Academic Chinese for International Relations

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Hua Xiang PEL.6.01B


This course is compulsory on the BSc in International Relations and Chinese. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Students must have completed Mandarin Language and Society 4 (Proficiency) (LN240).

Course content

This course aims to develop students' linguistic skills at a near mastery level through studying authentic materials relevant to Year 4 international relation students. Possible topics such  Sino-UK relation, Sino-USA relation, Modernity and the State in China, China’s recent rise, e-Commerce, wealth inequality, gender discrimination, migrant workers, and so on ( Four themes --  China and the world, China: past and current, China: economic development, China: human rights and equality).  The students will be given opportunities to learn the key vocabulary related to China’s history and current society, foreign policy, economic development, and human rights. Meanwhile, they will discuss and analyse real cases using methods/tools they have developed from their IR courses. The course is communicative and interactive. The students are required to read authentic materials in the target language and learn to discuss, summarise and debate ideas and issues in China as well as consider the applicability in different social/culture context.


• Fluently express one’s opinion in mandarin Chinese

• Fluently  read and comprehend newspaper articles in mandarin Chinese (1500-2000 words)

• Skillfully summarise newspaper articles

• Understand presentations, talks, lectures in related areas in mandarin Chinese.

• Clearly and convincingly express one’s subject analysis and viewpoint in mandarin Chinese 


22 hours of classes in the MT. 22 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of classes in the ST.

2 hour classes per week. The teaching will be theme based, communicative and using integrated approaches. The teaching will be focusing on: 

  • Learn proficiency/mastery level Chinese phrases and expressions (equivalent to HSK 6) specific to IR.
  • Chinese proverbs.
  • Longer sentences and more complicated sentence structures.
  • Introduction of traditional Chinese characters and classical Chinese 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays, 2 presentations, 2 exercises and 1 project in the MT and LT.

The students will be required to complete weekly exercises. This includes essays, in class presentation or recording, and project work. 

Indicative reading

The students will be working with authentic materials in this unit, such as newspaper, journal articles and chapter selection from Chinese books. 


Coursework (70%) in the MT and LT.
Oral examination (30%) 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.

Key facts

Department: Language Centre

Total students 2021/22: 8

Average class size 2021/22: 8

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication