What will I learn?

The Chinese language is one of the major intangible cultural heritages of the world, with an uninterrupted history of more than 3,000 years. Cheryl Chiu was admitted to the Department of Chinese Language and Literature four years ago. To Cheryl, language and literature are the keys to explore the infinite possibilities of culture in our finite lives. ‘I’ve been a keen learner of the Chinese language since I was a secondary school student. I’m fortunate enough to have been admitted by the Department to enjoy my untrammelled pursuit in the literary heritage.’

The undergraduate curriculum affords Cheryl a close examination of the characteristic features of the Chinese language, an in-depth introduction to traditional theories of language and modern linguistics, and critical study of classical and modern Chinese literature. ‘The students will acquire a solid understanding of the field in general while specializing in their own areas of interest among the 50 specialty courses, such as philology and linguistics, Qin/Han textual studies, Tang/Song poetry, modern Chinese fiction or creative writing—all under the guidance of our erudite faculty members,’ said Prof. Ho Che-wah, Chairman of the Department.

The Department launched ‘Creative Writing in Chinese’ in the 2016–17 academic year. The specialized training helps the students develop their writing expertise. They will acquire advanced skills in both creative and professional writing, enhance their knowledge of various literary genres and other closely related arts, sharpen their literary sensibility, and build their creative vision. Professor Ho said, ‘Creative writing courses are conducted in small-group teaching, which fosters close teacher-student bonds. We organize writing competitions like Literary CUHK and publish student anthologies to groom budding writers. Every year, our students win coveted prizes in major literary competitions.’

The study atmosphere in the Department is what Cheryl treasures the most. ‘Most of my classmates are highly motivated and curious learners. The faculty members are always supportive and keen to answer students’ questions. Their passion motivates us to discover the richness in Chinese language and literature and go beyond our limits.’ She enjoys the time with her classmates, whether it be academic exchange or simply chit-chatting. ‘Our interaction isn’t limited to analyzing the classics or tracing the development of some Chinese linguistic features, but is also about our personal issues and some frustrations in life. I’m blessed to have developed such genuine friendships at the Department.’

Modern Chinese is replete with idioms, allusions, and analogies that derive from traditional Chinese culture. Classical cultural references often cited in wenyan (literary Chinese) are often adopted by government officials, diplomats, politicians and other public figures in their speeches or messages. Therefore, Cheryl found her studies in the past three years tremendously helpful in building her cultural literacy to decode the messages she comes across in daily life. ‘I’ve built up the capacity to recognize allusions and references in written and colloquial Chinese, and to detect the subtleties of irony, humour or sarcasm the speakers intended to convey.’

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
HK$145,000.00 (US$ 18,517) per year
Start date

6 January 2020

Venue

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Shatin,

Sha Tin, Hong Kong, New Territories

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have obtained SAT Reasoning Test; and preferably with 2 SAT Subject Tests/ 2 Advanced Placement (AP) Tests. Mature applicants should be aged 23 or above on 1 September in the year in which admission is sought, provided they are able to show either by publication or by other acceptable evidence that they have achieved sufficient competence in their chosen field of study to justify admission; or have shown exceptional ability in appropriate academic or professional fields. English Language Requirements: IELTS: 6.0; TOEFL (iBT): 80; SAT Reasoning Test (Old): Essay - 8; SAT (New) Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 590; ACT combined English/ Writing or English Language Arts (ELA): 23; GCSE/ IGCSE/ GCE-OL: C; GCE-AL/AS: E; IB: 4; HKDSE: Level 3; HKALE/ HKCEE: E/Level 2; Australian State or Territory High School Certificate Grade 12 English: 80%; Canadian Grade 12 English: 70%; Indian Central or State Board Exam Grade 12 English: 80%; Malaysian UEC-Senior English Language: B4; Singapore GCE A-Level H1 General Paper: C.GCSE/IGCSE/GCE-OL.

For international students

You are eligible to apply for admission if, by 1 September of the year in which admission is sought, you possess any of the following qualifications:

1. GCE-AL/International-AL/IB/Other high school qualifications

  • GCE-AL/International-AL: 3AL/ 2AL+2AS in one sitting (All grades must be obtained from examinations taken within a twelve-month period.)
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • A recognised non-local qualification which qualifies them for admission to a university in the country/region where such qualification is originated (e.g. high school diploma plus SAT/ ACT and SAT Subject Tests/ AP Tests in USA, UEC/ STPM in Malaysia, ATAR in Australia, OSSD/ BC diploma in Canada, GSAT/AST in Taiwan, AISSCE (CBSE)/ ISC in India, SMA in Indonesia, etc.)

2. Post-secondary qualifications

  • Completed at least one year of undergraduate study at a recognised university
  • Completed at least one year of study leading to the qualification of associate degree/higher diploma or its equivalent

3. Mature Applicants

  • Mature persons aged 23 or above on 1 September in the year in which admission is sought, provided they are able to show either by publication or by other acceptable evidence that they have achieved sufficient competence in their chosen field of study to justify admission; or have shown exceptional ability in appropriate academic or professional fields.

English Language Requirements:

  • IELTS: 6.0
  • TOEFL (iBT): 80
  • Other English language requirements equivalent to HKDSE: Level 3 or HKALE/ HKCEE: E/Level 2.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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