China is a ‘rising power’ in the Western Pacific region whose future importance for Australia is hard to over-estimate. China’s current levels of investment in research and development and in the tertiary sector indicate that China is poised to make a very rapid transition to a ‘knowledge economy’.
Why Chinese Studies?
China is one of the richest continuous cultures in the world with more than 5000 years history. The studies of Chinese civilisations offer insights into China’s fascinating past and challenging present. It helps us to thoroughly comprehend what makes it long-lasting and how it functions in Chinese society – in both China and the myriad Chinese diasporas in the Asia-Pacific region and across the world, including Australia. Currently Mandarin is spoken by more than 1 billion people around the world, representing about one fifth of the global population. It is one of the world’s most commonly used languages, only second to English. The studies of Chinese culture and language can help us to bridge the culture gap, make our communication more effective and open many opportunities for us in a globalised world. In recent years, China has become the second largest economy in the world whose future importance for Australia is hard to over-estimate. China’s current level of investment in research and development in the tertiary sector indicates that Chinese is poised to make a very rapid transition to a ‘knowledge economy’. This is a matter of direct relevance for the career planning of today’s undergraduates.
Why Chinese Studies at Melbourne?
The University of Melbourne is one of the few universities in Australia to offer students the opportunity to complete a major in Chinese Language, a minor in Chinese language and a minor in Chinese Studies. Undergraduate students may choose to complement their Chinese language study with a range of subjects on Chinese culture and society, acquiring not only a solid basis for language competence in later professional life but also the wherewithal for advancing their social and cultural literacy.
Teaching is informed by staff research in a wide variety of different fields, including language teaching and many aspects of contemporary and traditional China. One area of strong concentration is research on Regional Cultures and Linguistics, and the sociological study of contemporary China and overseas Chinese.
Students come to us with a great variety of linguistic skills and backgrounds, and are required to attend an interview at the outset of their course. A key feature of the Chinese language program is advanced-level subjects like Chinese Economic Documents, which provide students with experience in applying their language skills to areas of major professional interest. Our intention is to encourage students to aim for Chinese-English bilingualism in their professional lives after graduation.
How can I study Chinese Studies?
Undergraduate students can study Chinese Studies as:
- A Bachelor of Arts Chinese Studies major* or Bachelor of Arts Chinese Studies minor or combined Arts degree, or as a breadth option within your non-Arts degree (see Chinese Studies subjects below)
- Chinese Societies is available as a minor only in a Bachelor of Arts
- A concurrent Diploma in Languages
- In a fourth-year honours program (pure or combined)
*Please note: Students who undertake a major in Chinese Studies from the beginners level must complete ten Chinese subjects taken as Arts discipline subjects.
Chinese can also be studied through:
- Graduate Diploma in Arts – Chinese Studies
- Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) – Chinese Studies
- Single subject studies (Community Access Program)
At the graduate level, Chinese studies offer courses for:
- Master of Arts (Thesis Only)
- Master of Translation (Chinese Specialisation)
- Doctor of Philosophy – Arts
Chinese can also be a component in an Asian Studies program at either undergraduate or graduate level.
The Asia Institute offers a range of subjects in Chinese Studies. Some examples include:
- Chinese language at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels
- Taiwan and Beyond: Chinese Settler Culture (CHIN30002)
- China since Mao (CHIN20008)
Where can Chinese Studies take me?
Learning Chinese can open up many interesting employment opportunities – both domestically and abroad, and with the myriad commercial organisations and public institutions that work in the increasingly globalised space that operate alongside and share ties with China and other countries with significant Chinese-speaking communities. Expertise in Chinese language can enhance employment opportunities in government, diplomacy, commerce, education, and cultural affairs.
Meet our Chinese Studies staff
Our academics are leading researchers, and dedicated teachers.
Senior Lecturer Chinese Studies; Chinese Studies Convenor
Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies
Professor in Chinese Studies
Associate Professor Of Translation Studies; Master of Translation Convenor; Chinese Studies
Senior Lecturer Chinese Studies
Professor in Chinese Studies
Lecturer in Asian Studies
Senior Lecturer In Contemporary Chinese Studies (on leave in 2021)
Lecturer In Translation Studies (Chinese)
Deputy Director, Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies; Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese Studies
Lecturer In Chinese Studies
Principal Tutor in Chinese Studies