Mandarin for International Relations (Elementary)

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Hua Xiang PEL.6.01B


This course is compulsory on the BSc in International Relations and Chinese. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


Students must have completed Mandarin Language and Society Level 1 (Beginner) (LN104) and Mandarin Language and Society 2 (Intermediate) (LN142).

Course content

A subject specific study of the Mandarin language within the framework of International Relations. In a dynamic and communicative way the course develops all four language skills (i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing) through individual and group work, topical discussions, authentic and multi-media materials. The focus is on accuracy as well as communication that advance students’ language competence, transferable skills and cultural awareness. The focus will be specific vocabulary related to International Relations and reading skills of simple texts in the target language on International Relations topics. 


44 hours of classes in the MT. 44 hours of classes in the LT. 4 hours of classes in the ST.

Four hours per week, which will feature: (a) interactive topical work; (b) oral practise; (c) grammar and vocabulary work; (d) tutorials; and (e) guided study using IT and web-based materials.

Reading week in Week 6 of MT and LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay, 1 exercise, 1 presentation, 1 project and 1 other piece of coursework in the MT and LT.

The students will be required to complete weekly exercises. This includes vocabulary quizes, grammar activities, writing Chinese characters and use of online communicative materials.

Indicative reading

Newspaper articles, internet sources, other web-based materials dealing with international relationship issues.




Exam (30%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (50%) in the MT and LT.
Oral examination (20%) in the ST.

Language courses map to the Common European Framework for Language Learning. This framework defines linguistic proficiency in the four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) at different levels. To pass this course, students are therefore required to achieve a pass mark in each element of the assessment (continuous assessment, oral and written exams), as these test all four skills.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Language Centre

Total students 2020/21: 9

Average class size 2020/21: 11

Capped 2020/21: Yes (12)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills