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Mandarin Chinese courses for University of Bath students and staff

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

Traditional red Chinese lanterns marking Chinese New Year.
Develop your Chinese language and intercultural skills

We teach Modern Standard Chinese, known as 普通话 Pǔtōnghuà. References are made to other forms of Mandarin Chinese spoken in different regions.

Courses

We offer a variety of courses based on the HSK framework for Chinese proficiency, leading to the globally acknowledged HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) qualifications Level 1 – Level 3 (equivalent to A1 – B1 on the CEFR). We offer three levels of accreditation starting from Beginners (Level 1) leading up to Intermediate (Level 3). Students are able to reach one level per year of study. Exams take place at the end of the academic year.

The following Mandarin Chinese courses are available for students and staff at the University of Bath:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Complete Beginner Post Beginner
Lower Intermediate Part 1 Lower Intermediate Part 2
Intermediate Part 1 Intermediate Part 2
Chinese for Business Complete Beginner Chinese for Business Post Beginner
Introduction to Chinese Characters Introduction to Chinese Characters
Learn Chinese with Weekly News Learn Chinese with Weekly News
HSK Exam Preparatory Workshops

Placement test

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.

Course descriptions

Complete Beginner - HSK Level 1.1

Enrol on this course if you have never studied Chinese before, or if you know a few basic phrases. 

We recommend you take 'Introduction to Chinese Characters' alongside this course.

Post Beginner - HSK Level 1.2

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
  • engage in basic conversations, exchanging information such as age, name, nationality, and occupation
  • read and write around 50 basic Chinese characters

Chinese for Business, Beginner Part 1

This course will develop your competence and fluency in a range of business contexts. Enrol on this course if you have never studied Chinese before or if you know some basic Chinese phrases.

We recommend you take 'Introduction to Chinese Characters' alongside this course.

In addition to developing your language skills, this course will help you:

  • explore Chinese workplace practices and work culture
  • understand Chinese society within a business context
  • explore Chinese social media use and its application in workplace communications
  • develop your intercultural competence and improve your employability skills

Chinese for Business, Beginner Part 2

Enrol on this course if you have completed Chinese for Business, Beginner Part 1, or if you can:

  • engage in basic business conversations, addressing people appropriately in different contexts
  • exchange basic information such as time, dates, venue, nationality and occupation

This course will cover:

  • staff recruitment and job hunting
  • digital marketing and multichannel selling
  • introducing products and services
  • negotiating a deal

Lower Intermediate Part 1 - HSK Level 2.1

Enrol on this course if you have completed the Post Beginner course, or achieved the Chinese standard examination 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 - HSK Level 2.2

Enrol on this course if you have completed Lower Intermediate Part 1, or achieved the Chinese standard examination 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 - HSK Level 3.1

Enrol on this course if you have completed Lower Intermediate Part 2, or achieved the Chinese standard examination HSK 2, or if you can: 

  • engage in conversations on a number of non-abstract topics such as 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 past events and future plans

Intermediate Part 2 - HSK Level 3.2

Enrol on this course if you have completed Intermediate Part 1, or achieved the Chinese standard examination 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 abstract topics

Introduction to Chinese Characters

This course can be taken as a standalone course or as a supplement to the Complete Beginner and the Chinese for Business, Beginner Part 1 course.

You will be practising writing Chinese characters with the support of your tutor on this course. You will learn:

  • the origins, evolution and structures of Chinese characters
  • to read and write useful phrases and sentences

Learn Chinese with Weekly News

Enrol on this course if you have completed Intermediate level Part 2, or have reached the Chinese standard examination 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 the HSK levels. During this course you will:

  • 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

HSK Exam Preparatory Workshops Levels 1, 2 and 3

Preparatory workshops for students who opt to sit for the HSK qualifications, held in Semester 2.

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).

The timetable for Semester 1 will be published during July/August. Enrolments will open on 18 September 2024. Taster sessions will be held during the weeks of 23 and 30 September and classes will start in the week beginning 7 October 2024.

Student experience

"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:

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 Microsoft Teams and the Language Café.

Enquiries

If you have any questions, please contact us.


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