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Chinese and Thai Studies BA (Full time) 2018 start

Course information for 2019 start

Key facts

UCAS code: TL31

Start date: September 2017, September 2018

5 years full time

Typical A-level offer: ABB

UK/EU fees See fees section below
International fees £17,500 (per year)

Language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component

Study abroad option: Yes
Work placement option: Yes


This degree is a challenging and exciting opportunity to learn two languages from scratch, and spend a year in each country to develop your skills and cultural awareness.

You’ll build your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in each language through core modules, and you’ll be introduced to the culture, history and politics of East Asia and the Asia Pacific region.

You’ll also expand on this knowledge through a wide range of optional modules, allowing you to focus on development issues, Chinese culture, East Asian religious practices, Japanese cinema and recent Thai history among others. Leeds is one of Europe’s largest centres for East Asian Studies, so we can offer flexible and varied degrees that allow you to pursue your interests.

However, perhaps the most exciting element of your degree will come in your second and third years, when you’ll study in China and Thailand to improve your language skills and gain a deeper appreciation of each nation’s unique culture.

Specialist resources

With over fifty years of acquisitions, the Chinese collection housed in the beautiful Brotherton Library is one of the best collections of modern Chinese books in the country. The University Library also has impressive holdings of books in English about China, backed up by a wide range of digital materials.

As well as our great library resources, Leeds has state-of-the-art facilities to support language students. Our fully equipped Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

If you’re interested in translation studies, we offer specialised computing facilities in our Electronic Resource Information Centre. What’s more, if you’d like to explore a career in interpreting you can get a taste of this in our Interpreter Training Suites.

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Course content

In your first year you’ll take intensive language classes in both Chinese and Thai to develop your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, as well as choosing from optional modules on the culture, history and politics of the Asia Pacific region, from East Asian religions to Chinese history and Japanese culture.

This will lay the foundations for the next two years, when you’ll gain further insight and improve your language skills by studying in China and Thailand. When you return to Leeds, you’ll have a new perspective to bring to your final two years of study.

Higher-level language classes will improve your spoken and written Thai and Chinese, and you’ll also explore translation, Chinese media and the development of contemporary Thailand. You’ll choose from further optional modules on topics such as Buddhism, and Chinese visual culture. You’ll also demonstrate your knowledge and skills in an independent research project on a topic of your choice in your final year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Basic Chinese Language 1 20 credits
Basic Chinese Language 2 20 credits
Basic Thai Language and Culture 1 20 credits
Basic Thai Language and Culture 2 20 credits
IT for LCS Students 5 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Students will spend the second and third year of their programme in China and Japan (one year in each country).

Year Abroad in China or Thailand

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Students will spend the second and third year of their programme in China and Thailand (one year in each country).

Year Abroad in China or Thailand

Year 4

Compulsory modules

The Making of Modern Thailand 20 credits
Chinese 2A 20 credits
Chinese 2B 20 credits
Intermediate Thai Language and Culture 1 20 credits
Intermediate Thai Language and Culture 2 20 credits

Optional modules

China Since 1979 20 credits
Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan 20 credits
East Asia's Regional Political Economy 20 credits
Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present 20 credits

Year 5

Compulsory modules

Chinese 3: Advanced Skills 20 credits
Advanced Thai Language and Culture I 20 credits
Advanced Thai language and Culture II 20 credits
Final year project

Optional modules

Modern Documentary Chinese: Politics and Law 10 credits
Modern Documentary Chinese: Society and Development 10 credits
Contemporary Chinese Literature 10 credits
East Asia's Regional Political Economy 20 credits
Tourism and Development in South East Asia 20 credits
Advanced Chinese Communication Skills

For more information on typical modules, read Chinese and Thai Studies BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles including lectures, small-group seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops. Independent study is also a major part of the course, building research skills and learning to think critically about the information you find. The University Library runs comprehensive training programmes to help you make the most of our resources.

Read more about How we teach Thai language and culture


Exams and essays are our usual forms of assessment, but some modules may also assess you on oral presentations or group work. We’ll provide plenty of support to help you handle this – throughout your time at Leeds you’ll be able to attend extra classes on issues like public speaking and exam technique.

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Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

GCSE: grade 4/C in a foreign language

  • Access to HE Diploma

    Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Grade 4/C in a foreign language at GCSE is required. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.

  • BTEC

    BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

  • Cambridge Pre-U

    M1, M1, M1

  • International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall including 16 at Higher Level and 4 in a foreign language at Standard Level.

  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

    H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

    BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or AABBBB in Highers.

  • Welsh Baccalaureate

    The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

  • Other Qualifications

    European Baccalaureate: 77%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below
International: £17,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

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Career opportunities

A degree in Chinese and Thai will give you valuable communication skills in the languages of two fast-growing countries which are increasingly important on the global stage. You’ll also have a real awareness of the complex and diverse cultures that make up the vibrant and powerful Asia Pacific region.

That will open a number of doors into a range of different careers, both within East Asia and around the world. However, it will also equip you with valuable transferable skills that are highly sought by all kinds of employers.

You’ll be able to work independently and research topics thoroughly, critically reflecting on what you have found and drawing your own conclusions – which you’ll then be able to clearly present and defend.

As a result, graduates have gone into a range of careers in business, journalism, publishing, diplomacy, tourism, teaching, broadcasting, overseas aid work, PR and language-based roles such as translation and interpreting. They work around the world, throughout China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand but also across East Asia, the UK, Europe and the USA.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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Placement opportunities

Residency abroad

This degree is unique in that it allows you spend two years abroad. You’ll spend each of them studying a dedicated language course for non-native speakers at one of our partner institutions in each country. Of course, you’ll also have plenty of time to travel and explore China and Thailand.

You’ll spend a year at an institute such as Chiang Mai University in Thailand, and you could improve your Chinese at universities in Beijing, Shanghai or Taipei.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop your language skills and gain a new appreciation of both Chinese and Thai cultures. It can also really enhance your CV. For many of our students, it’s the highlight of their degree.

Read more about Residence Abroad in East Asian Studies

Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336