Overview of Honours in Chinese

The Honours program in Chinese is a one-year full-time course or a part-time program over two years.

Full-time students complete 48 credit points over one year; part-time students do so over two years, with 24 points completed each year.

The program consists of 24 points of coursework and 24 points of research and thesis writing.


Honours is a competitive and challenging program and only students who have an adequate research proposal and demonstrated ability in previous studies will be accepted. Students must have a major in Chinese language or Chinese Studies or Chinese Translation and an average grade of 70 percent or better for four units (24 points), consisting of three third-year units and one second- or third-year unit.

The Honours program in Chinese is open to students from other universities. Monash students are highly recommended to complete ATS3747 Theory and Research in Asian Studies or a similar unit in research methodology in their second or third year of study in order to be able to work constructively over the summer period on a literature review and on initial research.

The Structure of the Program

See the Chinese Studies – Honours Area of Study handbook entry for information about the Chinese Studies course structure when undertaking an Honours degree of Bachelor of Arts.

The Research-Thesis Component

The thesis should present original research which examines issues relevant to understanding contemporary China, to the Chinese language or to China-Australia relations Students may also consider doing a translation project with critical commentary as their thesis component. For more information on the format of research and translation theses in our School please consult the School Honours page.

The Chinese Studies Program at Monash is staffed by academics with a wide range of research interests. Normally one of those staff will be appointed to supervise the Honours research. A list of staff members and their research interests is given below, and it is expected that students will locate their own supervisor in consultation with the Honours Coordinator.

Some of the areas investigated by Honours students in the past include:

  • Chinese politics and economics
  • Chinese society
  • Chinese language and literature
  • China’s international relations

Students are advised to select an area for research and to discuss their vision for the research with the Honours Coordinator and a potential supervisor before the summer break, so that background reading can be started before the first semester begins. Those planning to do research while in China will need to have a very good outline of their research and a clear plan before leaving Melbourne.


There are scholarships dedicated to Honours students in the Chinese Studies Program, aiming to support a research trip to China. Refer to the Monash Scholarships Office for more information. The School also offers travel grants and publication grants to Honours students, please consult the School Honours page.

Life after Honours

The Honours program is designed to prepare students both for further study and research at the postgraduate level and for employment in areas which involve on-going contact with Chinese and Chinese organizations. Many graduates find employment in China to be a useful way of extending further the skills and knowledge acquired during the Honours program.

Postgraduate programs offered at Monash which would be of particular interest to graduates with an Honours Degree in Chinese include the Masters in Applied Linguistics, the Masters in Interpreting and Translation, and the Masters in Asian Studies. Those who do exceptionally well in Honours may qualify to become a PhD candidate pursuing research in many fields of Chinese studies.

Why do Honours in Chinese?

  • to extend further one’s knowledge and skills relevant to working in China or other Chinese-speaking regions or in contact with persons having a Chinese background
  • to acquire a four-year degree, with advanced skills in research and report writing, skills which are highly valued in a variety of employment situations
  • to gain a greater appreciation for China and a fuller sense of the Chinese cultural context
  • to expand expertise in the discipline area in which research is conducted
  • to gain entry into various postgraduate programs.

Members of staff in the Chinese Program and areas in which they supervise

Note: There are many other areas in which students have done research for their Honours thesis. If an area of interest does not appear below, please contact the Honours Coordinator for further advice. (Further information about staff is available on their staff profile pages.)

  • Prof. Bruce Jacob
    Taiwan’s democratic transition; Taiwan nationalism; Cross-Straits (China-Taiwan) relations; history of Taiwan; Democratization in Taiwan and the East Asian region; Modern China: culture, politics and society
  • A/Prof. Gloria Davies
    Chinese critical inquiry, Chinese intellectual history and culture; Chinese literary studies from the late nineteenth century to the present; Contemporary History of the People’s Republic of China; Cyberdissent in the Chinese-speaking world; Modern China: culture, politics and society
  • Dr. Lijian Hong
    Chinese intellectual history and culture; Contemporary History of the People’s Republic of China; Chinese as an international language: Policy; Modern China: culture, politics and society
  • Dr. Warren Sun
    Chinese elite politics; Chinese intellectual history and culture; Contemporary History of the People’s Republic of China; Modern China: culture, politics and society
  • Dr. Robert Irving
    Modern Chinese literature and politics; Modern Chinese grammar and syntax
  • Dr. Hui Huang
    Second language acquisition; teaching Chinese as a second/heritage language; Second language teaching pedagogy and technology; Language curriculum development and learner needs analysis; Cross-cultural communication and language teaching;

Further information

Further information about Honours is available from the School’s Honours page.

If you would like more information on Honours in Chinese, contact:

Dr Hui Huang
Chinese studies, room CL_11/W519
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Email: hui.huang@monash.edu


Dr Shani Tobias
Japanese studies, room CL_11/W429
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Email: shani.tobias@monash.edu