A gateway looking into a courtyard in the Forbidden Palace, Beijing

Chinese Studies and History BA

School of East Asian Studies

Department of History

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    You are viewing this course for 2023-24 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

    Key details

    Course description

    Chinese studies and history is a balanced course that develops your Chinese language skills and your historical knowledge. The language teaching is intensive but we teach Chinese from scratch, so you don't need previous experience.

    You'll spend your third year studying the language intensively at Nanjing University in China. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese culture.

    The list of history modules is designed to complement your Chinese studies. They cover various political, social and cultural themes, periods, countries and ways of thinking about the past.

    Outside the seminar room, you'll get the chance to work on projects that bring history to life, like our student-run New Histories blog and WikiAmerica. On the History Workshop module you'll work alongside an academic on a research project.

    Dual and combined honours degrees

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Chinese Studies and History BA course structure
    UCAS code: TV11
    Years: 2022, 2023

    For Chinese, In your first year you will begin your language learning by focusing on reading, writing, listening and speaking, working with qualified native-speaker language teachers, using specially designed course material. 

    For history, the first year programme is designed to help you to make the transition from studying History at school or college to studying it at degree level. Building your confidence and broadening your knowledge.

    It introduces you to core academic skills and provides a solid grounding in historical study and research, giving you the foundations you'll need to deepen your understanding of historical events and processes throughout your degree and setting you off on the path to becoming an independent historian.

    Our first year history option modules introduce you to our main areas of teaching and research and give you insight into what you can study in the coming years, so that you can better shape your degree to your individual interests.

    You will take one core module and have 40 credits available to use on option modules.

    Core history module:

    History Workshop

    What does it take to be a historian? In this module, you will study the process of historical research, learning discipline-specific methods and essential study and writing skills through close engagement with a historical text (usually a work of narrative non-fiction) linked to your tutor's research interests. You will develop skills in critical reading, historiography, essay writing, bibliographic techniques, and reflection.

    The assessment for this module is aimed at giving you a strong foundation in the skills you will need throughout your degree and beyond: critical reading and writing, bibliographic techniques, and the ability to reflect on and articulate your skills as a historian.

    20 credits

    History option modules:

    Empire: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages

    Covering the period from the 4th century BC to the 15th century AD, this module invites students to explore the ancient and medieval worlds through the lens of 'empire'. It provides an introduction to ancient and medieval types of empire, their contacts with and legacies to each other, and the connectedness between East and West in this period. Using a wealth of primary evidence and drawing on corresponding historiographical debates, students explore what it meant to live in ancient and medieval empires, what kind of social, cultural and religious encounters they engendered, and whether there was any space for resistance.

    20 credits
    Land of Liberty? Rights in the USA, 1776-2016

    In 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that men were created with 'certain unalienable rights'. Yet the new United States denied those rights to large swathes of its people. Examining themes which resonate powerfully today, this module explores American history as a struggle over how rights have been defined and debated, expanded and contracted, and secured and denied. Linking the history of ideas to the efforts of ordinary people, we will look at debates over liberty and slavery, democracy and disenfranchisement, capital and labour, integration and
    segregation, gender and sexuality, nationalism and internationalism, and conservatism and liberalism.

    20 credits
    Paths from Antiquity to Modernity

    The aim of this module is to introduce you to the broad structures of Western history from the end of the Roman Empire to the present day. It provides students intending to take History Single or Dual Honours degree modules with a common framework for the more detailed modules that you will be studying at Levels Two and Three. At the same time, it provides non-historians with a fundamental appraisal of the shape of the past, to which courses in other departments will readily relate. Our aim is to equip you with an understanding of the periodisation of western history and of the major transitions in the process of modernisation. In the process, you will become more critically aware of the essential conceptual tools that modern historians readily use to analyse the past. The module aims to provide the essential training in the skills and methods needed for University level historical study.

