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MA Chinese Literature

Course Description

This programme enables students to engage critically with the varied aspects of Chinese literature.

This new degree covers both pre-modern and modern literatures of China. It includes the study of literary works written in the original languages, as well as an introduction to literary theory.

The programme comprises two compulsory courses, a minor option, and a dissertation.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/cia/degrees/machinlit/


The MA degree consists of four components:

Not all courses may be available every year.

1. Core Course
Take one of these courses

- Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation - 15PCHC004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Chinese Literature in Translation - 15PCHC002 (1 Unit) - Full Year

2. Compulsory Course
- Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature - 15PCSC002 (1 Unit) - Full Year

3. Minor Courses
For non-fluent Chinese speakers
Students who do not have advanced or native-speaker competence in Chinese are required to select one of the following two courses, which offer advanced training in reading and translating Chinese literary texts. These courses are also taken by fourth-year undergraduate students, but MA students will be required to do additional work.

- Traditional Chinese Language and Literature - 15PCHC005 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Modern Chinese Literature (MA) - 15PCHC003 (1 Unit) - Full Year

For fluent Chinese speakers:
For students with advanced or native speaker competence in Chinese, alternative minor units may be selected from the MA Sinology programme, or the second core course may be selected as a minor, with approval from the programme convenor.

4. Dissertation
A 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic

MA Chinese Literature - Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 28kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cia/degrees/machinlit/file80703.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The degree programme consists of two compulsory courses, a minor option and a dissertation of 10,000 words.
The taught part of the course consists of core lectures introducing basic concepts, theory and methodology; and the additional seminars that extend the core material into other areas. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.


A postgraduate degree in Chinese Literature from SOAS equips students with essential skills such as competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through the indepth study of Chinese Literature, both pre-modern and modern and the study of literary theory in relation to this literature.

Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Visit the MA Chinese Literature page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

Student Profiles

Bernard Buckman Scholarship - Single Award

Candidate Assessment:
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel consisting of three academic members from the Department of the Language and Cultures of China and Inner Asia. - The assessment of your application will be based on the information provided in your scholarship application and in your on-line application for admission. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.Scholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 24 February 2016- In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must ALSO submit a complete online application to the full-time MA Chinese Studies/MA Advanced Chinese Studies programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should prepare to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods. - Late or incomplete applications will not be considered

Value of Scholarship(s)

Off-set the full time tuition fees


- Applicants must possess a good honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent institution recognised by SOAS.
- Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue the full-time MA Chinese Studies programme or the MA Advanced Chinese studies at SOAS by the scholarship application deadline.
- Applicants must meet the English language condition of their offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2016. If your offer is conditional on English, please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible.
- Open to applicants paying fees at the UK/EU rate only

Application Procedure

You must apply for this scholarship via this on-line scholarship application form.

Further Information



Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Incoming students will be expected to have completed at least the equivalent of two years of undergraduate Chinese language study.

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