• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies More...
  • Major code CHST-MAJ


Chinese civilisation provided the foundations for what has become Modern East Asia. With China on the verge of becoming a world power again, Australia seeks to redefine its relationship with China and its role in the region. Chinese Studies at the ANU allows students to engage both broadly and deeply with China’s past and present. The Chinese Studies Major offers include courses in linguistics, literature (traditional and modern), history, culture, politics, archaeology, calligraphy, and on Taiwan. The Major provides students with a solid foundation upon which to develop both general and specialist interests in Chinese culture, history, society and thought.

The Chinese Studies Major is designed to complement the Chinese language major and the Literary Chinese minor, though knowledge of the Chinese language is not required for courses in the Chinese studies major.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand and evaluate historical and current events and developments that have shaped China,
  2. Identify and critique the socio-cultural and political systems of China,
  3. Analyse developments in China in their regional and global contexts,
  4. Understand the processes and disciplinary approaches through which current knowledge about Chinese Studies has developed.

Other Information

Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language placement test to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level. 

Relevant past experience includes:

-     Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)

-     Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend

-     Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken

-     The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)

Students who are not sure if they need to take a placement test should seek advice from the course or language convenor. 

Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may results in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.

Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convenor.

Areas of Interest

  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Asian Studies
  • Asia Pacific Studies
  • Literature
  • Asia-Pacific Studies
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

6 units from the completion of the following course(s):

ASIA1025 - Asia and the Pacific: Power, diversity and change (6 units)

ASIA1030 - Asia and the Pacific in Motion (6 units)


 18 units from the completion of the following course(s):

ASIA2037 - History of Modern China (6 units)

ASIA2366 - Foundations of Chinese Culture (6 units)

ASIA3034 - The Contemporary Chinese World (6 units)


A minimum of 6 units from the completion of the following list:

ASIA2203 - Archaeology of China (6 units)

ASIA2003 - Chinese Literature (6 units)

ASIA2072 - Taiwan: History and Culture (6 units)

ASIA2073 - Chinese Calligraphy: History and Practice (6 units)

ASIA2044 - Chinese History: The Imperial Period (221 BC - 1800) (6 units)

CHST3211 - Reading China: Past and Present (6 units)

CHST3212 - Reading Chinese Literature: Theory and Criticism (6 units)


A minimum of 6 units from the completion of the following list:

LING2017 - Chinese Linguistics (6 units)

ASIA2014 - China: Language, Discourse, and Political Culture (6 units)

ASIA2026 - The Politics of China (6 units)

BUSI3028 - Business in China (6 units)

INTR2012 - Chinese Foreign and Security Policy (6 units)

ASIA2099 - Foundations of Chinese Society: Friends, Family, Connections (6 units)

ASIA2222 - Taiwanese Society and Politics (6 units)


A maximum of 6 units from the completion of the following list:

ASIA2001 - Language in Asia and the Pacific (6 units)

ECHI2109 - Asian Giants: India, China and Japan; Alternate Paths to Prosperity(P) (6 units)

ASIA2017 - History of International Relations in Northeast Asia (6 units)

ASIA2016 - The Mongol Empire in World History (6 units)

ASIA2074 - Popular Culture in East Asia (6 units)

STST2001 - International Security issues in the Asia Pacific (6 units)

INTR2010 - International Relations in the Asia-Pacific (6 units)

INTR2012 - Chinese Foreign and Security Policy (6 units)

ASIA2065 - Asian Politics: From Concepts to Causes (6 units)

ASIA3051 - Study Tour: Archaeology in Asia (6 units)

ASIA2307 - History of Empire in Asia (6 units)

ASIA2308 - Linguistic Histories in Asia and the Pacific (6 units)

ASIA2301 - Human Migration and Expansion in the Rise of the Asia-Pacific (6 units)

ASIA2302 - Culture and Modernity in Asia: Anthropological Perspectives (6 units)

ASIA2304 - What is Literature? Asian Perspectives (6 units)

ASIA2311 - Gender and Cultural Studies in Asia and the Pacific (6 units)

ASIA2067 - Economies of Emerging Asia (6 units)

ASIA3021 - Engaging Asia: Australia and the Asian Century (6 units)

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