Chinese and Thai Studies BA

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

Register your interest to be notified when bookings open. Register your interest

UCAS code
TL31
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
5 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Mandatory
Typical A-level offer
ABB
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in Language Zone

Explore the culture and history of China and Thailand and learn two languages, gaining valuable skills for a global career.

We teach both languages from beginner level, but if you have some prior knowledge we can normally accommodate you. You’ll build your skills in each language through core modules, and you’ll be introduced to the culture, history and politics of China, Thailand and the Asia Pacific region.

A wide range of optional modules will expand your knowledge, allowing you to focus on development issues, Chinese culture, Japanese cinema and recent Thai history among others. Due to the size of East Asian Studies at Leeds, we are able to offer flexible and varied degrees that allow you to pursue your interests.

In this five-year course you’ll spend two years abroad, with a year at a university in mainland China or Taiwan (subject to travel restrictions), and a year in Thailand giving you first-hand experience of the languages and cultures.

Specialist resources

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 take intensive language classes in both Chinese and Thai to develop your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, as well as choosing from optional modules on the culture, history and politics of the Asia Pacific region, from East Asian religions to Chinese history and Japanese culture. 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 you’ll take fewer optional modules so you can fit in both subjects.

This will lay the foundations for the next two years, when you’ll gain further insight and improve your language skills by studying in China and Thailand. When you return to Leeds, you’ll have a new perspective to bring to your final two years of study.

Higher-level language classes will improve your spoken and written Thai and Chinese, and you’ll also explore topics such as Chinese cinema and the development of contemporary Thailand through core and optional modules.

In your final year you’ll refine your language skills, and choose from a wide range of optional modules on topics such as Buddhism, regional politics in East Asia and Chinese literature. You’ll also demonstrate your knowledge and skills in an independent project, such as a piece of research, a translation or a documentary on a topic of your choice.

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 Thai Studies BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Basic Chinese Language 1 20
Basic Chinese Language 2 20
Basic Thai Language and Culture 1 20
Basic Thai Language and Culture 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 Religious and Philosophical Texts of East Asia 20
Introduction to East Asian Religions 20

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

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

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

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

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
The Making of Modern Thailand 20
Chinese 2A 20
Chinese 2B 20
Intermediate Thai Language and Culture 1 20
Intermediate Thai Language and Culture 2 20

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

Module Name Credits
China Since 1979 20
Japan's International Relations 20
Classical Chinese 20
Contemporary East Asian Culture 20
Japanese Development Assistance in a Globalising World 20
Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China 20
East Asia's Regional Political Economy 20
Japanese Cinema in the World 20
Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present 20
Global Environmental Humanities 20

Year 5 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 3: Advanced Skills 20
Advanced Thai Language and Culture 20
Final Year Project 40

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

Module Name Credits
Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China 20
Chinese Linguistics: Theory and Practice 20
Modern Documentary Chinese: Politics and Law 10
Chinese Literature 1912 - 1949 10
Japanese Cinema in the World 20
Death and Religion in Japan 20
Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan 20
Buddhism: A Lived Tradition 20
Representing the Holocaust: Transgression and the Taboo 20
Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption 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

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles including lectures, small-group seminars, tutorials and 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 a major part of the course, building research skills and learning to think critically about the information you find. The University Library runs comprehensive training programmes to help you make the most of our resources.

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.

Assessment

Exams and essays are our usual forms of assessment, but some modules may also assess you on oral presentations or group work. We’ll provide plenty of support to help you handle this – throughout your time at Leeds you’ll be able to attend extra classes on issues like public speaking and exam technique.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

GCSE: Grade 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.

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.

BTEC

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please 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, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or 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 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%

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.

International

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.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

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.

Applying

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 2023

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions

Email: lcsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

A degree in Chinese and Thai will give you valuable communication skills in the languages of two fast-growing countries which are increasingly important on the global stage. You’ll also have a real awareness of the complex and diverse cultures that make up the vibrant and powerful Asia Pacific region.

That will open a number of doors into a range of different careers, both within East Asia and around the world. However, 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 around the world, working in business, journalism, publishing, diplomacy, tourism, teaching, broadcasting, overseas aid work, PR and language-based roles such as translation and interpreting.

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.

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 at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Residency abroad

You'll spend two years abroad studying a dedicated language course for non-native speakers at one of our partner institutions in each country. Of course, you’ll also have plenty of time to travel and explore China and Thailand.

You’ll spend a year studying at an institution such as Chiang Mai University in Thailand, and a year at a university in China.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop your language skills and gain a new appreciation of both Chinese and Thai cultures. It can also really enhance your CV. For many of our students, it’s the highlight of their degree.

Read more about the Thai residence abroad

Read more about the Chinese residence abroad