BA (Hons) Sociology & Chinese

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

Course overview

This degree provides intensive Mandarin language tuition, one year at a top Chinese university in Beijing, and analytical sociological skills for you to understand and actively engage in a global world in which China is a major superpower.

Why study BA Sociology & Chinese at Goldsmiths?

  • You will learn about how societies, cultures and people are formed, organised and develop
  • You will learn how to speak and write Mandarin
  • You will learn about Chinese culture
  • You’ll spend a year in China improving your Mandarin skills at a top university in Beijing
  • 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 Dr Brett St Louis

Modules & structure


The programme runs over four years and is taught jointly by the Confucius Institute and the world-class Department of Sociology. Over three years at Goldsmiths, you will be taught Mandarin and different aspects of Chinese society and culture. You will learn about how societies and cultures are formed and organised. What do we know of the birth and development of the modern state? What is the role of culture in people’s sense of identity and belonging? How do markets, and the control of economies, shape the lives of individuals and societies? How are people and societies formed now, in the context of new media technologies, globalisation, economic control, and military proliferation? And how are these societies now, different from those in the past?

You will engage with these questions and more. 

You will also have the opportunity to live in Beijing for a year and to study at the Capital Normal University. While in Beijing, you will continue with your Mandarin training, but you will also be able to experience Chinese society and its varied cultures first-hand. Then, when you return to London in your fourth year, you will have a chance to consolidate that learning by writing a dissertation.

Throughout your studies, the Confucius Institute will provide film nights and various cultural events to complement your learning outside of the classroom. This will also give you the opportunity to meet new people and experience Chinese culture.

Level 4

Module title Credits
  Mandarin 1 30 credits
  Mandarin 2 30 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Culture and Society 30 credits

Level 5

  • Advanced Audio-Visual News Comprehension – 15 credits
  • Advanced Practical Writing – 15 credits
  • Advanced Chinese Journal Reading – 15 credits
  • Contemporary Chinese Issues – 15 credits
Module title Credits
  Chinese Literature: 1919 to 1949 15 credits
  Chinese Literature: 1949 onwards 15 credits
  Chinese Philosophy: Confuciunism and Taoism 15 credits
  Chinese Philosophy: Legalism, Mohism and Buddhism 15 credits
  Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences 15 credits
  Sociology of Culture and Communication 15 credits
  Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
  The Making of the Modern World 15 credits
  Migration in Context 15 credits

Year Abroad

You will study a year at Capital Normal University, Beijing. This is worth 120 credits.

Level 6

You study the following modules:

  • Advanced Chinese Journal Reading – 30 credits
  • Advanced Chinese Practical Writing – 30 credits
  • Dissertation – 30 credits

You then choose a range of option modules up to the value of 30 credits. There are a range of option modules, including:

Module title Credits
  Sociology of Visuality 15 credits
  Sociologies of Emerging Worlds 15 credits
  Citizenship and Human Rights 15 credits
  Global Development and Underdevelopment 15 credits


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

Download the programme specification. 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
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

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) or 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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

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


Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
1st in London* 6th in the UK and 37th in the world**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research**


The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

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

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

On this degree you'll attend lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or 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 read 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
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers


During the degree you will develop a strong understanding of Mandarin and its relationship to people, cultural identity and cultural forms, and social organisation, including state formation, global marketization, and forms of neo and post-imperialism. As the world is becoming more global, and with China poised as a major superpower, there needs to be more people with an understanding of the social and cultural impact, benefits and problems that this can create.


The knowledge of Mandarin will benefit graduates by opening doors to a wider international employment market.

After graduating from Goldsmiths, you may be able enrol for one further year of study in China and, upon passing the additional year at Capital Normal University in Beijing, this will lead to the award of a BA in Chinese from this prestigious institution. Students who successfully complete the programme have the possibility of seeking financial awards for postgraduate study in China.

Sociologists enter careers that centre on the challenges and demands that members of a society face. This could be jobs in social services, education, criminal justice, welfare services, government, the voluntary sector, management, the creative industries, marketing and policy.

You can read more about career options on our Sociology careers pages and by checking out options for Sociology employability. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

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


Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course