Entry Requirements

Click the button to read our faculty brochure or read more about the course below:

  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

Course specific requirements: Chinese GCSE grade 9-7 OR native speakers of Chinese on consultant with the department at enrolment


Themes covered

Theme 1 当代华人社会变迁
Theme 2  中国文化
Theme 3 演变中的华人社会
Theme 4  1978 年改革开放对中国的影响


Alongside developing analytical and interpretative skills, you will improve your communication skills and your ability to understand literature and grammar.

Course introduction


How many lessons are there per week?

There are 2 double lessons. You will get homework from each lesson and over the week you are also expected to do another 4.5 hours of independent study in order to practice further and develop your own interests in aspects of the culture of the language you study. This will help with your studies in the second year.

How much homework will we get?

Homework is set twice a week after each lesson. This may involve vocabulary learning, reading tasks, listening tasks, translation, grammar tasks, essay work or speaking preparation. Typically, you will get one learning homework and one written homework per week. Homework is usually due for the next lesson unless you are told otherwise.

Do you run any trips abroad?

Unfortunately, trips abroad are not running at the moment due to Covid19, but we are anxious to return to our cultural trips to Italy, Spain, France and China and our German exchange. The department also offers work experience in Europe through an external company called Halsbury.

Which exam board do you use?

Our exam boards are:
• Eduqas: French, German and Spanish
• Edexcel: Italian
• Cambridge Pre-U: Chinese
• AQA: Chinese GCSE

How do we learn in lessons? Is it really different to high school?

We do not use a set textbook as these quickly go out of date. Instead, we use a variety of resources such as self-made booklets containing resources from a variety of places to help you learn in different ways. You will be given vocabulary lists, translation, grammar, reading and listening tasks as booklets. Every week you will also work with computers for listening tasks, grammar practice and independent learning. We use websites such as Kahoot and Quizlet to practice vocabulary, grammar and factual knowledge.

How do we work with the assistant?

To help you develop speaking skills, we employ a native-speaker of the language you study, who will work with you once a week during lesson time. They will speak to you individually in a separate classroom on a specific topic for up to 10 minutes. Usually you will prepare something in advance for homework and speak to her about it during the session. You can expect to be asked questions about what you have said. This all helps to build confidence for the final speaking exam.

What kind of person takes a Language A-level and what use is studying a language?

Languages are a brilliant skill to possess. A language is a skill for life. Both universities and employers are keen to enlist linguists.

What other subjects do languages complement?

A foreign language goes well with any other subject. Arts subjects like other languages but also English, History or Politics. Many of our students also study Maths and Science subjects.