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BSc (Hons) Computing & Chinese

  • UCAS
    LT11
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    BTEC: DDM
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    4 years full-time (including a year in China)
  • Department
    Computing, Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance

Course overview

Learn technical computing skills alongside Mandarin language skills, so you'll be poised to anticipate and meet the demands of the global IT industry.

With China poised to become the next superpower and the rise of technological industries, Chinese IT and computing companies have a vast potential for future growth and are likely to spread throughout the world largely and hold great influence in the global field of computing. Graduates holding both language and technical skills – as well as the creativity to apply them in innovative ways – will be in demand not just in China, but across the developed and developing world.

This degree will help develop you to become a skilled specialist, highly sought after by employers both national and international. 

Why study BSc Computing & Chinese at Goldsmiths?

  • The degree is spread across 4 years, where you’ll spend a year in China improving your Mandarin skills. You will gain the invaluable experience of living and studying in China at the Capital Normal University in Beijing
  • You will learn the computer programming skills that are needed to help you succeed in the global technology industry
  • There is no need to have any prior knowledge of Mandarin. This course aims to take you from basic introduction of the language to a competent level
  • You will learn to anticipate the needs of the globalised industry of IT and computing, developing you as a highly skilled specialist sought after by employers both nationally and internationally
  • You will gain knowledge of an industry with vast potential for future growth and worldwide employability
  • You will also have the opportunity to gain first-hand information and cultural experiences while studying on this course especially during your year abroad at Capital Normal University, where you will gain a better understanding of the real market need and enrich your creativity with knowledge of cultural differences rather than just gaining the language skills, thereby widening your employability both nationally and internationally
  • After graduating from Goldsmiths you may be able enrol for one further year of study at CNU in China, leading to the award of a BA in Chinese from this prestigious institution

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Marco Gillies

Modules & structure

Overview

By combining the study of computing with a comprehensive learning and understanding of the Mandarin language, this course anticipates and seeks to meet the needs and demands of the globalised industry of IT and computing. Mandarin modules are taught by the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute.

In computing, you will learn computer programming in contemporary languages such as Java, PHP and Javascript. You will also be introduced to a wide range of subject areas including:

  • Creative computing
  • Web programming
  • Databases and server side programming
  • Graphics & animation
  • Interaction design
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Audio and music computing
  • Data Mining

These disciplinary skills are then combined with the intensive Chinese language training programme given at Goldsmiths' Confucius Institute, followed by a year abroad in China (at the Capital Normal University in Beijing). Here you will undertake advanced language training and gain first-hand experience of everyday Chinese life. Then you'll be in a position upon your return to undertake your final year at Goldsmiths.

Throughout your studies there will be opportunities for you to take part in extracurricular activities and various cultural events through the Chinese Culture Salon. These events include Martial Arts, Chinese Dance, Chinese traditional Music film nights and performances. These are designed to complement your learning outside of the classroom, giving you the opportunity to meet new people and to experience Chinese culture.

After graduating from Goldsmiths, students may be able enrol for one further year of study in China and, upon passing the additional year at the Capital Normal University, this will lead to the award of a BA in Chinese from this prestigious institution.

Level 4

Year one starts with an introduction to Mandarin, expecting that students will have no prior knowledge of the language. This year will aim to provide you with a basic working knowledge of the Mandarin vocabulary. From computing, you will learn an introduction to programming and web programming plus one optional module.

Level 5

This year seeks to improve on the Mandarin foundation and to develop your skills to allow you to communicate more confidently, providing you with a level of knowledge to spend a year living and studying in China. In addition, you will also learn work on software projects together with further programming, either in Java or server side web programming.

Year abroad

This year will see you spending the year in China at Capital Normal University in Beijing to compound on their Mandarin Knowledge with an optional 4-6 hours per week of computing teaching.

Level 6

This year will see you use your skills and knowledge gained abroad to advance your Mandarin reading and writing skills alongside studying further computing, choosing from a wide range of advanced modules that include advanced graphics and animation, data mining, artificial intelligence, interaction design and neural networks.

Assessment 

Assessments are composed of coursework along with unseen written, listening and oral exams. 

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

These requirements relate to 2018 entry. For 2017 entry please check the programme specification.

If you do not have a Science or Mathematics-based A-level, you should normally have at least Grade B at GCSE Mathematics.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

Computing at Goldsmiths is ranked: 3rd in London* 17th in the UK for the quality of our research** and in the world's elite***

Computing

The Department of Computing offers a creative, contemporary and pioneering approach to the discipline.

From developing computers that can compose music and paint pictures, to defining and implementing new social media tools and applications, we aim to invigorate computing and the world around it.

Learn by doing

We place a great emphasis on creativity, independence and ‘learning by doing’. You’ll focus on practical work in real-world situations, carrying out projects in ways that mirror industry practice.

Interdisciplinary approach

We also promote an interdisciplinary approach to the subject: from business to digital arts, and from games programming to learning Mandarin.

Industry experts

You’ll be taught by industry experts – our academics are deeply engaged in current research, with many applying their knowledge and skills to developing cutting-edge technology. And we have close links with industry, too, regularly inviting leading professionals to deliver lectures and talks.

Find out more about the Department of Computing.

*Guardian University League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


The Goldsmiths Confucius Institute offers a range of joint undergraduate programmes, as well as Mandarin option modules for students in other departments.

Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance

Our other activities, such as summer and winter camps, Chinese language courses and cultural workshops give you the best opportunities for language learning and cultural education.

Find out more about the Confucius Institute.

Learning & teaching

Courses are taught by a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory sessions. These will introduce you to ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, improve your communication skills, and enable you to develop high level practical and technical skills in computing.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out research, preparing topics for discussion, or producing project work. 

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to find out more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of  that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers

With China poised to become the next superpower and the rise of technological industries, Chinese IT and computing companies have a vast potential for future growth and are likely to spread throughout the world largely and hold great influence in the global field of computing. Graduates holding both language and technical skills – as well as the creativity to apply them in innovative ways – will be in demand not just in China, but across the developed and developing world.

This will open up a wealth of career option within the Chinese technology sector, as well as within IT companies trading on a global level with China.

On completion of this programme, you will have attained a practical level of competence in spoken and written Mandarin, as well as an informed, critical insight into key aspects of contemporary Chinese culture.

You can read more about career options after graduating on our Computing careers page. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

Student work

Michael Yeoman
Jamie Lee
Tayfun Isin
Jonathan Leary-Hemans
Edward Ritchie
Michael Yeoman
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Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course