Welcome to Chinese at UNE! Learning Chinese opens a window to understanding Chinese culture and the Chinese way of life. A rapidly changing society with a history dating back to the 21st century BCE, China is also a multi-ethnic society consisting of 56 ethnic groups with a rich heritage of cultural diversity.

UNE is the only university in Australia to offer a full Chinese major program online, as well as on-campus classes. We cater for a range of proficiency levels from complete beginners to native speakers. In addition, we offer units in English on aspects of Chinese culture. Off-campus students study the same material as on-campus ones, submit the same assignments and sit the same exams. Here are some excellent reasons to study Chinese with us:

  • Small classes, personal attention
  • Challenging and fun learning activities!
  • From beginners to advanced
  • Step by step, structured units
  • All units are available online
  • Experienced and supportive staff
  • Opportunities and encouragement to study in China, for credit towards your degree: from 5 weeks to one year
  • Scholarships usually available for study in China

Why study Chinese at UNE?

Chinese is used by more people in the world than any other language. At UNE we teach you Mandarin, which is the official language used throughout China. Anyone who is prepared to devote time to it regularly can learn Chinese. The spoken language has a simple structure and an elegant grammar, and it uses tones to give different meanings to a word. The written script is challenging but rewarding to learn: it has both a logical and an artistic appeal. It's a fascinating language to study, and at UNE you can have a taste of it, and you can take it on to high levels.

In Australia, Chinese is the most common language spoken at home after English. Cultural and educational links between China and Australia are growing rapidly. China is Australia's biggest trading partner, and it's also Australia's fastest growing inbound tourism market. UNE courses encourage you to find opportunities to encounter and practise Chinese wherever you are based, at home or overseas. It is strongly recommended that students of Chinese incorporate a period of immersion study in China in their degree, and we offer opportunities for doing this for periods ranging from 5 weeks to one or two trimesters.

Who studies Chinese at UNE?

Students learning Chinese at UNE come from a wide range of backgrounds and have many reasons for learning Chinese. The flexibility of our programmes allow you to fit your study in with your work and family commitments wherever you are based in the world. You may identify with some of the motivations below, or you may have your own reasons for wanting to study Chinese:

  • "I just want to try out another language"
  • "I want to find out more about a great Asian culture"
  • "I plan to work in business or trade with China, eventually."
  • "I tried learning Chinese informally, but now I need a structured formal study routine to follow."
  • "I've visited China before, and the next time I go I want to talk to people in their own language."
  • "I'm an Australian-born Chinese and I want to learn more about my heritage language."
  • "I'm teaching English in China, and I'd like a structure to help me learn Chinese and gain an Australian qualification for it while I'm here."
  • "I previously studied some Chinese at another university and now I'd like to continue to study part-time at an advanced level."
  • "I have a Chinese partner and I want to communicate better with my in-laws!"
  • "I learned some Chinese in my childhood in south-east Asia, and I'd like to learn more now."
  • "Actually, I come from mainland China. I'm studying at UNE, and I'd like to take some advanced units in Chinese and translation as a part of my UNE degree."
  • "I'm studying commerce (or law, or business) and I'd like to add value to my degree by gaining proficiency in Chinese as well."
  • "I'm a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine."
  • "I'm a flight attendant studying towards a language badge."
  • "I work in immigration or social services with the Chinese community in Australia."
  • "I'd like to work in Australian tourism and hospitality, where the numbers of incoming tourists from China are growing rapidly."
  • "I'm a schoolteacher, and I want to be able to teach Chinese."
  • "I do business with China and I'd like to be able to talk to my counterparts in Chinese some of the time."
In-country language study

You can study in China as part of your degree. UNE has an exchange agreement with Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU) in Xi'an for in-country study which can be credited to UNE degrees.

If you enrol in the Chinese major in the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business, the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws, the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Education (Secondary Studies), or the Bachelor of International Studies, you can choose to spend one or two trimesters studying a language in-country, either taking UNE's Overseas Language Study (OSLS) units or by enrolling directly with SNNU.

If you enrol in the Bachelor of Languages, the Bachelor of Languages and International Business, or the Bachelor of International and Language Studies, it is compulsory to undertake in-country study.

Find out more about overseas language study

Find out more about other opportunities for study in China

Undergraduate courses

Chinese can be studied as a major in the following courses:

Bachelor degrees

You can also study Chinese as an elective in almost any Bachelor's course offered at UNE; check the course rules to see how many electives you are permitted to include.

For Bachelor Honours see under postgraduate courses.

Undergraduate Diplomas

in which you can study Chinese

Postgraduate courses

Chinese can also be studied at postgraduate level in coursework or research programs.

Bachelor Honours

Find out more about Honours

Postgraduate coursework

Postgraduate research

Find out more about Higher Degree Research


"Get ahead, learn Mandarin."

With a continuous and massive economic boom in China, Modern Standard Chinese has become the most important language used in the Asia-Pacific region. Nowadays university graduates with business and Chinese language skills combined are in great demand both in Australia and overseas. Demand for Chinese speakers is increasing further, with the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, and the rapid growth in Chinese tourism to Australia. With the increasing interest in learning Mandarin, school teachers with Chinese skills will soon be in particularly high demand.

Career areas welcoming graduates with Chinese skills include:

  • import/export businesses,
  • tourism,
  • translation and interpreting,
  • research,
  • international banking,
  • law,
  • teaching: primary, secondary, tertiary,
  • multinational corporations,
  • public service,
  • community service,
  • foreign affairs,
  • defence,
  • intelligence,
  • trade,
  • immigration,
  • foreign aid,
  • NGOs
Partnerships and networks

UNE language students can study at the following universities in China:


For more information about studying Chinese at UNE, please contact ...

Dr Isabel Tasker
Convenor of Chinese
Lecturer (Chinese)

School of Arts
University of New England

Telephone (02) 6773 3504 International: +61 2 6773 3504