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Study Chinese at Otago

Trees flowering on campus


Asia is important to New Zealand's future. For economic, political and cultural reasons, New Zealand's involvement with Asia and the Pacific is desirable, inevitable and irreversible. It is crucial that New Zealanders know more about Asia, understand its cultures, history, political and economic systems and learn its languages. Links between New Zealand and Chinese-speaking countries and regions are rapidly growing.

Chinese is a language of major international importance. Modern Standard Chinese (also known as Mandarin, Putonhua or Guoyu) is spoken in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, and increasingly in Singapore and Hong Kong. China is the oldest continuous civilisation surviving today with a recorded history of over 3000 years and consequently Chinese culture is both rich and influential.

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Contact details




See the full list of Chinese (CHIN) papers.

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Programme Requirements

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

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Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Chinese

Level Papers Points

Two of:
CHIN 131  Introductory Chinese 1

CHIN 132  Introductory Chinese 2

One of ASIA 101, GLBL 101





CHIN 231  Intermediate Chinese 1

CHIN 232  Intermediate Chinese 2

One of CHIN 241, CHIN 242, CHIN 243, CHIN 244, CHIN 250, ASIA 201, ASIA 202, GLBL 201, GLBL 202, HIST 204





CHIN 334  Advanced Chinese 1

CHIN 335  Advanced Chinese 2

Two of CHIN 342, CHIN 343, CHIN 344, ASIA 301, ASIA 302, GLBL 301, GLBL 302, HIST 304, POLS 318

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

Total   360

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Bachelor of Arts with Honours BA(Hons) in Chinese


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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)).

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Master of Arts (MA) in Chinese

  • Thesis: CHIN 5

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.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Chinese - coursework option

  • CHIN 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • Either:
    CHIN 441 Advanced Topics in Chinese
    CHIN 451 Studies in Chinese
    CHIN 452 Studies in Chinese 2
  • or
    CHIN 441 Advanced Topics in Chinese, and
    two other approved 400-level papers

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Minor Subject Requirements

Chinese as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, or BASc 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), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree

Papers Points

Five CHIN papers, at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one at 300-level.


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