Chinese Studies is concerned with the scholarly investigation of Chinese culture, in its diverse manifestations, from pre-history through to the present. It is a discipline that engages with and interprets Chinese texts of all genres and periods. Various questions and methods are employed for this task. Within Chinese Studies, there are different specializations corresponding to different emphases on periods and text-types.
In so far as Chinese Studies is concerned with the philological analysis of Chinese sources, it forms the basis for other approaches and methods directed towards the study of China.
The options for study at the University of Zurich are concentrated on the text-analytical, philological treatment of the literary heritage of traditional China and on the provision of competences necessary for the understanding of the cultural phenomena of modern China. Within this framework, alongside language training in ancient (pre-Qin to Han) and modern Chinese (Putonghua 普通话), courses are offered that enable independent engagement with texts and other media (e.g. films, theatre, images) and the placing of these in their appropriate contexts.