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Master's Degree Program - Getting a Master's Degree in Chinese Studies through Distance Learning

written by: Sonal Panse•edited by: Sylvia Cochran•updated: 7/31/2009

This article takes a brief look at getting a master's degree in Chinese studies through distance learning. A master's degree in Chinese studies is useful for people seeking an in depth knowledge of the Chinese language, culture and economy. Chinese studies graduates can work in a variety of fields.

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    Master's Degree in Chinese Studies through Distance Learning

    China has emerged as a major economic force in recent times, and a wide range of work opportunities have opened up as a result. A master's degree in Chinese studies through distance learning is a good idea for anyone seeking to explore these new career avenues without taking time away from their current occupations.

    The two year master's degree in Chinese studies focuses on a range of China-related subjects like Chinese history, society, politics, economics, culture and also the Chinese language. Students, in consultation with faculty members, can also do graduate work in a discipline related to their major field of study. The program may include research or study work carried out at a university in China.

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    Getting a Master's Degree in Chinese Studies through Distance Learning

    The following requirements are generally necessary for getting a master's degree in Chinese Studies through distance learning:

    • Good command of spoken and written Mandarin
    • Fluency in English
    • A Bachelor's degree

    Research accredited universities offering a master's degree in Chinese studies. Visit the university websites for information on their eligibility requirements and admission application requirements and deadlines. Check the courses offered and the program schedule. Find out about the tuition fees and about financial assistance. Get information about computer and software requirements for the course. It might also be a good idea to meet a few past students and ask them about their experience with this program. Once you are satisfied, get all the necessary paperwork ready and send in your application on time.

    Here are two British universities offering a master's degree in Chinese studies -

    • Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds
    • The School of East Asian Studies and the University of Sheffield

    The program at the University of Leeds lasts 30 to 60 months, and adopts a multidisciplinary approach. Students study and analyze the politics, sociology, economics and business of the region. You can elect to study eight modules of 15 credits each from the given list and are expected to write a dissertation for 60 credits. A total of 180 credits are required for getting the master's degree.

    The courses are conducted completely online. Students can access the university website and avail themselves of weekly self-instructional lectures and attend virtual seminars. They can make use of online research resources and communicate with peers and tutors via email.

    To be eligible for this program, you must have either a degree from an accredited college, some professional qualifications or at least three years working experience. Knowledge of Chinese and the Asia-Pacific region is also essential. You must have a computer, relevant software and an Internet connection. Location or nationality of students is not an issue since this is a distance learning program.

    To apply for this program, download, fill up and send in a PDF application form from the website. Along with this form, you need to send two certified copies of your educational or professional qualifications and all transcripts. Two references and two passport-sized photographs are also required. After your application is accepted, you will receive an official confirmation offer and information about fee payment. The total course fee is 8,900 pounds sterling and it can be paid in installments or in totality. You will also receive a registration form with course details, your personal details and a student card application form. The latter is to be filled out, attached with a photo and sent to the University office. It will be stamped and returned to you. You will then be provided with the passwords to access the lectures and the library services.

    The program at the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield can generally take up to three years: two years for the course duration and one additional year, if required, for completing the dissertation. Students will become fluent in Mandarin and well-informed on China-related matters.

    Students must take four compulsory modules, two of 40 credits each and two of 20 credits each, and select one of two modules of 20 credits. In the course of the program, students are expected to avail themselves of interactive audio-visual lectures, attend online seminars, read prescribed books, carry out independent research, write papers and essays, make online presentations, appear for some examinations and complete a dissertation. The tuition fees for this program for non-UK/non-EU students are 12,100 pounds sterling and for UK/EU students it is 3,390 pounds sterling.

    To be eligible for this program, you need to have a graduate degree, and, if your native language is not English, you need a TOEFL or IELTS qualification.

    Sources

    • Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds at http://eas.leeds.ac.uk/htdocs/eas/eas_content/postgraduate/distance-learning_degrees.asp
    • The School of East Asian Studies and the University of Sheffield at http://www.shef.ac.uk/seas/dlc/clbir.html
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    Benefits of a Master's Degree in Chinese Studies through Distance Learning

    Here are some of the benefits of a master's degree in Chinese Studies through distance learning -

    • A master's degree in Chinese Studies through distance learning will give students a very high level of proficiency in Mandarin and also an in-depth knowledge of China.
    • Distance learning is an excellent choice for working professionals and for people who, for various reasons, cannot attend a full-time program. They can get a master's degree in Chinese Studies without needing to take time off from their current careers and without needing to expend time and money in commuting or relocating.
    • Students can keep in regular touch with their tutors over phone, email and instant messaging.
    • Students can interact with other students from all over the world online.
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    Career Prospects with a Master's Degree in Chinese Studies through Distance Learning

    Career wise, a master's degree in Chinese studies can benefit you in many ways -

    • It can come in handy in the business and finance world where people with fluency in Mandarin and an in-depth knowledge of China's social, political, economic and cultural situation are very much needed. Chinese studies graduates may work in corporations, banks, government organizations, NGOs and so on.
    • Chinese Studies graduates may work in the scientific and technological field as science researchers, technicians, computer engineers and so on.
    • They may work in the arts and linguistic fields as teachers, artists, writers, journalists and so on.
    • They may work in the travel and hospitality industries.
    • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for people with knowledge of Chinese is going to remain strong in the coming years. The Bureau gives the average annual salary figure of language specialists working with the Federal Government as between $76,287 and more than $100,000. Earnings of non-salaried and freelance language specialists are variable. The earning capacity, of course, depends greatly on proficiency, skill set, education and experience.