    20 credits
    The 'Disenchantment' of Early Modern Europe, c. 1570-1770

    This module explores the fundamental shifts in mental attitudes and public behaviour that occurred in Europe between the age of the Reformation and the age of the Enlightenment. The central focus of the course will be the examination of the supernatural - religious beliefs, but also witchcraft and magic. You will explore the changing ways in which beliefs impinged on people's lives at various social levels. You will also have an opportunity to study the impact on people's world views of such changes as rising literacy, urbanisation, state formation and new discoveries about the natural world. All these will be investigated in the institutional contexts of state and church and the ways in which they sought to channel and mould beliefs and behaviour. This module enables you to understand how the early modern period is distinctive from and links medieval and later modern historical studies.

    20 credits
    The Making of the Twentieth Century

    This module considers the twentieth century as a time that transformed the social and political order in the world, calling into question the role of the European powers in global contexts, and dramatically reorienting the relationship between states and societies. You will engage with case studies representing key themes in twentieth-century global history: imperialism and the processes of decolonisation; the challenges of building the postcolonial nation; revolutions and the emergence of new states; war, genocide and conflict; and the institutions of international order.

    In addressing these themes, The Making of the Twentieth Century has a particular aim of counteracting prevailing tendencies towards Eurocentrism.  You will gain a considerable body of knowledge on the histories of Asia, Africa and Latin America especially.  At the same time, emphasis is placed on the empirical and theoretical grounds upon which competing interpretations rest in order to encourage you to develop critical awareness of the character of historical analysis.  More generally, this module aims to develop analytical, conceptual and literary skills through class discussion and written assignments.  Communication skills will also be emphasised in weekly seminars that will allow specific issues to be discussed in more depth, often with reference to primary source material.  Above all, the module seeks to stimulate an interest in history and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

    20 credits
    The Transformation of the United Kingdom, 1800 to the Present

    This module explores the central political, social, economic, cultural and diplomatic developments that have transformed Britain since 1800. Unlike most of its European neighbours, Britain did not experience dramatic moments of revolution, constitution-building, invasion or military defeat; indeed the belief that the nation was set on a course of gradual evolutionary progress was central to many versions of British identity. This course examines how, when and why change occurred in Britain. Key themes include the transition to mass democracy; the impact of industrialisation; shifts in social relationships based on class, gender and ethnicity; and the rise and fall of Britain as an imperial power.

    20 credits

    Core Chinese language modules

    Chinese Language 1A

    This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Chinese language. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in grammar, reading, writing and translation both from and into Chinese skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to do something practical in writing. Chinese characters and sentences are introduced from the earliest stages. 

    20 credits
    Chinese Language 1B

    This module is focusing on interactive activities in Chinese. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in speaking and listening skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to communicate in Chinese through a variety of activities. 

    10 credits
    Chinese Language 2A

    This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Chinese language. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in grammar, reading, writing and translation both from and into Chinese skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to do something practical in writing Chinese characters and sentences are introduced from the earliest stages. 

    20 credits
    Chinese Language 2B

    This module is focusing on interactive activities in Chinese. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in speaking and listening skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to communicate in Chinese through a variety of activities. 

    10 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    You will be taught by native speakers in Chinese in regular small group classes using custom made course material.

    On the history side of your course, you'll learn through a mix of lectures and discussion-based seminars, studying modules that are directly informed by the latest research of our internationally renowned tutors.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    The School of East Asian Studies has over 50 years' experience of researching contemporary East Asia and pioneering new methods for teaching East Asian Languages.

    SEAS staff, many of whom are fluent in at least one East Asian language, are internationally-renowned specialists in East Asia, and bring expertise in various fields such as history, culture and politics.

    In the Department of History, our internationally renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents, allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents and remarkable people.

