BA (Hons) Sinology (Humanistic Education)

How was the development of human excellence conceived of by ancient Chinese thinkers?
What are the core principles, philosophical frameworks and governing concepts of ancient China?
What are the modern implications of sinology?
A humanistic education from the pre-modern Chinese perspective is learning to realise one’s innate human excellence. This holistic learning includes exploring intellectual, moral, social, and professional development through ancient Chinese thought.
Also refer to:


1.Please complete the online application form:
2.Save a copy of the application form in PDF format and email the saved application form to (Academy of Sinology).

Contact Email:
Institution Code: T80
University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Tuition fee 2024/25: £8,000

Why choose this course?

The BA (Hons) Sinology (Humanistic Education) is the first English-taught undergraduate programme delivered by the Academy of Sinology, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. This three-year programme covers a wide range of important topics in Chinese studies, including Chinese philology, the pre-modern education system, Confucian classics, history, and ancient economic principles. 

This Sinology programme has four unique features: accessibility, application, adaptability, and an interdisciplinary approach. An additional feature of the course is that students will be given the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese as extracurricular classes free of charge.

1. Accessibility: Making accessible the foundational texts of the Chinese civilisation. Works such as the Analects of Confucius and the Mencius have shaped the culture throughout East Asia. How can their insights be interpreted and made fruitful for international audiences? Being delivered in the medium of English and exploring Sinology from an intercultural perspective, the programme is expected to help facilitate cross-cultural dialogue. This programme is aimed at introducing students to the Chinese heritage as informed through these core texts – thus there is no prerequisite requirement in Chinese language ability or literary Chinese. The classes will be tailored to the student to support them in understanding both modern and classical Chinese.
2. Application: Ancient Chinese thinkers discussed many methods and perspectives by which human excellence could be perfected – learning was part and parcel of the art of living. Based on close readings and analysis of representative works, the practices espoused by these Chinese thinkers can be interpreted from a modern lens and evaluated for resolving issues at the personal level.
3. Adaptability: Learning ancient knowledge and lessons of the past was not only to alleviate personal problems but to inspire different solutions for societal problems. Learners will be challenged to explore how traditional Chinese wisdom can be leveraged to serve the world in addressing contemporary issues.
4. An interdisciplinary approach: Students on this programme will develop knowledge and skills that will allow them to engage with discourses in education, history, linguistics, and economics in an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse way.

Course Overview

The Four Books (sishu 四書) are integral modules for three years of the programme as part of furthering understanding of foundational texts in the humanistic education of late imperial China. These texts were decreed as compulsory learning for classical scholarship and public service but also significantly influenced premodern Chinese cultural values. The Four Books modules are complemented by philological training to assist with close reading of texts; the modules on the Political Thought in the Essentials of Bringing about Order from Assembled Texts (Qunshu zhiyao 群書治要) compiles diverse literature to explore the educational thought of different traditions and historiography; and the modules on economic principles challenge students to consider interdisciplinary applications of the humanistic education. Elementary education modules are taught as primers of cultural literacy prior to the Four Books module to provide a logical development of knowledge and skills in Sinology. 

The five subjects are mutually enriching and are taught throughout the years, except for philology in the third year that makes time for the dissertation module. Apart from the economic principles subject requiring prerequisites, the modules are delivered such that new texts or different sections of the same compilation are taught each year. The modules are also designed to be accessible to those without prior knowledge of the texts and from a diverse academic background. As such, completion of even a single year remains a worthwhile endeavour to develop a preliminary awareness and interest in the humanistic education of Sinology for future study, research, or application in other disciplines.

Module Topics

All modules are compulsory.

Year 1 - Level 4

1. Elementary Education in Late Imperial China I (20 credits)
2. Four Books of Confucian Learning I (30 credits)
3. Cultural Memory of Tang China (30 credits)
4. Economic Principles in Traditional Chinese Philosophy I (20 credits)
5. An Introduction to Chinese Philology I (20 credits)

Year 2 - Level 5

1. Elementary Education in Late Imperial China II (20 credits)
2. Four Books of Confucian Learning II (30 credits)
3. Political Thought in the Essentials of Bringing about Order from Assembled Texts (Qunshu zhiyao) (30 credits)
4. Economic Principles in Traditional Chinese Philosophy II (20 credits)
5. An Introduction to Chinese Philology II (20 credits)

Year 3 - Level 6

1. Literature for Moral Instruction in Late Imperial China (20 credits)
2. Four Books of Confucian Learning III (20 credits)
3. Mirroring History in Late Imperial China (20 credits)
4. Economic Principles in Traditional Chinese Philosophy III (20 credits)
5. Dissertation: Humanistic Education in Sinology (40 credits)


Assessment methods vary from module to module but you can expect assessments including essays and presentations. Assessments combine academic rigour with reflection on the practical application of the principles that demonstrate a student’s ability to meaningfully integrate their knowledge and skills.

Key Information

Entry Criteria

The Academy welcomes individuals who possess enthusiasm, motivation and commitment to advancing the education of traditional Chinese culture.
• Applicants must have completed a secondary school qualification or above, or an equivalent qualification from an approved degree awarding body. Copies of the qualifications and academic transcripts must be submitted with the application.
• Recent secondary school graduates must submit successive years of academic transcripts with the application forms. A copy of the certificate(s) of secondary education must be submitted by 7 August 2024 (International Applicants) or 21 August 2024 (Home Applicants) at the latest. 
• International applicants must demonstrate a sufficient level of English equivalent to a minimum Academic IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each of the four components (reading, writing, listening and speaking), or attain a UK NARIC approved qualification from an English-speaking country. Please note that the University will only accept IELTS certificates from a UKVI-approved test centre and applicants must select the “IELTS for UKVI and Immigration Academic” category. For a list of approved centres, click here.

Career Opportunities

Through their studies, students will not only be able to interpret China in the past but also comprehend its current development. Students who successfully complete this programme will acquire skills that open up a wide range of career options, for example:

• Education and training
• Government and public administration
• Human resources
• Business administration
• Postgraduate study and research 

Additional Costs


Literature (primary and academic) — £200-300 for three years; annual maximum: £100.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.


Visit our Lampeter Accommodation section to find out more.