Sinology (BA Hons)

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

The BA (Hons) programme is designed to lay down a strong foundation for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of ancient Chinese texts and the appropriate textual and linguistic skills to explore and comprehend them, accompanied by a wider purpose of exploring aspects of ancient Chinese language, culture, ethics and history.

Key Facts

UCAS Code: SI01
Course Length:
3 year Full-time

Scholarships and Bursaries

Institute of Education and Humanities
Language Choice:
English   Chinese

All levels from 4 to 6, will be a balanced exploration of the teachings, ancient texts, ethics and ideas of ancient Chinese Confucianism, ancient Chinese Buddhism and ancient Chinese Daoism. These will be the three central themes running through the programme and explored by close study of a number of key Chinese texts, such as The Governing Principles of Ancient China, and The Complete Library of the Four Branches of Literatures of China.

Study of these and other ancient Chinese texts will be the central objective of the programme and from which students will acquire a solid grounding in the philosophies, language and ethics of ancient China, hence the decision to make them 30 credit modules at each level of study.

Supporting this core of three central themes, 20 credit modules will be offered at each level (this will include the SICH3002, SICH4001, SICH5001 and SICH6010 modules) on the morality and ethics of ancient China which will draw upon and reinforce the ideas and understandings gained from close textual study of the ancient Chinese texts.

This strand of the programmes are designed to help students attain a deep understanding and informed approach towards ancient Chinese ethics to inform their understanding of modern society and culture. They are also designed to stimulate a student’s deeper awareness and understanding about personal responsibility and standing within contemporary society.

In addition, students will explore and develop their skills in the various approaches and methodologies of translation, in the modules entitled Sinological English, which run at each level of study (SICH4002, SICH5002 and SICH 6002). These modules will also address study methods and skills, approaches to research and support for undertaking at level 6 an extended essay in SICH6003 and SICH6004 of 7000 words.

Similarly the various critical interpretations and cumulative scholarship, through which the texts have been mediated and understood, will be explored by students in modules at all levels. So at level 3 in SICH3005, at level 4 on philology (SICH4005), at level 5 on phonology (SICH5005) and at level 6 on Exegesis (SICH6005).

In other words the programme is an integrated programme of study that around the core themes of developing a knowledge of ancient Chinese Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism, students will acquire a rounded understanding of the historical, ethical and cultural context and scholarship in which they were written, alongside a proficiency in ancient Chinese language, its characters and writing styles.

Running in conjunction with the programme, though outside of the curriculum, students will have the opportunity to attend classes on calligraphy. These will operate at all three levels of study. They will be optional but students will be strongly encouraged to attend. The calligraphy classes run at a beginners, intermediate and advanced level. The hope is that students will at least have completed the beginner level by the time they graduate.

Module CodeModule titleCredit value
Level 4
SICH4002 Sinological English I 20
SICH4001 Introduction to Traditional Chinese Morality and Ethics in Education I 20
SICH4003 An introduction to the Confucian Analects and the Book of Mencius 30
SICH4004 An Introduction to the Great Learning and the Doctrines of Means 30
SICH4005 Philology 20
Level 5
SICH5001 Traditional Chinese Morality and Ethics in Education II 20
SICH5002 Sinological English II 20
SICH5003 The Governing Principles of Ancient China: Selections from the Book of Rites 30
SICH5004 The Governing Principles of Ancient China:
Selected Readings in the Book of Poetry and Book of History
SICH5005 Phonology 20
Level 6
SICH6010 Traditional Chinese Moral and Ethical Education III 20
SICH6011 Sinological English III 20
SICH6012 Chinese Textual Studies of “Governing Principles of Ancient  China” , “Book of Changes”  《易經》 30
SICH6013 Chinese Textual Studies of Daoism:  Laozi’s “Daodejing” 《道德經》 30
SICH6014 Exegesis 20

A BA degree 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.

The BA programme at UWSTD on the Lampeter Campus is part of the programmes offered by the Academy of Sinology UK, focusing entirely on the ancient Chinese language education to train more specialists in carrying on the tradition of the ancient Chinese culture, values and ethics.

This BA programme represents academic studies and moral enhancement utilizing the sagacious wisdom found in the classic Chinese texts, such as The Governing Principles of Ancient China, or The Complete Library of the Four Branches of Literatures of China.

The BA programme is designed to lay down strong foundation for the students to solidify their knowledge and skills to pursue studies of Sinology step by step and to practice their learnings in their daily life to eventually become the top-notch specialists of ancient Chinese texts.

For the study of Sinology, there are 4 pillars supporting the foundation of learning the wisdom of the ancient sages. These 4 pillars include:

  • The textual studies of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism on the subject of morality and ethics, cause and effect, manifested through the course of Morality & Ethics I, II, III within the 3 years of BA
  • The textual studies of Philology, Phonology, and Exegesis throughout the 3 years to help students solidify their knowledge and skills in classic Chinese characters.
  • Sinology English is also woven into the 3 years of program to intensify the student’s ability to promote the heritage and values of the traditional Chinese culture in the Western
  • The selections of the textual studies of essential ancient sages throughout the 3 years guide the students to reach the sagacious wisdom practiced in the ancient

The textual studies of the Four Books help lay the foundation of virtues in the first year.    The textual studies of the Book of Rites, the Book of Poetry, and the Book of History in the second year help students gain insights of ancient sages as to how to allow the righteous thoughts and mentality to bring about happiness for individuals, families, and harmony for societies and countries.

In the third year, the textual studies of the Book of Changes, the selected Sutra of Buddhism and Daoism introduce the learning of the ancient sages on how to deal with chaos and troubles in a changing world and restore peace and harmony to the troubled time.

Knowledge should have its power, and our BA Programme is intended to transform it into wisdom and powerful resources to help change ourselves, our society, and bring happiness and harmony back to our home and the Earth.

With our teachings spanning from the classical literatures to the Classics themselves, the BA programme covers thematically the substances of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism, which concentrate mainly on the well-established classical annotations with their crowning spiritual achievements.

With such particular design of our BA programme, our students will be participating in an extraordinary exploration of culture that is at once ancient and lively in its own right.   

Within the structure of three levels (4, 5, 6) in three years, the BA programme not only paves the way for those who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in MA or PhD in Sinology, but also suits those who want to finish the programme courses of Level 4, Level 5 or Level 6 to be awarded a Graduate Certificate, a Graduate Diploma or a Bachelor of Art in Sinology, respectively.