What courses do you offer?
The School for Interdisciplinary Area Studies offers an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies (previously the MSc in Modern Chinese Studies).
Candidates wishing to apply to the Oxford 1+1MBA programme will need to complete two application forms: one for the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies and one for the Oxford MBA. To qualify for entry on the Oxford 1+1 programme you must meet both programmes' entry requirements. To find out more, please visit http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/degrees/oxford1plus1/Pages/OxfordMBA1+1ataglance.aspx
When are the application deadlines?
The application deadlines for 2013/14 entry are 16 November 2012, 18 January 2013 and 08 March 2013. All of the completed applications for the course that have been submitted by a particular date are gathered together and are then considered alongside and in comparison to each other. It is not possible to consider applications outside of these application deadlines. If you submit your application a long time in advance of the deadline, then it will be retained and will be considered in the next valid application deadline.
If there are places remaining on the course following the 08 March application deadline, a later 'open field' may be available and applications will be considered as they arrive. A note will be placed on the front page of this website indicating availability.
The application process commences on the 1 September 2012.
Does the course start only once a year?
Yes, the course starts once a year at the beginning of October and finishes at the end of June.
What are the entry requirements?
Prospective applicants should have a high Upper Second Class or a First Class Honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent.
What do I need to do to apply?
You can find detailed information about the application process in the Graduate Studies Prospectus
An application consists of:
• a completed application form
• a statement of purpose
• three academic references
• transcripts of previous higher education degree results
• two pieces of written work
• an IELTS or TOEFL test certificate at the higher level (for applicants who do not speak English as a native language only)
Can the course be undertaken part-time or via a distance-learning?
No, the course can only be undertaken full-time in Oxford.
What is the course code? The course code is 003980
Do you accept international students?
Many of our students are international students. UK/EU students are also very welcome.
What is the application process?
The application procedure is explained in the Graduate Studies Prospectus. You can apply online, download or request application material here. If you apply online your application will be automatically sent to the Graduate Admissions Office. If you apply using the paper form, you must send two copies of both your form and all supporting materials to the Graduate Admissions Office in time for the relevant deadline.
How do I pay the application fee?
As well as completing the application form and providing your supporting documentation there is a small application fee (currently £50 but subject to change without notice) to pay for each programme application that you make. The fee is non-refundable and is payable whether your application is successful or not. We cannot process your application unless we receive payment in full at the same time. If you apply online, you can pay with a VISA or MasterCard. If you apply on paper, you can pay by Sterling cheque - drawn on a UK bank and made payable to University of Oxford, Sterling banker's draft made payable to University of Oxford, or Sterling International Money Order made payable to University of Oxford.
See the Graduate Prospectus for details.
Do I need to submit an English language test certificate?
A fluent command of written and spoken English is essential for the MSc in Modern Chinese Studies. All applicants who do not speak English as a native language are asked to submit a satisfactory IELTS or TOEFL test certificate at the higher level
Please note that a certificate that is more than two years old is not acceptable.
Which colleges should I choose?
St Annes, Pembroke, Corpus Christi, Brasenose, St Catherines, St Antonys, St Cross, St Hildas and Lady Margaret Hall have all agreed to consider applicants for the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies.
Why do I need a college place?
Every postgraduate student has to be admitted by both a department of the University and by one of the colleges. In general, prime responsibility for oversight of postgraduate students lies with the relevant University department, which appoints a supervisor for each postgraduate student, and arranges lectures and classes as appropriate. Applicants must first be accepted by the department concerned with their field of study and then their application will be passed to a college.
Which college should I apply to?
