East Asian Studies and Chinese BA

Year of entry

2024 course information
UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
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 East Asian 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 global interactions. You’ll combine this with intensive 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 language we can accommodate you.

In your second year, you’ll study at one of our partner universities in China or Taiwan to refine your language skills and gain experience of life in a Chinese-speaking environment. Throughout the course, core language modules will build your skills in Chinese and you’ll select modules to explore the wider East Asian region, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian history, politics, economics, culture and societies.

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.

Specialist facilities

With a variety of specialist facilities and four libraries on campus, you’ll find plenty of space for study, group work and research. 

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 These include rare copies of magazines and unpublished letters, with materials across the range of languages that we teach. 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. 

Our Martin Thomas Translation Labs feature state-of-the-art computing facilities for translation studies as well as Interpreter Training Suites – ideal if you’re considering a career in interpreting. 

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 talks, poetry readings and film screenings, and take part in competitions. 

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Course details

Year 1

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 East Asian region more broadly. You’ll learn both simplified and traditional Chinese characters from your first year.

Year 2

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

Year 3

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 specifically focus on China, and explore the East Asian region more broadly from historical, political, religious and cultural perspectives.

Year 4

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.

Year 1 compulsory modules

  • Basic Chinese Language 1 (20 credits) - This intensive Chinese language module is suitable for complete and false beginners. It progresses fast and aims to help students to improve all their four basic skills in a balanced way through a range of classes – lecture, drill, listening and practical. Students will be engaged in an interactive and communicative learning environment and work with both simplified Chinese characters (read, write and type) and traditional Chinese characters (read).
  • Basic Chinese Language 2 (20 credits) - This intensive Chinese language module is suitable for students who have learnt about 500 Chinese characters and are familiar with essential features of Chinese syntax. It progresses fast and aims to help students to achieve a lower-intermediate level overall through a range of classes – lecture, drill, listening, speaking and practical. Students will be engaged in an interactive and communicative learning environment and work with both simplified Chinese characters (read, write and type) and traditional Chinese characters (read). Students are encouraged and supported in developing into efficient autonomous learners.

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

  • China in East Asian History (20 credits)
  • Modern China: History and Culture (20 credits)
  • Modern Japan (20 credits)
  • Foundations of East Asia (20 credits)
  • Introduction to East Asian Religions (20 credits)
  • Basic Thai Language and Culture 1 (20 credits)
  • World Histories (20 credits)
  • Intercultural Competence: Theory and Application (20 credits)
  • Politics, Culture and Society (20 credits)
  • Discourse, Culture and Identity (20 credits)

Year 2 compulsory module

  • Year Aborad in China (120 credits)

Year 3 compulsory modules

  • Chinese 2A (20 credits) - This module is a comprehensive course of upper-intermediate language skills, which provides students with the opportunity to improve their Chinese linguistic and communicative competence through newspaper readings, a systematic study of some main features of Chinese grammar, translation between Chinese and English, listening comprehension, interpersonal communication and oral interpretation. It combines traditional classroom teaching with independent learning and group work using VLE and other online resources. It will broaden students’ thematic vocabulary; improve their linguistic sense in accordance with various topical and stylistic contexts; and develop their written and spoken skills to a more advanced level.
  • Chinese 2B (20 credits) - This module is a comprehensive course of upper-intermediate language skills, which aims to improve students' practical language skills through intensive and extensive readings, writings, translation/interpretation between Chinese and English, listening comprehension and interpersonal communication. Topics covered may include literature, business, tourism, education, Taiwan and other cultural issues.

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

  • Topics in Contemporary Asia Pacific Studies (20 credits)
  • China Since 1979 (20 credits)
  • Contemporary East Asian Culture (20 credits)
  • Society and Culture of Early Modern China (20 credits)
  • Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China (20 credits)
  • Chinese Cinema (20 credits)
  • Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World (20 credits)
  • Women and Family in Chinese Society (20 credits)
  • Japan’s International Relations (20 credits)

Year 4 compulsory modules

  • Chinese 3: Advanced Skills (20 credits) - This module emphasises the active language skills students will need to gain a deeper understanding of China, to equip them for the workplace, for possible further study, and for lifelong engagement with China and its people generally. The practical training in this module includes speaking and listening, translating from English into Chinese, and composition in Chinese, taught in a mutually reinforcing way. Topics covered may include China's politics, economy, environment, education and other key social and cultural issues. Students will also be introduced to advanced language-learning strategies and techniques to enable them to meet the challenges of further strengthening their Chinese language skills beyond university.
  • Final Year Project: Dissertation, Translation, or Podcast (40 credits) - This may be produced in either English or, subject to the approval of the Module Leader and project supervisor, the Target Language. Lectures and workshops provide the skills training necessary, whereas more specific guidance is provided through one to one supervision with a member of staff.

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

  • Advanced Chinese to English Translation (20 credits)
  • Modern Documentary Chinese (20 credits)
  • Classical Chinese (20 credits)
  • Buddhism: A Lived Tradition (20 credits)
  • Religion in China (20 credits)
  • Global China in the Developing World (20 credits)
  • Global Korea (20 credits)
  • East Asia’s Regional Political Economy (20 credits)
  • Southeast Asia: Politics and Economy (20 credits)
  • Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption (20 credits)
  • Social Movements across Cultures (20 credits)
  • Minoritised Languages, Dialects and Cultures from Past to Present (20 credits)
  • Linguists into Schools (20 credits)

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. 

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 a contextual 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 contextual 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

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year.


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. 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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

You’ll gain the language and professional skills to prepare you for an international career in a wide range of sectors. As well as demonstrating that you’re intellectually versatile, your Chinese language competence 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.

Careers support

As a student with us, you’ll 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. 

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

During your time abroad, you’ll have the chance to practice and develop your language skills as well as immersing yourself in the culture. You’ll spend your year abroad studying in mainland China or Taiwan.

Read more about the Chinese residence abroad