M.A. Sinologie/Chinese Studies "China and the Dynamics of Globalisation (Period of Specialisation: 16th to 19th Centuries)" (English only)

Funded by the ESIT-ICPL programme of the University of Tübingen.

The M.A. Sinologie / Chinese Studies is a postgraduate programme based on a China-centered B.A. programme or on comparable academic fundaments. It consists of a sole major with a duration of 4 semesters and leads to a Master of Arts degree.

The Tübingen Department of Sinology unifies in a unique way various competencies in order to examine China's role (incl. Greater China) in the dynamics of globalization in the past (16th to 19th centuries) as well as in contemporary times (20th to 21st centuries). We make use of scholarly methods of the philological-historical, cultural, as well as the social and political fields, taking into account also current developments in research and events of the day. The aim of the programme is to allow students to acquire scholarly sound expertise to analyse a wide range of issues related to China.

This degree enables our graduates to analyze and competently assess numerous aspects of the China / Greater China region with the strategy of "research-based learning" and with the help of intercultural, historical and linguistic knowledge.

Typical jobs in the field are higher-level activities in the private sector, the media and public relations or in the areas of culture, adult education, intercultural training and support for "expats", at foundations, in museums, in journalism and the field of publications, in political consulting or in Foreign Service.

The signature of the Tübingen Master programme in Sinologie / Chinese Studies is the triad of solid language skills, a wide range of content-related courses and the opportunity to study for one or two semesters at one of our numerous partner universities in the Greater China area (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore). In the numerous exercises and advanced seminars offered by the department, students can choose thematic modules from the fields

  • "Pre-Modern China"
  • "Modern China / Greater China"
  • "Taiwan"

The specialization on Taiwan is unique in the German-speaking area. All courses in the line "Pre-Modern China" are entirely in English, however, most courses in other key areas may also be held in English.

Another special feature is the option of replacing credit points either with the profiles

  • "Digital Humanities" (import courses, 30 CP)
  • "Economy" (import courses, 30 CP)
  • "Global History" (import courses, 15 CP)
  • studies at a university in Greater China (import courses, up to 30 CP)

A deepening of the language skills in modern Chinese as well as in the written language (Classical Chinese) can be put into effect not just in Tübingen, but also at one of our partner universities. Up to 30 of the total of 120 CP may be acquired abroad. We recommend getting more information about this matter from the student advisory service during your first semester.

Your own research work (MA thesis, 20 CP) is intensively evaluated and improved by participating in colloquia during the research and writing process. A thesis may also be written in cooperation with companies or actors on site.

Tuition fees in Germany are relatively low as EU students pay only ca. 150 € per semester, while in the case of non-EU students these are 1500 € per semester.

Enrollment in the programme M.A. Sinology / Chinese Studies is possible for every semester (application deadlines Jan 15 for summer, and July 15 for winter term). The application must be submitted in due time via the university's online application portal.

The language requirements are: Knowledge of modern Chinese at level CEFR B2 (at least HSK 4). For the purely English-language focus "Pre-Modern China", English skills at level CEFR B2 (IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 87-109) are required, for the German programme TestDaF 4 at least (or DSH 2). Certificates must be presented together with the application.

Students interested in this programme should consult first with Dr Ulrich Theobald (

Overview M.A. Chinese Studies (University of Tübingen).

Programme Description of the pre-modern line

This English programme focuses on the late imperial period with an emphasis on the ways in which China shaped and was shaped by the dynamics of globalisation from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. It will equip students with the competencies and skills to understand the important role of China in the historical process of globalisation both in the past and in the present.

With the “Age of Discovery” (15th to 18th centuries) and the development of new trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific sailing routes, the world entered a new historical phase characterized by a sustained and irreversible process of globalisation. Already influential as the historically dominant political, economic and cultural power in East Asia, China became an even more important part of this global development as European maritime expansion brought about an intensification of cultural exchange, especially via the Jesuit China Mission. Those new international contacts contributed to fundamental transformations of both state and society during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The organizing framework of this English M.A. programme focusing on pre-modern China is the Four Ways of Worldmaking which comprises the dimensions of power, wealth, knowledge, and meaning. Originating in historical sociology, this concept aims to provide theoretical and analytical tools for a comprehensive understanding and explanation of what constitutes “civilizations” and “societies,” thereby enabling productive comparisons between them and enhancing our understanding of intercivilisational encounters. This comparative historical perspective is a crucial aspect of the programme in which special courses are dedicated to theories and approaches in the history of globalisation with a focus on China. Moreover, the M.A. aims at enhancing the students’ mastery of modern and pre-modern Chinese, thus enabling them to undertake meaningful and targeted research in Chinese primary sources and secondary literature.

Study regulations (pre-modern line)