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Learn Mandarin Chinese with the Skills Centre if you are a University of Bath student

Find out about our courses and how to enrol on the right one for you.

Two pairs of students practicing Mandarin Chinese together
Develop your language and intercultural skills

We offer beginner, lower intermediate and intermediate course levels.

If you have studied Mandarin Chinese before you can try this quick placement test to find out which class would suit your level best. You will need your university login details to take this test.

New: Demystifying Chinese Characters

This new course is for you if you have started learning Chinese and found the characters impenetrable or if you can speak some Chinese but have been putting off learning the characters by the unfamiliar writing system. The course is suitable for complete and post beginner levels.

This course challenges the belief that Chinese characters are difficult to learn and provides a perspective on one of the world’s richest cultures.

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • learnt some interesting stories behind Chinese characters
  • learnt how Chinese characters are structured and how Chinese words are formed
  • discovered the logic and beauty of Chinese characters

Complete Beginner

This level is suitable for those who have not studied Mandarin Chinese before or those who know some basic phrases.

At the end of this course you will:

  • have a general understanding of the Chinese language and Chinese culture
  • have learned to read pinyin
  • have learned to write some simple Chinese characters by hand
  • have learned to type Chinese characters using the pinyin input method
  • have learned to say dates and days of the week
  • have learned to introduce yourself and talk about your family, friends and pets etc

Post Beginner

This level is suitable for those who have completed the complete beginner course with Foreign Languages and/or can:

  • understand the basics of pinyin
  • greet people
  • talk about themselves (age, nationality, occupation)
  • count to 100 and beyond
  • express likes and dislikes
  • talk about basic personal states (e.g. busy, tired, thirsty and hungry)

Lower Intermediate Part 2

Enrol on this course if you have some previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese (completed the lower intermediate part 1 with Foreign Languages and/or achieved HSK 1; can read and write at least 50 simple Chinese characters) and/or can:

  • introduce yourself in detail
  • ask and give directions
  • talk about the price of things
  • ask about opening times
  • talk about illnesses and treatment

Intermediate Part 2

Enrol on this course if you have completed the intermediate part 1 level with FL and/or have achieved HSK 2 and can read and write at least 150 Chinese characters, or if you can:

  • engage in a telephone conversation and know how to leave or take a telephone message
  • can describe people and objects in detail
  • can shop for clothes and shoes
  • can write short texts in Chinese characters related to common topic areas
  • can understand straightforward written resources on familiar matters

Learn Chinese with weekly news

Enrol on this course if you have completed the intermediate level part 2 with us or have reached HSK level 3 or above.

In this course we will read and discuss bite-sized news items from China and around the world that are written in graded Chinese following HSK levels.

On this course you will have the opportunity to:

  • further develop your autonomous learning skills
  • take your Chinese language skills to a higher level
  • feel better in touch with China and the Chinese culture today
  • develop your intercultural competence
  • improve your employability skills

Student experience

BEng graduate Michal Nalepa has shared his experience of learning Mandarin Chinese alongside his course in this blog: Nǐ hǎo Shanghai: My summer internship in China.

I started learning Mandarin with Zhu Laoshi in my first year as a complete beginner. The three years studying with her encouraged me to have confidence in my language abilities. Most importantly, Zhu Laoshi’s classes are very enjoyable and allow you to learn the culture alongside the language. (Aqeel Abdul-Rahman, MEng Mechanical Engineering)

In addition to our courses, there are opportunities to develop your language and intercultural skills informally with other students through Peer Assisted Learning and Virtual Exchange.

Enrolment for the Semester 2 2022/23 language courses is now closed.


If you have any questions, please contact us.