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School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Chinese/Japanese Studies

Durham has a long history of teaching East Asian languages: the first lecturer in Chinese was appointed in 1952, and Japanese has been taught since the early 1980s. There are extensive library holdings in both subject areas, and specialist collections of Chinese, Japanese and Korean art in Durham’s Oriental Museum.Teikyo University has a branch campus in Durham with extensive library holdings relating to Japan which Durham University students can use.

BA Degree in Chinese / Japanese Studies

The specialised degree programme (R52-C90) offers students the opportunity to specialise in studying the language and culture of either China or Japan as their major subject. The programme includes a year (third year) studying the chosen language at a university in China or Japan. It also offers the opportunity to study the second language, Chinese or Japanese, at a lower level, throughout the course, but this optional: there is a wide range of other choices. Click here to see the programme regulations which give details of the core and optional modules to be taken in each year of the course.

This is a four-year multidisciplinary degree based at the School of Modern Languagesand Cultures (MLaC), where the core language and culture modules are taught. Students take a double language module in each of the three years spent inDurham, plus a culture module. The fourth module in each year is a module on Chinese or Japanese history. The fifth and sixth modules in years one and two are to be chosen from a list of modules offered by MLaC or by the departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Government and International Relations, Law, Philosophy and Religious Studies. All final year students will take a double module dissertation on some aspect of China or Japan. All third year students will spend the year studying Chinese or Japanese at one of our partner universities inChinaorJapan. 

The aim of the course is to equip students with the linguistic ability, cultural knowledge and disciplinary skills necessary to be able to engage confidently and competently withChinaorJapanin a future professional capacity. The multidisciplinary approach is designed to allow students to choose one or more disciplinary areas on which to focus their study of China or Japan, whilst the language training ensures that graduates have the necessary language skills, both written and spoken, to work in a Chinese or Japanese language environment.

The School arranges Chinese or Japanese language exchange partners for student on this programme.

The basic A2 offer is AAB or equivalent other qualification. . For students wishing to take the specialized pathway in Chinese Studies with History, an A grade in A level history is required. 

Other Chinese / Japanese Language and Culture Teaching

In addition to this specialist programme MLaC offers open modules in Chinese language (four levels) and Japanese language (three levels) to students throughout the university as for-credit modules. Chinese and Japanese culture and film modules are also offered to students throughout the university as option modules.

Postgraduate Teaching

MLaC offers modules in Chinese, Japanese and Korean translation as part of its MA in Translation Studies.

In addition MLaC offers research degrees, MA, MPhil and PhD, in Chinese and Japanese studies.