UCC Postgraduate courses

Chinese - Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
FeesSee Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) MA programme aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies required to teach Chinese effectively to speakers of other languages in a variety of contexts globally and in Ireland.*

In this course, you will develop an understanding of key issues in teaching Chinese as a linguistic system to a variety of learners and become familiar with recent research and publications on theory and practice in teaching Chinese. Students of this programme gain practical professional experience by engaging with in-class observation and practice teaching and they learn how to evaluate their own professional competence and that of others.

Teaching internship placements are arranged by the Department of Asian Studies.

*Note: To be eligible for appointment to an incremental salaried teaching position in a secondary school in Ireland, a teacher must be registered. It is the Teaching Council alone that has the authority to determine what constitutes adequate qualifications for registration purposes. See the Teaching Council page at teachingcouncil.ie for registration details.

What happens in the programme? 

The MA TCSOL combines theory with hands-on practice. In class, you’ll find yourself discussing theories and concepts used in language teaching and how they are relevant to Chinese, and reviewing the pros and cons of different ways of teaching languages. You’ll learn to analyse and explain Chinese as a linguistic system and to understand the varying challenges faced by learners of Chinese. You’ll observe successful teachers in action and discuss what you’ve learned, and in turn, you’ll develop teaching materials and teach students, with others observing your classes and providing constructive feedback.

Through written assignments and presentations to fellow students, you’ll learn the right professional terminology and gain experience in applying your theoretical understanding to effective lesson planning and delivery. Your teaching practice may also provide you with material for exploring a topic of special interest in your dissertation, in which all the knowledge and skills acquired during the course should come together. Throughout, as a UCC student, you’ll enjoy access to a beautiful and historic campus and a great range of student services and facilities. 

Programme content

Full-time students choose three modules in the Autumn semester and three in the Spring semester, with a dissertation completed over the summer months.

Part I - Semester One

  • CH6301 A Linguistic Introduction to Chinese (10 credits)
  • LC1101 English for Academic Study (10 credits) or
  • CH6302 Advanced Chinese for TCSOL Teachers (10 credits)
  • CH6303 Introduction to Teaching Practice (5 credits)
  • CH6307 From Pedagogical Theory to Effective Classroom (5 credits)

Part I - Semester Two

  • CH6304 Teaching Practice Internship (15 credits)
  • CH6306 Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages: A Pedagogical Grammar (10 credits)
  • CH6308 Postgraduate Research Skills (5 credits)

Part II - Semester Three

  • CH6305 Dissertation in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (30 credits)

Part-time students take the course over two years during weekday working hours. This part-time option is open only to Irish/EU students.

  • In Year 1 you choose 35 credits of taught modules.
  • In Year 2, you choose a further 10 credits of taught modules, 15 credits of teaching practice, and 30 credits for the dissertation.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This is a 12-month programme (24 months part-time). UCC semesters run from September to early December and January to March/early April, with 12 teaching weeks per semester. Taught modules are typically 3 hours per week in the classroom while language modules will involve up to 6 hours per week.

The teaching internship module involves periods of time in different teaching settings preparing and delivering classes and reflecting on your teaching style and effectiveness. You do not have to find your own placement as the Asian Studies Department will arrange a sufficient number in a range of educational settings each academic year.

MA-level work involves a lot of reading and thinking so you’ll find that the year passes very quickly. You should be thinking about the topic of your Dissertation from early on in the year but you’ll devote the most time to it during the summer months.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and formal exams. You’ll be assessed in most cases by essays or other written assignments and by in-class presentations and other elements including classroom observation and teaching practice reports relating to the practice elements.

The course is delivered by faculty from UCC’s Department of Asian Studies, the most prestigious centre for Asian Studies in Ireland with a long track record in delivering teaching of Chinese at all levels.

Why Choose This Course


Cheng Yang, MA Chinese - Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages

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Read some of our graduate testimonials here...

Congqing Zeng + Zejing Li

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Read some of our graduate testimonials here...

MA Chinese -Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages

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Read some of our graduate testimonials here...

MA Chinese -Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages

This master's programme has extended my understanding of a variety of pedagogy and has sculpted me into being the type of teacher that I greatly wanted to be...

Alana Eileen Dooley

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Learning how to teach Chinese outside of China in a non-Chinese environment really gave me a totally new perspective. I really enjoyed this year and have benefited immensely from this...

Yimin Mi

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The market for Chinese language teachers is expanding rapidly as China becomes increasingly active on the world stage and more and more people find themselves engaging with China. Reputable qualifications for Chinese language teachers, however, are thin on the ground. As with TEFL, the quality of teachers and their qualifications varies enormously. UCC’s Department of Asian Studies is Ireland’s only fully-fledged university School specialising in Asian languages and Area Studies, and UCC is in the top 2% of universities in the world.

Skills and Careers Information

Chinese language learning among non-Chinese people is expanding all the time and it’s a truly global market. This means that an MA TCSOL from UCC can be a passport to employment as a Chinese language teaching professional not just in Ireland but anywhere in the world. For those who already have experience teaching Chinese, the MA TCSOL offers a chance to consolidate understanding and develop specific skills and expertise.

While at present there is no formal pathway to qualified teacher status in Irish schools for teachers of Chinese and this course will not qualify you to teach Chinese in state schools in Ireland, the MA TCSOL offers a prestigious prior qualification in this area which will open many teaching opportunities to you in Ireland and further afield.


Applicants should hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in a relevant subject area such as Chinese or Asian Studies.

Applicants who are native speakers of Chinese should have a degree in the following disciplines areas Chinese or Asian Studies, Linguistics, Education, Pedagogy, Foreign Languages, Literatures and Communication.

Applicants who hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in another relevant area may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), following a review of their individual qualifications and experience and based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and/or interview acceptable to the Department selection committee. Prospective applicants may be called for an interview (in person or, where more feasible, online), with a view to assessing their suitability for the programme.

Fluency in Chinese (minimum HSK level 5 or equivalent)

Applicants whose first language is not Chinese should hold an HSK (Hànyū Shuīpíng Kāoshi/Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 5 certificate (or certified equivalent). Alternatively, they should have an approved undergraduate degree in which at least 50% of the credit weighting is in the Chinese language and Chinese Studies. Applicants without these qualifications but who have a demonstrably strong proficiency in the Chinese language may be exceptionally considered on a case-by-case basis subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

Garda Vetting

Please note that as part of this programme students will require Garda Vetting as they will take part in a placement or UCC-related activity where they will be working in an unsupervised capacity with children and/or vulnerable adults. For more information on this process please read the UCC Student Garda Vetting Policy.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

International student fee reductions

  • 20% fee reduction for students with a 1H1 (or GPA equivalent) undergraduate degree on acceptance of their offer of a place.
  • 10% fee reduction for students with a 2H1 (or GPA equivalent) undergraduate degree on acceptance of their offer of a place.
  • €1,000 fee reduction for students with a 2H2 (or GPA-equivalent) undergraduate degree on acceptance of their offer of a place. (If applying with 2H2 or equivalent, one will be awarded this scholarship upon registration.)

See our Scholarships page for more information.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please indicate your level of language expertise in the language(s) offered by this programme and include details of any relevant qualifications, skills and experiences to date.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact