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MA Chinese Studies

Course Description

Who is this programme for?:

Students who take this degree come from many countries and have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. While some wish to broaden their previous studies or experience of China, others approach the course without having a Chinese element to their first degree, but with a desire to focus their previous training on the region.

The MA Chinese Studies provides an exceptional opportunity to take advantage of the wide range of disciplinary approaches to the study of Chinese societies available at SOAS.The main emphasis is on modern and contemporary China, although it is also possible to study aspects of pre-Modern China.In addition to the courses on offer, students develop their own particular area of specialisation by writing a dissertation in their major discipline.

When applying, applicants are asked to specify their preferred major subject, and asked to give an alternative as practical considerations such as time tabling and availability of courses may limit freedom of choice. Once enrolled, students have two weeks to finalise their choice of subjects and have the opportunity of sampling a variety of subjects through attending lectures etc.

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


Students take three taught courses, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major. As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students are required either to select
their three courses from three different disciplines OR two minor courses from the same discipline and the major from a different one.

MA Chinese Studies- Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 35kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cia/degrees/machinstudies/file80704.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Students are exposed to a wide range of topics through participation in the seminars, general lectures and specialised workshops organised by the Centre of Chinese Studies.

- Lectures and Seminars

The style of teaching in the Chinese Studies programme varies according to subject and teacher, but in most courses there is one 2-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or student presentation.
At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

- Dissertation

The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.

- Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.


A postgraduate degree in China and Inner Asia studies 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 a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.

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.

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

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

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Daniel Mojahedi

With some of the West’s leading experts on Taiwan’s political economy, SOAS was the ideal place for me to study cross-Strait relations. The faculty, and the classes they offered, allowed me to gain key insight into both the island’s domestic workings and its relationship with China. In addition to its outstanding teaching staff, SOAS also maintains an impressive collection of literature about Taiwan within its library. SOAS’ Taiwan Studies program thus should be among the top considerations for any serious scholar of Taiwan looking to further their education.

(Student Profile)

Giulia Cibotti

When I first arrived in London, I didn’t know many people but SOAS soon felt like home. As the campus itself is quite small, students develop a strong sense of community, as if they were all part of a large eccentric family. Also, given the nature of our studies, people here are extremely diverse, friendly and open-minded. You can tell that everyone is really passionate and enthusiastic about what they do. It’s very contagious and inspirational.

After coming here I realised how tough a Master’s degree can be. The levels of pressure are constant and the workload may absorb most of your energies. To me, what makes SOAS so special is that ‘SOASians’ can study very hard but they also know how to have fun. It is very important to be around people like this when deadlines are looming or when you’re overwhelmed by assignments and readings. There is some sort of positive vibe that makes this place highly addictive. You feel bad if you go several days without visiting the campus. It might because of the daily Hare Krishna queue, the Rebetiko live music on Monday nights, or the various exhibitions, talks, film screenings, book launches and all kinds of interesting events taking place around the School. There is always so much going on. A few weeks ago we had two wonderful Bactrian camels visiting as part of a conference organised by the history department. I can’t really think of a better example to explain how unique this place is.

Yet, my opinion may be quite biased, as studying here became my obsession since the second year of my undergraduate degree in Italy. One day, my Chinese art history professor mentioned SOAS during her class, and I later found myself looking it up on the internet. Since I was studying Chinese language and culture, the School immediately struck me as “the place to be”. Years passed, but the interest stuck so I eventually applied and earned my place at SOAS.


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)

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