Year of entry 2024
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2024
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 5 years full time
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- ABB (specific subject requirements)
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
- BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements
In this varied five-year degree, you’ll learn two major world languages and deepen your understanding of the modern world by exploring the histories and cultures of the nations that speak them. You’ll spend one year in China and another in an Arabic-speaking country, improving your language skills and gaining first-hand experience of these cultures and societies to enrich your understanding of these fascinating countries.
We teach Arabic and Chinese from beginner level, but if you already have some knowledge of either language we can normally accommodate you.
You’ll become proficient in Arabic while building your understanding of the cultural, religious and historical contexts that have shaped the Middle East and North Africa. You’ll also learn about contemporary relevant issues of these regions, exploring themes such as cultural identity, sexuality, gender and race.
The dominant cultural, political and economic influence in East Asia for over two millennia, China today constitutes almost a fifth of the global economy and is a major centre for technological, business and cultural innovation. Chinese at Leeds is one of the longest-running courses in the UK, and this immersive degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to gain a deep understanding of modern China.
The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at Leeds is an exciting place for your undergraduate experience. Our diverse international community of students and staff, student-led societies and outstanding pastoral support creates a friendly and dynamic atmosphere for all our students.
The School archive at Leeds holds Arabic manuscripts and as many as 10,000 archaeological artefacts ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras. It’s a fantastic research resource.
The world-class Brotherton Library is home to a wide variety of manuscripts, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. These include rare copies of magazines and unpublished letters, with materials across the range of languages that we teach. It includes extensive collections relating to Middle Eastern, North African and Islamic studies. Our Chinese collection is one of the best collections of modern Chinese books in the country.
Our main library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.
The Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The Language Zone offers excellent learning material in more than 50 languages, including online resources and advice. The Language Exchange and the Language Groups programme provide opportunities to practice with other learners and native speakers; you can also volunteer to help other learners and enhance your CV at the same time.
The University also hosts the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, with regular visiting speakers.
This means you have the unique and exciting opportunity to participate in many cultural events such as interesting talks, poetry readings and film screenings, and take part in competitions.
Take a look around our libraries:
This course – and the unique experience of living abroad – will equip you with the knowledge, skills and intercultural awareness necessary to pursue a wide range of exciting global careers. Core and optional modules will give you a firm grounding in both languages as you study topics that suit your interests. You'll also develop a range of transferable skills that are highly regarded by employers, including critical thinking, enhanced communication and cultural awareness.
In your first year, you’ll study core and optional modules that develop your language skills in both Arabic and Chinese. We’ll also introduce you to the politics, history, cultures and religions of China, the wider Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and North Africa.
You’ll 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 take fewer optional modules so you can fit in both subjects.
Years 2 and 3
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, all of which have been selected for their high-quality methods of teaching and success in running language courses.
You'll spend another year in Morocco or Jordan (subject to availability of places in both countries) at an institution that has been selected for its high-quality methods of teaching and success in running TAFL (Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language) courses. The curriculum you will study during your year abroad is exclusively for our students.
You’ll return to Leeds to further develop your language proficiency in Arabic and Chinese. Selecting from a variety of optional modules, you'll study topics as diverse as Middle Eastern history, Chinese literature, and contemporary Arab media, international relations and the political economy of East Asia, and literature and visual cultures in China.
You’ll deepen your knowledge in your final year at Leeds, studying advanced language modules and working on a final-year research project. This could be a dissertation, a translation or a digital documentary submitted as a podcast. You'll also have the flexibility to choose from a range of optional modules in areas that interest you. The international outlook and knowledge you develop alongside advanced language skills will allow you to consider career options in a range of fields.
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
|Beginning Arabic 1
|Beginning Arabic 2
|Studying the Middle East: Culture, History, Politics and Religion
|Basic Chinese Language 1
|Basic Chinese Language 2
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China in East Asian History
|Modern China: History and Culture
|Japanese History and Society
|Foundations of East Asia
|Introduction to East Asian Religions
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arabic Year Abroad
|Year Abroad in China
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arabic Year Abroad
|Year Abroad in China
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Advanced Arabic Grammar and Translation
|Essential Skills in Practical Arabic
Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arab Media, Politics and Society
|Modern Middle Eastern History
|China Since 1979
|Society and Culture of Early Modern China
|Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China
|Women and Family in Chinese Society
Year 5 compulsory modules
|Advanced Skills in Arabic Language
|Chinese 3: Advanced Skills
|Final Year Project: Dissertation, Translation, or Podcast
Year 5 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Islam and Modernity
|Advanced Media Arabic: Translation Skills in Text Typology
|Religion in China
|Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World
|Globalising China and the Developing World
|Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present
|Religion and Violence
|Contemporary World Literature
|Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption
|Adventures of the Imagination: Crime and the Fantastic Across Continents
|Social Movements across Cultures
|Minoritised Languages, Dialects and Cultures from Past to Present
|Linguists into Schools
Learning and teaching
You'll learn through a mix of seminars, lectures, workshops, group sessions and one-to-one supervisions, as well as independent learning supported by a rich range of resources. Our tutors are passionate researchers and dedicated teachers who use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and 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 research project on a topic of your own choice.
