Study languages: Make the world your place.
China is the most populous country in the world, with the fastest-growing economy. The Chinese language is the world’s most widely spoken language, used by over one billion people worldwide. Chinese speakers are found not only in China’s mainland, in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, but also in Southeast Asia, and in other countries throughout the world.
The Chinese Programme at Otago offers a broad range of papers on Chinese culture (history, society, literature, cinema, for example) and on the Chinese language from introductory level to advanced level. We also arrange in-country study for students in our partner universities in China.
Apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA)Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom)Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons))Apply Now
Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)Apply Now
Apply for the Diploma in Language (DipLang)Apply Now
Apply for the Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework))Apply Now
Apply for the Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis))Apply Now
Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts)Apply Now
Why study Chinese?
Chinese culture is both rich and far-reaching and today China is the world’s biggest trading nation and the second largest economy. As China is an increasingly important business partner of New Zealand, learning Chinese will give you the edge over other candidates for a wide variety of jobs.
A Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a major in Chinese language and culture will give you a better chance of finding jobs in tourism, education, trade, banking, mass media, interpretation / translation, as well as in foreign affairs and other government agencies.
Combining another degree with Chinese as a minor or as a Diploma also increases students’ options in the job market. If you want to teach Chinese at primary or secondary school you need to have a BA in Chinese and a qualification in teaching. If you are thinking about a career in diplomacy, you could consider including Chinese in a degree in law, politics, history or geography.
If you are interested in teaching English in mainland China or Taiwan you will find English or linguistics useful subjects to go along with Chinese. A career in media and journalism will also greatly benefit from an additional proficiency in Chinese language. Another attractive option that has become increasingly popular among our students is combining Chinese with a degree in Commerce or Science, which opens up employment opportunities in companies that have links with China.
You can enrol in our beginner level course (CHIN131) with no previous knowledge of Chinese. If you already have some knowledge of Chinese (e.g. have studied it at high school, lived in China, or have been exposed to Chinese in a family setting), you may be able to enrol in a more advanced course (such as CHIN132 or CHIN231).
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Diploma in Language (DipLang)
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom)
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts)
- Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework))
- Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis))
Diploma in Language (DipLang) endorsed in Chinese
|Seven of: |
Students admitted directly to papers at 200- or 300-level must replace their prerequisites with other papers in the subject concerned
Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Chinese
CHIN 132 Introductory Chinese 2
CHIN 231 Intermediate Chinese 1
CHIN 232 Intermediate Chinese 2
CHIN 334 Advanced Chinese 1
CHIN 335 Advanced Chinese 2
Note: Students with previous knowledge of Chinese will be placed in CHIN language papers appropriate to their level. Students placed in 200- or 300-level language papers will still have to pass approved papers worth 180 points in order to major in Chinese.
180 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.
Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts
Bachelor of Arts with Honours BA(Hons) in Chinese
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Chinese
The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) programme in Chinese is the same as the programme for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)).
Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Chinese
CHIN 441 Advanced Topics in Chinese, and
two other approved 400-level papers
Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Chinese
Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Chinese or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Chinese must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Chinese prior to undertaking the thesis.
Minor subject requirements
Chinese as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree
Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree
Five CHIN papers, at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one at 300-level.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|CHIN131||2022||Introductory Chinese 1||18 points||Semester 1|
|CHIN132||2022||Introductory Chinese 2||18 points||Semester 2|
|CHIN231||2022||Intermediate Chinese 1||18 points||Semester 1|
|CHIN232||2022||Intermediate Chinese 2||18 points||Semester 2|
|CHIN241||2022||Contemporary Chinese Society||18 points||Semester 1|
|CHIN242||2022||Screening Chinese Cinemas||18 points||Not offered in 2022|
|CHIN243||2022||Reading Chinese Literature in the World||18 points||Semester 1|
|CHIN244||2022||Writing China: Texts, Ideas and History||18 points||Not offered in 2022|
|CHIN250||2022||Practical Chinese: Chinese/English Translation||18 points||Not offered in 2022|
|CHIN334||2022||Advanced Chinese 1||18 points||Semester 1|
|CHIN335||2022||Advanced Chinese 2||18 points||Semester 2|
|CHIN342||2022||Screening Chinese Cinemas||18 points||Not offered in 2022|
|CHIN343||2022||Reading Chinese Literature in the World||18 points||Semester 1|
|CHIN344||2022||Writing China: Texts, Ideas and History||18 points||Not offered in 2022|
|CHIN441||2022||Advanced Topics in Chinese||20 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|CHIN451||2022||Studies in Chinese||20 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|CHIN452||2022||Studies in Chinese 2||20 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|CHIN490||2022||Dissertation||60 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|CHIN590||2022||Research Dissertation||60 points||1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|
Key information for future students
School of Arts
Languages and Cultures Programme