All graduate students at Oxford University are members of a department and also of a college. You should browse the college entries in the Graduate Studies Prospectus and the college websites, in order to find the ones that appeal to you the most. The teaching of the MSc will be provided by the School, so your choice of college will not affect the delivery of your course. In the first instance, you should consider whether you would like to be a member of a college that accepts undergraduates as well as graduate students, or of one that admits graduate students only. There are five graduate colleges: Linacre, Nuffield, St Antony's, St Cross and Wolfson. Other factors that you might like to consider are the location of the colleges, their library facilities and the atmosphere and ethos of each individual college. You must indicate on your application form one college that you would like to consider your application. You are also permitted an alternative choice, to which your application might be sent if you are unsuccessful with your first choice.
What purpose do colleges fill for graduate students?
Colleges act as a base for the duration of your time as a graduate student. They provide meals, chapels, social events, sporting clubs, and each has its own library (of varying degrees of size and specialism). Several colleges also provide accommodation for graduate students, either for one year, two years and exceptionally, three years. Some colleges offer scholarships for applicant students. You should check their individual college websites for further details.
Will I be required for interview?
No. Your candidature will be considered solely upon the basis of the materials that you supply with your application.
Am I eligible for funding?
Your eligibility for funding will depend upon your own circumstances and upon the terms by which individual funding bodies award their scholarships. Details of funding possibilities for students can be found on the Fees and Funding website. There are a variety of funding schemes for overseas students, about which more information can be found on the Fees and Funding website. Please be aware of deadlines for the scholarships as the majority close at the end of the second gathered field so you will need to apply during the first or second gathered field to be eligible.
In addition there are currently a small number of School scholarships (SIAS) available for this course (of approximately £5,000), for which both home and overseas students can apply. If you would like to be considered, then please indicate so on the application form by ticking the relevant box, please note there is no departmental code needed.
Can I make an application before I secure funding?
Yes, any offer made is conditional upon applicants being able to give their department and college proof of their financial ability to support their studies in due course.
If I am unsuccessful in finding funding, can I defer my place for another year?
No, we are unable to defer places due to lack of funding and we would ask you to reapply for the next year.
How much money will I need?
You can find detailed information about university tuition fees here. You will also have to pay fees to your college, the exact amount of which varies from college-to-college but is usually in the region of £2,000-£3,000. In addition to these fees, maintenance and living expenditure will be in the region of £10,500 per annum.
What about visa requirements for International Students?
You must obtain a student visa before arrival in the UK. The International Office provides information for International Students on visas, finance, insurance and what to expect during your stay in Oxford.
How many people are accepted onto the course each year?
We aim to get around 20-25 students on the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies.
What are the student services like at Oxford?
Oxford is a large University organised by independent colleges and most students services (such as pastoral care, catering, accommodation and social activities) are provided in college. However Oxford also provides University offices for student representation and supplies (the Oxford University Student Union), computer services (such as computer training, trouble shooting and printing), career services and accommodation. No student should ever be without ample advice and help if they need it.
Can I find accommodation easily in Oxford?
Yes. Oxford has a wide range of accommodation, offered by colleges, the University itself, and by a large number of letting agencies and private leases. Contact the University's accommodation office for more information, or check out your college choices.
What are the library facilities like?
Oxford's library services are outstanding. The Bodleian library receives all works published in the UK and these can be referenced in its many reading rooms. The Institute for Chinese Studies Library (housed in the Institute for Chinese Studies) and the New Bodleian Library together hold one of Europes largest and fastest growing collections of books on China. Some Oxford colleges have relevant holdings on modern China also.
Who is the Course Director with overall responsibility for students on this course?
The MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies is the overall responsibility of the Course Director, also known as Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), who looks after the day-to-day running of the course. The DGS is supported by the Contemporary Chinese Studies Programme Administrators, who should be your first point of contact with any queries.
For the academic year 2012/13, Dr Paul Irwin Crookes is the Director of Graduate Studies and Lucy Driver and Amanda Guthier are the Programme Administrators for the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies.
What induction arrangements will be made?
