Pre-BA (Foundation Certificate) in Sinology

  • Chinese Books 3
  • Chinese Books 1
  • Chinese Books 2

The Pre-BA (Foundation Certificate) programme provides a basic grounding and knowledge of traditional Chinese language and writing, textual style and calligraphy.

It aims to give students an introduction to some of the most famous classic Chinese texts, through which students will gain knowledge about the wider cultural and historical circumstances of the selected classic texts, hence develop an understanding of some of the philosophical ideas that arise from the classic texts.

It will also allow students to develop basic skills for interpreting and evaluating classic Chinese texts, and therefore to enhance students’ various transferable skills in analysis and communication in general.

Key Facts

Institution Code: T100
Course Length:
1 year Full-time

Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts
Language Choice
English   Chinese

This course is taught through distance learning

The Foundation Certificate programme in Sinology, operated in a similar way to the BA programme, will offer an integration of various core knowledge and skills around ancient Chinese Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism through introduction to some of the fundamental classic texts such as The Four Books and The Governing Principles of Ancient China 360, though pitched at a level 3 introductory level.

The core modules (SICH3003, SICH3004) will contribute 30 credits each, and further modules (SICH3001, SICH3002, SICH3005, SICH3006) that deal with translation, textual analysis skills and ancient Chinese ethics and morality, with 20 credits each will be offered to support the core of the central themes.

The Foundation Certificate programme will be delivered mainly by online learning methods and are specifically designed to meet the needs of distance-learning students. This will be supported with the use of validated local learning centres from where support seminars, weekend workshops and English language support will be provided.

For the Foundation Certificate, distance-learning modules will be delivered in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures relating to distance-learning provision and flexible and distributed learning. Here a module content through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment where students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, Skype, telephone), or in groups via Skype seminars, VLE module discussion forums, chats, or wikis.

In the module descriptors, the term ‘tuition’ should be understood as incorporating the delivery of the module content as well as the support provided by the module tutors, whether this is delivered through VLE, email or, very exceptionally, by telephone. 

Wherever possible distance-learning students will be given access various online resources and filmed research seminars delivered on-campus through placing podcasts or panopta. This enables DL students to feel that they are fully included in the research culture of the University.

The Foundation Certificate though also appealing to established Chinese communities, will offer educational opportunities to a broader cohort, and particularly those with non-traditional backgrounds and educational achievement who perhaps would like to undertake a BA award on successful completion of the Foundation Certificate.

Module Code

Module title

Credit value

Level 3


Chinese Morality and Ethics



Classical Chinese



Introduction to the Four Books



An introduction to The Governing Principles of Ancient China 360



An introduction to Classical Chinese Literature


The Foundation (Pre-BA) Certificate in Sinology involves a wide range of assessment methods. Assessment will be both English medium and in the medium of Ancient Chinese, dependent on the particular module being studied.

Assessment methods include essays, translation into modern Chinese or English, translation with annotation or critical commentary, oral presentation, teaching placement portfolio and, of course, the dissertation.

This variety of assessment helps develop skills in presenting material in clear, professional and a lucid manner, whether orally or in writing.

  • All applicants must have a middle school or higher diploma, or an equivalent qualification from an approved degree awarding body of his/her country.
  • An Academic IELTS English Language score of 4.0 overall is required, with no less than 3.5 in all four components (reading, writing, listening and speaking), or a UK NARIC approved qualification from an English speaking country.
  • All applicants are required to have ability of reading, writing and comprehending classical Chinese. These will be assessed at the interview.
  • All applicants are required to have basic knowledge of Philology, and are able to demonstrate their proficiency in the principle of character creation from Liu Shu 「六書」in the book Introduction to Philology 《文字學概說》, and apply it to the study of classic texts. These will be assessed at the interview.
  • All applicants are required to be able to read fluently The Roots of Initiation Education 《聖學根之根》, and to be able to fully interpret two pieces of texts selected from the book. This will be assessed at the interview.
  • All applicants are required to be able to recite and write in classical Chinese the selected core classic texts from Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism, such as Guidelines for Being a Good Person 《弟子規》、Treatise On Response And Retribution《太上感應篇》、The Discourse On The Ten Wholesome Ways Of Action 《十善業道經》,and Confucian classic texts The Great Learning 《大學》 and Doctrine of The Mean 《中庸》. This will be assessed at the interview.
  • All applicants are required to submit a biographical essay of no more than 800 characters written in classical Chinese.
  • All applicants must provide two recommendation letters. One of the letters may come from university where the applicant graduated and the other may come from scholars of related disciplines. Both letters must be translated by the professional translation agencies. For those with high school diploma, two recommendation letters may come from scholars of related disciplines.
* To be validated