China's rapid transformation in a globalising world presents exciting new opportunities for employment, leisure and further study. This course enables you to combine in-depth study of contemporary Chinese society, popular culture and media, economics, politics, geography, and modern history with Mandarin Chinese from beginner to advanced levels. No prior experience of Mandarin is required, although students with existing language expertise can also be accommodated.
In the first year you take core modules on aspects of contemporary China and Mandarin language from beginners' level, along with small-group tutorials in both the autumn and spring semesters in which the emphasis is placed on reading and discussion of relevant academic literature, essay writing and seminar presentations. Topics are drawn from the core modules and from broader intellectual, cultural and political fields. Your remaining optional modules are chosen from a list of approved Chinese studies and other modules.
The introductory non-language core modules are designed to provide you with appropriate study skills, familiarity with resources, an understanding of the methodological approaches used in studying contemporary China, and an overview of the major cultural events and social changes that occurred in China during the 20th and 21st centuries.
Modules in year one include Introduction to Contemporary China and Approaches to Contemporary Chinese Studies. Topics include major events and processes in China's political, cultural and social development during the modern and contemporary period, the impact of Western and international influences on China's history and national identity and issues relating to gender, women, family, one-child policy, popular culture, internet culture, urban culture, rural living, education, student movements, ethnicity, China's border cultures, ethnic minorities, religious movements, nationalism and globalization.
Study skills will also include e-learning – learning how to access sources on the internet that can aid and develop our understanding of China and how to study it through academic disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches.
You will spend your second year at The University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus (UNNC) in China. This is a compulsory part of the degree course in contemporary Chinese studies. It will provide an amazing opportunity to experience China and to learn how to study it from within a Chinese cultural and educational environment. All your work in your year abroad will count towards your final degree result. You will again take core modules on contemporary China, this time with an emphasis on training in research methods and practice in a Chinese context, and involving the design and carrying out of an individual research project on a topic of your choice. You will also continue with Mandarin language.
Your remaining optional modules this year are chosen from a list of approved modules including International Organisation, Media Studies and China and the World.
In your final year you will write a 10-12,000-word dissertation on a China-related topic of your own devising. Further Mandarin language and advanced translation modules are available as options. A minimum of 60 credits of your optional modules are chosen from a list of approved Chinese studies, Mandarin and other modules.
A levels: AAB-ABB, no specific required subjects but social science or humanities A levels or equivalent and/or evidence of ability in modern languages are preferred
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 79 (minimum 17 in Writing and Listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking)
For details please see the alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
Notes for applicants
If you are a non-native speaker of Mandarin Chinese, you will spend the second year of your course at our Ningbo Campus in China. For this year, you will pay your tuition fees to Nottingham in the normal way and will be eligible for a China Campus bursary, which is currently £500. If you are a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese, you will remain in Nottingham for your second year.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Typical year-one modules
Introduction to Contemporary China
Approaches to Contemporary Chinese Studies
Typical year-two modules (University of Nottingham, Ningbo)
Research Techniques in Contemporary Chinese Studies
Typical year-three modules
Typical optional modules
Mandarin Chinese for Beginners/ Intermediate/ Advanced
East Asian Business in the 20th Century
Countries in Transition: China and E Europe
Women and Culture in China
The Rise of Modern China
Economic Development in China (Ningbo Campus)
China, Russia and the US (Ningbo Campus)
China and the World (Ningbo Campus)
Chinese Business Law
Introduction to Chinese Financial Markets
Government and Politics of Taiwan and Hong Kong: Alternatives to Leninism
Economics of Strategy and Applications
You will have developed an in-depth knowledge of contemporary China through a range of disciplines including history, geography and economics. Your language skills will be at degree level and you will have had the opportunity to practise Mandarin in its native context. Your international experience will impress employers.
Average starting salary
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full-time graduates of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies was £25,833.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.