    Assessment

    In the language programme you will be given regular homework assignments and take exams at the end of each semester. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB
    typically including History

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB, typically including History + B in a relevant EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 33, typically with 5 in Higher Level History

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM + B at A Level typically in History

    BTEC Diploma DD + A at A Level typically in History

    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AABBB + B typically in History

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB, typically including History

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction (to include History units), and 15 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • No prior knowledge of Chinese is required (up to A Level Chinese is acceptable)

    • Evidence of interest in East Asia demonstrated through the personal statement is required

    • Classical Civilisation is acceptable in lieu of History

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB
    typically including History

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB, typically including History + B in a relevant EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 32, typically with 5 in Higher Level History

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM + B at A Level typically in History

    BTEC Diploma DD + A at A Level typically in History

    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher ABBBB + B typically in History

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB, typically including History

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction (to include History units), and 21 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • No prior knowledge of Chinese is required (up to A Level Chinese is acceptable)

    • Evidence of interest in East Asia demonstrated through the personal statement is required

    • Classical Civilisation is acceptable in lieu of History

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    School of East Asian Studies

    Our courses are designed to immerse you in the languages and cultures of East Asian countries. You will be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom-made course material.

    Our courses are based on world-leading research and taught by experts whose work influences policy and informs public debate. Most of our staff publish in their specialist field and many of them have written books for major publishers such as Oxford University Press, Routledge and Macmillan.

    The School of East Asian Studies is located in the Jessop West building, right in the heart of campus and close to the Sheffield University tram stop. You'll visit the department to meet with your tutors and gain any support you need. Your lectures, seminars and language classes will take place in various locations across the University of Sheffield campus.

    School of East Asian Studies

    Department of History

    As a history student at Sheffield, you'll develop your understanding of the past in a friendly and supportive environment.

    Our internationally-renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents - allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the ancient period to the modern day and across the globe.

    You can tailor your course to suit you, discovering the areas of history that most inspire you most while preparing for the future you want with opportunities like studying abroad, work placements and volunteering.

    Department of History students are based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the university campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the School of English and the School of Languages and Cultures.

    Department of History

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    School of East Asian Studies

    Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction

    National Student Survey 2021

    50+ years' experience

    in teaching and researching East Asia


    Department of History

    UK top 10 for History

    The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

    3rd in the UK for world-leading research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014


    Graduate careers

    School of East Asian Studies

    Studying China, Japan or Korea prepares you for a career in the world's most dynamic region. There are also many opportunities across Europe for people with skills in Asian languages and cultures.

    Our graduates work in government and diplomacy, media and the arts, non-government organisations and international business - in professions as diverse as management consultancy, accountancy, marketing, research, language teaching and translation.

    Department of History

    Our history graduates are highly skilled in research, critical reasoning and communication. You'll be able to think and write coherently, to put specific matters in a broader context, and to summarise complex ideas in a discerning and creative way.

    Our graduates have gone on to become successful lawyers, marketing executives, civil servants, accountants, management consultants, university lecturers, archivists, librarians and workers in museums, tourism and the heritage industry.

    So, however you choose to use your degree, the combination of academic excellence and personal skills developed and demonstrated on your course will make you stand out in an increasingly competitive graduate world.

    Companies that have employed our graduates include Accenture, Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and DLA Piper. You'll also find our graduates in organisations ranging from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the Imperial War Museum and the National Archives, to BBC online and The Guardian.

    Alex Barton

    I use the language skills gained from my studies at Sheffield daily

    Alexander Barton Chinese Studies BA(Hons) graduate

    After graduating, Alexander moved to Asia for his Masters degree; he now lives in Shanghai.

    Year abroad

    As part of this degree you'll spend a year studying at Nanjing University in China, one of the highest ranked universities in the country.

    On your year abroad you'll continue to take intensive courses in Chinese language, building on the skills you'll learn during your time at Sheffield. Like in Sheffield, you'll also have the opportunity to learn about the culture, politics, and history of China through optional modules.

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Additional funding

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    Applicant days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Book your place on a campus tour

    Apply for this course

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    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

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    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

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    2023-2024