Postgraduate taught 

Chinese Studies MSc

Chinese Geisha

The programme offers an introduction to the fascinating and fast-changing dimensions of China today. It provides a broad grounding in Chinese society, economy, business, politics and culture. There is the flexibility to combine cultural and political studies with introductory or more advanced modules in Mandarin.

Why this programme

  • The degree is interdisciplinary, drawing on the expertise of specialists in Chinese politics, economics, business, culture and history, as well as seminars, workshops and lectures delivered by the University's Scottish Centre for China Research.
  • You can spend eight weeks (May to July) in China, where you will have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of Chinese society and culture. A variety of scholarships are available to fund or part-fund short-term language study at a Chinese university or language institute.
  • Glasgow boasts a number of China-focused organisations and events you can get involved with, including the Confucius Institute at University of Glasgow and the Scottish Centre for China Research, which brings together scholars undertaking cutting edge research on China.
  • You are encouraged to learn Chinese language at the level appropriate to your ability. For those not taking credit-bearing language modules, a free place on one of the Confucius Institute's existing classes is available.

Programme structure

You will take two core and four optional courses, and submit a dissertation. The dissertation is your opportunity to explore your own specialist interest in China and to demonstrate the research and writing skills you have developed during the programme.

Core courses

  • Chinese politics and society
  • Culture and tradition in modern China

Optional courses may include.

  • China and the West: Intellectuals and knowledge dynamics
  • China's century of conflict: 1839-1949
  • China's international politics
  • Chinese internship or language study in China
  • Chinese language level 1 or 2
  • Environmental policies and problems in China
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Research design
  • Social change in China.

You can get more information about the content of the courses by searching the course catalogue.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

Career prospects

This programme is ideal for anyone interested in pursuing a career involving China, whether in the business world, public services, the arts and media or as preparation for further academic study through PhD study. Our alumni have also gone on to successful careers as public affairs consultants, advertising and PR managers, as well as in secondary school education and the charity sector. The programme has helped graduates develop international perspective, critical thinking and writing skills, and also smoothed the path to living and working in the Far East.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2018-19


Home and EU
Full time fee£7650
Part time 20 credits£850
Full time fee£16650

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
  • Registration/exam only fee: £150
  • General Council fee: £50

Funding opportunities

University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award

In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000

more information

University International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has  10  International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September 2018. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.

more information

Alumni Discount

The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

more information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

2.1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent in a relevant social science or humanities subject.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.


As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide the name and contact details for one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. The reference should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2018 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2018

Classes start September 2018 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now