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Chinese is the most spoken language on earth; from 2021 it will also be a subject at St Andrews. Chinese Studies will focus on the linguistic and cultural entity that is China and the Chinese-speaking world today.

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Why study Chinese?

Chinese Studies at St Andrews will offer you exposure to the breadth and depth of Chinese cultural practices. Looking beyond a model of language and literature, Chinese Studies will also include visual and pop cultures.

This will involve looking at mainstream, popular and dissident cultures, in all their national, regional, ethnic and diasporic diversity. The study of texts and cultural practices will be focused on the contemporary concerns that are at once both Chinese and global. These include: 

  • gender and sexuality
  • ecology and climate change
  • the excesses of advanced consumer society
  • issues of transparency, governance and collective memory. 

For 2021 entry, Chinese Studies will be available as a joint degree. There will be the option to study Chinese alongside other languages and a range of subjects within the arts, humanities and social sciences. 

Chinese is the official language of the most populous country on the planet, the People’s Republic of China. It is also widely spoken in Taiwan, in Singapore, and throughout the Chinese diaspora across five continents. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. 

The Chinese language is unlike other languages in that it is not written as a series of letters. Rather it uses a non-alphabetic script known as characters. It is also a tonal language, but the grammar is straightforward. So, studying Chinese can be challenging, but also highly rewarding. 

Typically, graduates of Chinese embark on careers in:

  • journalism
  • diplomacy
  • cultural diplomacy
  • consultancy and research
  • civil service
  • business
  • teaching
  • Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) related work. 

Find out more about Chinese Studies