Chinese A Level

A Level Chinese

This course is only offered as an additional option for students who speak Chinese as a first language. It explores Chinese language and culture, as well as developing practical language and transferable study skills.

Why St Mary's

Please note: Students for whom Chinese is a first language can opt to add this qualification as an additional A Level.

This course is led by subject-specialist teachers, who are passionate about Chinese language and culture.

You will learn in small classes, with access to all the support you require to reach your full potential. We use innovative, engaging learning methods, including the iPad and Chromebook – to encourage you to become a more independent learner.

Our enriched learning opportunities include:

  • Various trips to conferences and universities

Course overview

This course covers inspiring themes, which cover popular and familiar aspects of the Chinese-speaking world. This includes studying popular literary texts and films, including contemporary and classic titles.

You will be rewarded for demonstrating creativity, with assessments designed to promote the use of spontaneity and grammar, with plenty of opportunities to use language independently.

You'll be encouraged to develop your own ideas and to use language skills to persuade, analyse and critique - in both writing and speaking.

The course covers four themes, studied alongside either two literary texts or one text and one film.


The course is assessed through two externally-examined papers and a teacher-assessed speaking assessment.

  • Paper 1 - Listening, reading and translation - 2-hour written examination, 40% of the total mark
  • Paper 2 - Written response to works and translation - 2-hours 40 minutes written examination, 30% of the total mark
  • Paper 3 - Speaking assessment - 21-23 minutes, 30% of the total mark


At a glance
  • Syllabus: Edexcel
  • Paper 1 Listening, reading and translation (40%)
  • Paper 2 Written response to works and translation (30%)
  • Paper 3 Speaking (30%)
  • Chinese speakers only
  • Additional option
  • Small class sizes

What our teachers say...

“I studied language and education as my undergraduate and postgraduate subject. Learning foreign languages allowed me to better understand different cultures and appreciate diversity. I believe mastering an Asian language, especially Chinese, offers students a key to a different world and helps them to become more critical, agile thinkers – skills that are essential to survive in our highly competitive era.”

One fifth of the planet speaks Chinese, and Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue of over 873 million people.

China has the second largest economy in the world and will play a critical role in shaping the future of humanity in the 21st century. Studying Chinese opens up a rich and fascinating world of Chinese civilisation – full of poetry and stories, as well as politics and history.

Being able to collaborate and communicate with Chinese colleagues, in all fields – from engineering and science, through to law, business and politics – will give you the edge when it comes to moving your career, and perhaps the world, forward in the future.

You could choose to continue studying Chinese language or culture at university level, or pursue a complementary subject such as international business, economics, law, politics, psychology, and tourism.

Typically, studying Chinese opens up opportunities to work in business, education, translation or interpretation, international companies, journalism, law, tourism, politics and public relations.

Leaver destinations

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Our results

Achieve the results you need to fulfil your dreams.

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