There is a compulsory departmental induction meeting at the beginning of 0th Week in Michaelmas Term (the week before the start of your first term) and all students are expected to attend. This is where you will receive information on the general rules of the department (the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies) and of Oxford University and how to use the department/University computer systems and the University libraries. Staff from the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies will then lead induction sessions in which you will learn more about the course content, timetables, examinations and facilities. The induction will also include a social event where you will have the opportunity to meet classmates and members of staff. You will also receive a college induction during this week.
What is the overall length of the course, and for how many weeks are students expected to work in Oxford?
The MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies is a nine-month taught course and you will be registered as a student at Oxford University from October until the end of July of the following year. Oxford University has three terms each of 8 weeks duration. These terms are called: Michaelmas Term (October to December); Hilary Term (January to March); Trinity Term (April to June).
You will be expected to be in residence at Oxford throughout the 8 weeks of each term. You are free to leave Oxford after the end of each term but should return during the week prior to the start of the next term (referred to as 0th week). Please be aware that examinations may take place during 0th week of Hilary term. Moreover, given that you will work on your MSc dissertation during the Easter vacation, it is unlikely that you will leave Oxford in March-April, unless on fieldwork. Most written examinations will also take place during Trinity Term and you will need to make sure that you do not leave Oxford until your examinations, including any viva voce are over. (This interview between the examiners and candidate is usually called if the candidate is borderline between pass/fail or pass/distinction.)
The long vacation is the period after Trinity Term ends before the start of the new academic year in October. Your result will be declared in the long vacation.
What is the pattern of lectures, classes, seminars, tutorials and self-directed work for this course?
The MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies features two core courses: i) The Study of Contemporary China course in Michaelmas term which provides foundational knowledge of contemporary Chinese history, politics and society, and ii) The Research Methods course in both Michaelmas and Hilary terms that focuses on qualitative and quantitative research methods.
In addition to the core courses, you are required to take either two option courses from the list of available internal and external option courses, or one option course from the list and a Chinese Language course at an appropriate level. Option courses for 2012/13 will include China’s Environmental Challenges, Chinese Fiction after Tiananmen, China’s Economic Reforms, the History and Historiography of Modern China, the International Relations of Contemporary China, the Politics and Government of China, State and Society in Contemporary China and Regional Challenges: Central Places, Borderlands and Spaces In Between. Option course lecture outlines are published in the course handbook and detailed listings for each option will be made available either via Oxford’s online learning system or directly at the Induction Meeting in October.
Modules will involve lectures as well as seminar or class discussions, for both of which you will receive reading lists. It is a fundamental component of the Oxford educational system that students engage in individual reading and study in order to broaden and deepen their knowledge of their chosen field. You will be expected to show initiative and effort in exploring literature and ideas. There will be an opportunity to broaden your knowledge via the great number of lectures in other courses and public seminars offered by both the School and other departments and colleges within the University.
You will also submit a 10,000 word dissertation during Trinity term. It is important that you begin to consider the topic, scope, and outline of your research ideas with your supervisor as soon as possible as experience has shown that the best thesis submissions are those on which sustained effort has been made across all three terms of the course.
What one-to-one or small group teaching will students on this course receive?
There is limited one-to-one teaching on MSc courses. However, staff members will be available to advise you on reading, literature and topics. You will also be given a supervisor to help guide you through your dissertation research through regular one-to-one meetings. Students often arrange small group meetings between themselves to discuss reading lists before their lectures. Students may also discuss emerging essay and dissertation ideas with doctoral students working on China in the various departments of the university.
Who will take overall responsibility for an individual student’s progress and for completing the progress report form in each term of the course?
The DGS has overall responsibility for your progress. Your supervisor will complete the joint progress report form each term. If you have any queries you should speak with your supervisor in the first instance, followed by the DGS.
What are the provisions for providing written feedback on both formative and summative assessment?
Academic feedback is an important part of the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies. Feedback is provided to you in core courses as well as on your dissertation. During the Study of Contemporary China core course in Michaelmas term, you will write two unassessed essays on which written feedback will be provided in a small-group format. In all courses, you will be provided with oral feedback on any presentations that you make during the year as part of your contribution to seminars. You will also be given written feedback on your dissertation by the assessors after it has been marked.
