including Russian

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 5 in Russian at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 including H3 in Russian

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers including Russian and AABBB in Highers, or B in Russian in Advanced Highers and AAABB 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 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.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 75% including 8.0 in Russian.

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 including B in Russian 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.

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

In this degree you’ll gain proficiency in two major world languages, and study abroad. As you progress you’ll develop a range of skills across disciplines that employers are looking for.

You’ll have highly developed research skills, and you’ll be able to communicate your ideas effectively. Through your experience studying abroad you’ll have an understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours.

Your knowledge and skills will open up a broad range of career choices and opportunities to connect with people across Russia and China. Our graduates have pursued careers in diverse fields such as translation and interpreting, education, journalism, business, law and civil and diplomatic services.

Careers support

Postgraduate study in languages at Leeds or elsewhere provides an opportunity to continue to learn and prepare for a PhD and a career in academia.

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

This five-year course involves two periods of study abroad.

You'll study for a year at a Chinese university or language institute and you’ll also spend a year studying Russian language and culture in a Russian-speaking country.

Read more about the Chinese year abroad

Read more about the Russian year abroad