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Course content

The Programme focuses on the study and research of the ancient religions, languages and great texts of China. Students will study the ‘ancient wisdom’ of China, which is of great cultural significance and is increasingly seen as relevant to contemporary concerns, such as personal and societal well-being and sustainability.

Course Overview

This Programme focuses on advanced level engagement with Classical Chinese texts and the spiritual, cultural and political values and practices that they embody.

This will be followed by modules which are thematically organised around the study of key texts from within The Complete Library of the Four Branches Literature and The Essence Encyclopedia of the Four Branches of Literature.

Textual study modules are thematically focused, and will consider issues such as the origins and content of key texts, and the history of and developments in translation, commentary and reception of them. Interpretation of The Four Books (SICH7002) will focus on the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, the Confucian Analects, and the Book of Mencius.

Readings from the Governing Principles of Ancient China (SICH7003) will focus on the Exoteric traditions of the Han version of the Songs, the Sayings of Confucius and his disciples, the Six Secret Strategic Teachings, An Essay on Government by Liu Yi, Yangzi Book on Government and On the Important List of Government. Readings from The Compilation of Books and Writings on the Important Governing Principles (SICH7010) will focus on texts from each of the main philosophical traditions of Daoism and/or Confucianism.

An additional module, namely, Classical Chinese Texts in English (SICH7004), enables a detailed study of Sinology as a (set of) discipline(s) in the West and particularly in the English-speaking world, and the development of translation, annotation and commentary skills on Classical Chinese texts in English.

Building on the taught part of the Programme, the Dissertation (SICH7015) element allows the student to complete a detailed critical commentary on a Classical Chinese text; or to complete a shorter textual commentary Project (SICH7016) and to deliver and reflect upon a ‘teaching placement’ activity derived from this textual work.


-SICH7001 Research Methodologies for the Study of Sinology
-SICH7002 Interpretation of The Four Books
-SICH7003 Readings from the Governing Principles of Ancient China
-SICH7010 Readings from The Compilation of Books and Writings on the Important Governing Principles
-SICH7011 Sinology Classics Readings
-SICH7004 Classical Chinese Texts in English
-SICH7015 Dissertation
-SICH7016 Project

Key Features

The MA in Sinology will have a special appeal to those students who wish to study ancient Chinese texts, to develop a rich and deep knowledge of traditional Chinese Classical texts; and to apply this knowledge to their own lives and those of others.

Students will have the opportunity to learn from the best in the subject and to study using the unique pedagogic approach derived from the 'Royal Great Learning’ (皇家太学) educational model, which relies upon intensive textual study and reflection.

Students will study at the Academy of Sinology at UWTSD, a newly established College in Lampeter which focuses upon training for Sage teachers, who through example will have a real impact on society via their own daily moral practices and teaching activities.

Studying at UWTSD Lampeter:
-The University’s Royal Charter is the oldest in England and Wales after the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
-His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales became our royal patron in 2011
-The university’s campus, situated in the rural town of Lampeter, has a friendly environment created by staff and students
-The region of South West Wales, where our campus is based, is a much lower cost of living than some of the larger UK cities and London


An MA degree in Sinology involves a wide range of assessment methods. Assessment will be both English medium and in the medium of Ancient Chinese, dependent on the particular module being studied.

Assessment methods include essays, translation into modern Chinese or English, translation with annotation or critical commentary, oral presentation, teaching placement portfolio and, of course, the dissertation.

This variety of assessment helps develop skills in presenting material in clear, professional and a lucid manner, whether orally or in writing.

Career Opportunities

Possible employment roles for graduates from this programme include:
-Teachers and educators in a range of settings in both China and the UK
-Academic researchers in traditional texts and ancient Chinese texts
-Translation work
-Educational administration and policy
-Ethical business and commercial ventures
-Community work and initiatives
-Voluntary and travel industries
-Heritage conservation; archive and museum work
-Corporate and personal coaches/trainers in ancient Chinese ‘wisdom’ and life skills

The expected employability skills gained by graduates from these programmes are: advanced information handling and communication skills; high levels of self and project management; the practical application of high level skills in textual analysis and interpretation.

Visit the Sinology - MA page on the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David website for more details!




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