We teach Modern Standard Chinese, known as 普通话 Pǔtōnghuà. References are made to other forms of Mandarin Chinese spoken in different regions.
We offer a variety of courses which aim to develop your intercultural competence and linguistic skills. You can find out more on the general information page.
The following Mandarin Chinese courses are available for students currently studying at the university:
|Introduction to Chinese Characters||Semester 1 & 2||Learn Chinese with Weekly News||Semester 1 & 2|
|Complete Beginner||Semester 1 & 2||Post Beginner||Semester 2|
|Lower Intermediate Part 1||Semester 1||Lower Intermediate Part 2||Semester 2|
|Intermediate Part 1||Semester 1||Intermediate Part 2||Semester 2|
If you have never learned Mandarin Chinese with us before, please take this placement test so that you know which course is suitable for you.
Please also refer to the course descriptions below.
Introduction to Chinese Characters (Semester 1 & 2)
This course can be taken as a standalone course or as a supplement to the Complete Beginner course.
A substantial amount of lesson time will be devoted to practising writing Chinese characters with the support of your tutor. During this course, you will also learn
- the origins, evolution and structures of Chinese characters
- to read and write some useful phrases and sentences
Complete Beginner (Semester 1 & 2)
Enrol on this course if you have never studied Chinese before, or if you know a few basic phrases.
We strongly recommend you take the 'Introduction to Chinese Characters' course alongside this course, especially if you have never come across Chinese characters before.
Post Beginner (Semester 2)
Enrol on this course if you have completed the Complete Beginner course with us, or if you can:
- note down words and phrases you hear using pinyin with reasonable accuracy
- engage in basic conversations, exchanging information such as age, name, nationality, occupation, etc.
- read and write around 50 basic Chinese characters
Lower Intermediate Part 1 (Semester 1)
Enrol on this course if you have completed the Post Beginner course with us, or achieved HSK 1, or if you can:
- engage in conversations on topics such as the weather, routine and leisure activities, state preferences
- read and understand short texts written in Chinese characters on familiar topics
- produce short texts using Chinese characters to give basic information and describe simple situations
Lower Intermediate Part 2 (Semester 2)
Enrol on this course if you have completed Lower Intermediate Part 1 with us, or achieved HSK 1, or if you can:
- perform simple tasks such as shopping, asking for information such as directions and opening hours
- understand straightforward written resources on familiar topics written in Chinese characters
- write short texts using Chinese characters to give essential information and describe simple experiences
Intermediate Part 1 (Semester 1)
Enrol on this course if you have completed Lower Intermediate Part 2 with us, or achieved HSK 2, or if you can:
- engage in conversations on a number of non-abstract topics such as jobs, travel, and leisure activities
- read and understand straightforward written resources on a variety of familiar topics
- produce structured texts in Chinese characters on a variety of familiar topics, including description of past events and future plans
Intermediate Part 2 (Semester 2)
Enrol on this course if you have completed Intermediate Part 1 with us, or achieved HSK 2, or if you can:
- engage in conversations in a variety of situations with a degree of confidence
- read and understand written resources in Chinese characters on familiar matters and some abstract topics
- produce structured texts in Chinese characters with a degree of confidence on topics such as shopping, travel, jobs and some abstract topics
Learn Chinese with Weekly News (Semester 1 & 2)
Enrol on this course if you have completed Intermediate level Part 2 with us, or have reached HSK level 3 or above, or if you have learned Chinese in the past and none of the courses above meet your needs.
In this course we will discuss bite-sized news items that are written in graded Chinese following HSK levels. During this course you will have the opportunity to:
- further develop your independent learning skills
- have personalised learning experience to take your Chinese language skills to a higher level
- develop your intercultural competence and improve your employability skills
Course dates and times
All courses consist of 10 weekly interactive sessions delivered either on campus in person (IPL = In-person learning) or remotely (LOIL = Live online interactive learning).
'Introduction to Chinese characters' and 'Learn Chinese with Weekly News' sessions last 50 minutes. All the other sessions last 110 minutes.
Semester 1 courses will run on the following dates and times:
|Courses||Delivery||Day||Time||Start date||End date|
|Introduction to Chinese Characters||IPL||Tuesday||13:15 - 14:05||10 Oct||12 Dec|
|Complete Beginner||IPL||Tuesday||14:15 - 16:05||10 Oct||12 Dec|
|Complete Beginner||IPL||Wednesday||11:15 - 13:05||11 Oct||13 Dec|
|Complete Beginner||LOIL||Thursday||18:15 - 20:05||12 Oct||14 Dec|
|Lower Intermediate Part 1||IPL||Tuesday||18:15 - 20:05||10 Oct||12 Dec|
|Lower Intermediate Part 1||LOIL||Thursday||14:15 - 16:05||12 Oct||14 Dec|
|Intermediate Part 1||IPL||Wednesday||14:15 - 16:05||11 Oct||13 Dec|
|Learn Chinese with Weekly News||IPL||Tuesday||13:15 - 14:05||10 Oct||12 Dec|
|Virtual Exchange - please complete expression of interest form||LOIL||tbc||tbc||26 Oct||14 Dec|
Enrolment for Semester 1 courses is now closed.
Dates and times for Semester 2 courses will be published in December 2023 and enrolment for Semester 2 will open in January 2024.
"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)
Read students' experiences of learning Mandarin Chinese in the following blogs:
- A Brit in Beijing: My first trip to China
- How a Virtual Exchange improved my confidence in speaking Chinese
- Nǐ hǎo Shanghai: My summer internship in China
In addition to our courses, there are opportunities to develop your language and intercultural skills informally with other students through Peer Assisted Learning, Virtual Exchange, the Virtual Chinese & English Club on Teams and the Language Café.