Chinese Studies

Are you aware that as the official language of China, Mandarin Chinese is spoken by 1.4 billion Chinese citizens, as well as millions more around the world?


Study Chinese studies at The University of Adelaide

As a Chinese studies student at The University of Adelaide you will learn how to speak, read and write this fascinating language. As the world’s second biggest economy and Australia’s largest trading partner, Chinese is increasingly important in our business, cultural and political lives and directly linked to our economic success. An understanding of Chinese language, culture and politics can therefore increase your competitiveness in the job market. We also offer you the opportunity to boost your skills in our translation and interpreting courses, all the way to Masters Degree.

As a Chinese studies student you will:

  • Learn to read and write in Chinese
  • Gain the skills to listen and speak in Chinese
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture
  • Study the Chinese influence in modern society
  • Improve your understanding of how language works
  • Have the opportunity to study abroad.

As a University of Adelaide Chinese studies student you will have the unique opportunity to learn at The Confucius Institute which is an authorised Chinese Test Centre for the Chinese Proficiency Test. The results of which can be used to decide an applicant’s entry to Chinese tertiary institutions or help demonstrate Chinese proficiency to potential employers.

Study Overseas

As a University of Adelaide student you will have access to over 100 overseas exchange programs around the world. The University of Adelaide has a special relationship with Shandong University and exchange links with several other key Chinese universities. We also offer an intensive Chinese in-country summer school in Jinan that counts as a credit towards your University of Adelaide degree.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide also offers special scholarship opportunities for study in China as well as a month-long study tour to Shandong.

Career path

  • Teaching
  • International law
  • Diplomacy
  • Translation
  • Interpreter
  • Corporate executive
  • Tourism
  • Research

How can I study Chinese studies?

I first began learning Chinese at the University of Adelaide in 2009, with no prior knowledge of the language. I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Chinese, and immediately moved to Qingdao, China. I moved back to Australia after two years and graduated in 2016 from the University of Adelaide with an Honours Degree (first class), which focused on the impact of the Chinese Party-state’s modernisation drive on individual rights in naming practices. Shortly afterwards, I became NAATI-accredited and worked as a freelance translator in Adelaide for the next two years, in combination with teaching Chinese and translation at the University of Adelaide and TAFE SA. I began my PhD at the University of Adelaide in 2020, researching Chinese political discourse and women’s rights in China. I cannot imagine a fulfilling career that doesn’t involve China in some way, with options ranging from political analyst or policy advisor to writing, academia, or translation and editing… the possibilities are unlimited. Annie Drahos, PhD student in Asian Studies