China has long been a country of fascination.  Within Asia it has affected the development of numerous cultures for dynasties.  Chinese culture has also permeated into Europe for centuries, influencing art, cuisine, language and culture. Today China is a large country, not only in terms of geography but also in terms of the diversity of culture, landscape and history.  As China continues to open its doors to the Western world Australia will continue to develop connections and relationships with one of our most significant Asian neighbours.  

Learning to communicate in Chinese may be unlike anything you’ve done before, even if you’ve learnt a European language.  It is both a challenging and rewarding experience.  All aspects of learning Chinese, including writing using Chinese characters, opens up new levels of cultural understanding, a broad, rich and complex history, with new and possibly different ways of looking at the world.  

The study of Chinese as part of your degree can give you an advantage in a range of fields including, but in no way limited to, business, tourism and education.

Chinese at Flinders
Chinese (Mandarin) is available at beginners level only. From 2017 Chinese is only available to second and third year students at beginners level. Lectures are delivered on-line through Flinders University’s partnership with Charles Darwin University, and are supported by language tutorials with native Chinese speakers on campus at Flinders.  A range of culture topics are available at Flinders in areas such as screen studies, law, history and international relations. From 2017 the major sequence is available to upper level students at Flinders in areas such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Languages, Bachelor of International Studies, Bachelor of Education, or as an elective in most degrees.

Study Options and Course Description
Chinese topics been designed for Beginner students, that is, students with little or no prior knowledge of Chinese – including Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and other regional dialects.  Students who are not at a Beginners level will be asked to withdraw from these topics.

One language topic is available per semester, over the three years of the major.  Each topic introduces further vocabulary, as well as grammatical patterns, and conversation topics. 

If you want to complete a full major in Chinese, 9 units of culture topics must also be undertaken.  See the full Chinese Major for listed topics.

How do the Chinese topics work?

The Chinese language topics are delivered in distance mode through Charles Darwin University (CDU).
Each week you will need to study independently using the textbooks and other materials for. You will also need to participate in a two hour online session conducted via CDU’s Learnline website (the equivalent of FLO).  Once you have enrolled you will be given access to Learnline, and instructions on how to access it.

We understand that learning a language takes practice, and because of this on campus oral tutorials have been arranged.  These are run by a native speaker of Chinese, and are the opportunity to practise your spoken Chinese, get feedback, and meet other students of Chinese with whom you can practise.

Further Information
Admission details are available by contacting our Admissions and Perspective Students Office , or for details specifically about Chinese, email the School of Humanities and Creative Arts at

Photography: Katherine Sutcliffe