China is one of the world's largest economies, and the country has taken on an increasingly important role in international politics. If you've never studied Chinese before, this wide-ranging degree will allow you to learn the language from scratch, gain a deep appreciation of Chinese and East Asian culture, and explore the complex issues affecting how nations interact on the global stage.
Core modules will develop your Chinese language skills and introduce you to some of the key principles and theories in international relations. Then you'll choose from a wide range of optional modules in both subjects to pursue your own interests, from Chinese history, Japanese business and East Asian religions to US foreign policy, terrorism and the politics of aid.
You'll also spend a year in China to immerse yourself in Chinese culture, and have the chance to gain practical skills like translation. It's a great way to gain a wide range of skills across two different disciplines.
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.
A Joint Honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each Single Honours course, but you'll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.
Your first year will incorporate intensive language classes to develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Chinese, as well as core modules introducing you to key principles in international relations. You'll also take one of our Cornerstone modules to draw your two subjects together and explore Chinese history and East Asian culture.
Ultimately this will prepare you for the following year, when you'll study in China to enhance your skills and experience Chinese culture first-hand. When you return, you'll have a new perspective based on deeper cultural awareness, and this will inform the rest of your studies.
Over the next two years, you'll continue with advanced language classes to hone and refine your skills. Core modules will also introduce you to the theory behind international relations and key topics like security. But you'll also choose from a range of optional modules in both subjects, allowing you to specialise in the areas that interest you. In your final year, you'll demonstrate the skills you've acquired when you undertake an independent research project.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
GCSE: grade 4/C in a foreign language.
A Joint Honours degree in Chinese and International Relations will equip you with political, cultural and commercial awareness, as well as proficiency in an important language for international politics and business. These qualities will open doors to a range of careers, but you'll also have valuable transferable skills that employers actively seek.
You'll have sophisticated communication skills, and you'll be confident working independently or in a team. You'll also have presentation and research skills and be able to analyse information from different sources. Because you've managed two subjects you'll have strong organisational skills - and spending time abroad will demonstrate that you're adaptable.
Graduates have pursued a variety of career paths including diplomacy, the civil service, journalism, the media, business and finance, marketing and education. Others have pursued postgraduate study or specialised training in disciplines like translation and interpreting.
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.
Study abroad and work placements
After your first year you'll have the opportunity to spend a year studying at a university in either mainland China or Taiwan.
You'll take language courses provided by our partner universities, a great opportunity to improve your spoken and written Chinese. But for many, it's the highlight of their course because of the opportunity it gives them to be surrounded by Chinese culture and get a real sense of life in the country.
Read more about Residence Abroad in East Asian Studies