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Course information

UCAS code

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

What you'll study

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.

Year 1 (credit 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.

Year 2 (credit 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.

Final year (credit 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.

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory sessions. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 33% scheduled learning, 67% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 28% scheduled learning, 72% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 100% placement
  • Year 4 - 24% scheduled learning, 76% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects. If you opt for an industrial placement year, your placement tutor will assess your work. If you complete the placement year successfully, you earn the endorsement 'with work experience' on your degree certificate.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 50% coursework, 60% written exam, 5% practical
  • Year 2 - 45% coursework, 45% written exam
  • Year 3 - Year abroad
  • Year 4 - 53% coursework, 33% written exam, 14% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Download the programme specification, for the 2018-19 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

We accept the following qualifications:

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

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Additional Requirements

If you do not have a Science or Mathematics-based A-level, you should normally have at least Grade B/Grade 6 at GCSE Mathematics.

Fees & funding

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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