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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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 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