Traditional pagoda at Mt. Emei
Traditional pagoda at Mt. Emei

Undergraduate Programme

Oxford offers a competitive BA Honours course in Chinese that includes intensive training in Mandarin and Classical Chinese as well as an opportunity to study a subsidiary language: Korean, Japanese or Tibetan. During the second year of their studies, students spend a year abroad at Peking University where they attend a custom course aligned with the Oxford programme.

Prospective undergraduate students may also consider other programmes that enable to take course units on China: History, History of Art, PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics).

Graduate Programme

Students considering applying for a Master’s or a doctorate degree in the broad area of Chinese Studies have many options to choose from. Apart from the Faculty of Oriental Studies where students are taught various aspects of China’s culture and history, Oxford offers courses at the departments of Area Studies, History, Politics, and Archaeology. Before you apply, it is recommended that you review the teaching and research priorities of each department and profiles of the faculty members in order to decide which of the graduate programmes matches your personal interests the best.

Below is a very limited selection of some faculties that provide graduate programmes related to China. This list is not exhaustive and Oxford provides an extremely rich array of graduate programmes that are suitable for study and research of China from various disciplinary perspectives. Apart from the faculties mentioned here, students are encouraged to consider other faculties, including the School of Geography and the Environment, Department of International Development, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography etc.

Oriental Studies

The Oriental Institute (or the Faculty of Oriental Studies) is the ideal destination for students whose interests are primarily focused on various aspects of China’s traditional culture as well as China’s recent history, literature and contemporary culture. Available programmes include MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies, MPhil in Traditional East Asia, and DPhil in Oriental Studies.

Oxford School of Global and Area Studies

The Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA) offers programmes including MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies and MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies, which provide an excellent foundation for multi-disciplinary research and in-depth understanding of contemporary and modern China from the perspectives of various disciplines, including anthropology, economics, politics, history, sociology and culture.

School of Archaeology

The School of Archaeology provides Master’s and Doctorate programmes dealing with various issues related to China’s pre-history, antiquity and the medieval period. The programmes offered in Oxford are suitable for students who are interested in Art History as well as in scientific methods of archaeological investigation.

History and History of Art

The Faculty of History is a large community of students and researchers with interests in various periods of history and covering all areas of the planet. The Faculty provides a DPhil programme suitable for students with interests in the history of Late Imperial and contemporary China.

Additionally, students may consider applying to a DPhil programme in History of Art, which is also provided by the History Faculty.


The Department of Politics and International Relations provides MPhil and DPhil programmes that allow students to pursue study focused on China. Some relevant degrees include: MPhil in Politics (Comparative Government), MPhil in International Relations, DPhil in Politics, and DPhil in International Relations.