What workspace will be provided? What IT support/library facilities/experimental facilities will be available?
Information on IT access will be sent to students as part of the induction material. The Oxford University Computer Services (OUCS) run courses on various computer programmes and can offer help and guidance. Oxford University has an extensive library system. The Institute for Chinese Studies Library and the Social Studies Library are the main read-only and lending services respectively, for the material you will require. A tutorial on using the library and IT facilities will be provided at your induction and will be available in your induction packs.
What opportunities are provided for students to take part in research seminars or groups? What formal graduate skills training will be provided?
A range of China-related seminars take place at the University in term time. Weekly research seminars focussing on various aspects of Chinese Studies are held at the Faculty for Oriental Studies. Seminar series at the departments of Politics, Anthropology, Economics and International Development regularly feature papers on China. You are advised to attend as many seminars and lectures as possible. Besides a generally intellectually stimulating environment, the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies will offer research skills training in preparation for your dissertation as well as developing an understanding of the research process. This will cover such topics as research theory, sociological and anthropological approaches, social and economic surveys, discourse and narrative analysis, data analysis and elementary statistical techniques. You will also be able to attend an Essay Writing Skills workshop at University level, which will help you to develop in this area.
What are the arrangements for receiving student feedback on provision and for responding to student concerns? What are the arrangements for appointing representatives for the Divisional PGT student discussion forum?
Concerns regarding your own individual academic welfare should be directed to your supervisor, who is drawn from the MSc’s academic staff. Your supervisor can assist you with many aspects of academic life at Oxford. Practical concerns related to your MSc programme may be directed to the DGS and administrative concerns can be directed to the Contemporary Chinese Studies Administrator. The Oxford University Student Union also has considerable expertise in the area of academic welfare and offers several publications and services that may be of use to you. These include the provision of study skills sessions with an expert in this area. Information can be found on their web site at http://www.ousu.org. You will be encouraged to hold your own student meetings each term.
During the Induction Meeting in October, students will elect two representatives from amongst their number who will be the formal points of contact for student feedback with the department. Student representatives will be invited to attend specific parts of the regular meetings of the MSc Teaching Committee that have been designed to facilitate feedback. These representatives will also then attend the Divisional PGT student discussion forum.
What arrangements for accommodation, meals and social facilities will be made for students on a graduate taught course?
Many of the colleges are able to provide students with accommodation. Generally speaking your college will provide meals throughout the year, but provision will vary from college to college, especially during vacations, and you will need to familiarise yourself with your college’s detailed arrangements. In addition there are usually self-catering facilities available in graduate accommodation. You will be a member of the Middle Common Room, or equivalent, of your college, which is the main social centre for graduates. The MCR provides a common room and usually organises a programme of social events throughout the year. The college will also provide a bar, some computing facilities and a library, and may often have dedicated funds for research (conference and field grants). It also represents the interests of its members to the college through an elected Committee or through elected representatives to College Committees. Again, details will vary from college to college. Graduates are also welcome to participate in all other social and sporting activities of the college. Please see individual college websites for further details about all aspects of college provision.
What arrangements are in place for pastoral and welfare support?
There is an extensive framework of support for graduates within each college. Your college will allocate to you a College Advisor from among its Senior Members, usually in a cognate subject, who will arrange to see you from time to time and who you may contact for additional advice and support on academic and other matters. In college you may also approach the Tutor for Graduates and/or the Senior Tutor for advice. The Tutor for Graduates is a fellow of the college with particular responsibility for the interests and welfare of graduate students. In some colleges, the Senior Tutor will also have the role of Tutor for Graduates. Each college will also have other named individuals who can offer individual advice. The student union can also offer help and advice.
Please address any further enquiries to the Programme Administrators at email@example.com