We are committed to an innovative and inclusive approach to teaching, which draws on a variety of activities including flipped learning, group presentations, and bespoke digital resources to prepare you for your seminar discussions.
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 are creative in our approach to assessment, and we consistently support your independent learning to ensure assessment is fair and inclusive.
We use a wide range of assessments including essays, exams, presentations, podcasts, literature reviews, reflective logs, and group projects. Assessments are designed to deliver the transferable skills needed for the world of work; task-based activities are designed to evidence critical thinking, demonstrate initiative and show knowledge of a range of relevant subjects and sources. We often try to provide you with a choice of assessment type.
Support for assessments is integrated into our teaching and you'll usually have the opportunity for formative assessments that allow you to practice your skills and do well in your formal assessments. We also 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: Grade 4/C in a foreign language.
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 and grade A in the EPQ.
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.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
M1, M1, M2 or D3, M2, M3
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: £24,500 (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 on our living costs and budgeting page.
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
You’ll gain the language and professional skills to prepare you for an international career in a wide range of sectors. This Arabic & Chinese degree allows you to gain proficiency in two major world languages.
As well as demonstrating that you’re intellectually versatile, your languages degree will equip you with a wide range of skills across different disciplines which are attractive to employers such as:
- good research skills and the ability to analyse complex information from multiple sources before drawing your own conclusions
- communication skills, enabling you to defend your views clearly either verbally or in writing
- strong organisational skills and the confidence to work independently or in a team
- a deep understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours
Leeds graduates have pursued careers across the globe and in a range of sectors including education, the media, law, publishing, the civil service and diplomacy, business and finance and the charity sector. Many others have also pursued postgraduate study, including further training in language-based careers such as translating and interpreting.
Leeds is the 5th most targeted university in the UK by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2022). At Leeds, we are fully committed to developing your employability and career prospects. You’ll have a wealth of opportunities to develop your skills and make the most out of your time at Leeds and during the time you’ll spend abroad.
Experience of living abroad, combined with detailed study of languages and cultures, is valuable preparation for employment in a multicultural, multinational environment.
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.
Our experts in the University’s Careers Centre will support you to make informed decisions about your career path, understand the opportunities available and the steps you need to take to pursue your choices. You’ll be encouraged to attend on-campus events including graduate recruitment fairs, employer networking and information sessions, and meetings with our alumni.
The Union provides career-related support through the part-time job hub, student societies and other activities throughout the year. Clubs and societies are a great way to get involved in lots of activities and explore your interests. They’re also a great way to develop your skills such as team working and leadership.
For example, you could be a key player in an award-winning sports team, or become a committee member and chair society meetings, or you could even project manage a volunteering trip overseas. The Union is home to School Reps who are appointed by students to represent the views and be the voice of students in your School.
At Leeds, you can access support to help you start your own business. Whether you want to learn about enterprise or become an entrepreneur, we offer award-winning specialist support.
As a student with us, you will be guided in your career choices and prepared for life after your degree in a variety of ways. Workshops and events are organised for you by the School throughout the year and focus on networking, understanding the value of your language skills, hearing from alumni about their career experiences and hosting graduate recruiters who want to hire you.
We’ll also keep you informed of work/voluntary placements for your time abroad and any other part-time and volunteering opportunities that you can fit around your studies.
Study abroad and work placements
In this five-year course you’ll spend two years abroad, in Years 2 and Year 3. You'll study for a year at a university or language institute in China or Taiwan.
For the Arabic year abroad you’ll study at an institute such as the Arabic Language Institute in Fes (ALIF), Morocco, or Jordan Language Academy in Amman.
During your time abroad, you’ll have the chance to practice and develop your language skills as well as immersing yourself in the local culture.