Sinologie in Würzburg

Master 'China Language and Economy'

Degree Awarded Master of Arts
Program Duration 2 years, full time
ECTS Requirements 120 (62 semester hours)
Study plan Current: ASPO2021
Former: ASPO2016 [German] [English]
Qualification Goals Qualification goals China Language and Economy M.A. (German)
Careers Perspectives Careers perspectives China Language and Economy M.A. (German)
Application Deadline 15th March each year
Start Date September each year (intensive language course)
Language of Instruction English, Chinese or Japanese
Stay abroad obligatory
Please send your application to please see below (Application Procedure & Entry Requirements)
Guidelines Guideline Term Papers, Handouts and Master Theses
Style Sheet for Term Papers and Master Theses


This master program has been developed for students holding a B.A. degree in Economics, Business Administration or equivalent qualification who want to specialize in China business and economics. Next to classes that offer in-depth analyses of China’s economy and approaches to doing business with China, students will learn the Chinese language and take classes in Chinese Studies. In addition, senior language classes will empower students to understand and discuss economic texts in Chinese language. Methodological classes prepare students to use their economic and Chinese study knowledge for academic research as well as for solving business problems. Students who are fluent in Chinese language on a very high level or who are mother tongue speakers will need to take Japanese classes and additional academic classes instead of Chinese language classes.

Graduates of this program (until 2019: 27) are well-suited for a career in firms with business relations with China. Furthermore, the competencies acquired during the master more generally prepare them for jobs in enterprises and organizations active in international markets and politics.

The Department of Sinology in Würzburg is keen to support students in special living circumstances (e.g. students with children), and to help them realize their study aim.

Program Structure

The program starts with intensive language training in September (!) and proceeds with regular classes in October. The intensive Japanese course for students that are proficient in Chinese will start at the end of September or early October. Classes are offered by experts of the Sinology Department as well as the Department of Economics. During the first two terms students attend language classes, lectures and seminars in Würzburg, during the third term they attend language classes and seminars at the renowned Peking University. The final semester is intended for writing the master thesis. In general, students are based in Würzburg while writing the master thesis. Exceptions are possible if students write the thesis in cooperation with a firm or if they do research in China for their thesis.

China Business and Economics (25%: 30 ECTS, 20 semester hours)
Economics (4%: 5 ECTS, 4 semester hours)
Modern Chinese Language or
Japanese Language and Chinese Academic Discourse
(38%: 45 ECTS, 32 semester hours)
Modern China Studies (8%: 10 ECTS, 6 semester hours)
Thesis (25%: 30 ECTS)

Students have to write two seminar papers in English language.

Module Descriptions

The program comprises compulsory modules and required electives. Compulsory modules include language classes as well as lectures in Chinese Studies and China Business and Economics. Required electives include courses in Chinese Studies, Economics and Business Administration as well as China Business and Economics.

China Business and Economics

Module Introduction to China’s Economy

The obligatory module ‘Introduction to China’s Economy’ comprises a lecture that gives an overview of China’s economic development and reforms as well as a seminar ‘Business and Finance’ which is dedicated to China’s corporate landscape, banking system and financial markets. While the lecture addresses topics such as the Chinese statistical system, China’s economic transition, drivers of China’s economic development and selected topical issues of China’s economic situation, the latter discusses theoretical and practical issues of ownership, governance and regulation with regard to firms and financial sector.

Module Methodological Questions of Chinese Economic Research

The module ‘Methodological Questions of Economic Research on China” consists of one obligatory seminar dedicated to strengthening students’ analytical and methodological skills. Within the seminar, students discuss questions of methodology, research designs and academic argumentation on the basis of intensive reading of academic texts on China’s economy. In addition, this seminar addresses the question how economic research on China has been challenging and furthering economic theory. As such this seminar is an important preparation for the students’ master thesis writing process and deepens their competencies in formulating their research question, choosing appropriate methodologies and developing convincing arguments.

Module China in the Global Economy

The module “China in the Global Economy” includes a lecture and a seminar. The lecture, which has the same name as the module, introduces issues of China’s trade and investment, currency regime, the Belt Road Initiative and China’s role in global economic governance. The overview provided by the lecture is complemented by the seminar “Chinese Firms in Global Markets” which intensifies one specific aspect of China’s integration in the global economy, namely Chinese investments abroad, with analyses at the macro and micro (firm) level.

Modules Challenges of Economic Development in China

The module ‘Challenges of Economic Development’ in China consists of two seminars that each cover an issue central for Chinese recent and future economic development. The first seminar, ‘Challenges of Sustainable Development’, looks into the environmental, social and economic sustainability of China’s development. Students get familiar with the environmental, social and economic challenges that arise from China’s fast economic development and with Chinese strategies to address these challenges. The second seminar ‘China’s national innovation’ mirrors the importance attributed to innovation and innovativeness with regard to China’s future development. Starting from an introduction of related theoretical approaches, students gain an in-depth understanding of the actors, processes and linkages that characterize China's national innovation system and related international cooperation and integration.

Module Markets in China

The module ‘Markets in China’ comprises the seminar “Consumerism and Marketing” as well as seminar called “Case Study Analysis”. “Consumerism and Marketing” delves into a selection of topics related to marketing in China such as social stratification, consumer behavior, marketing research, digital marketing, media and advertising. In the seminar “Case Study Analysis” students are faced with a group task that can be a market research project, business plan development or something alike. They get familiar with techniques of market analysis and project management. Case study topics are selected as realistic as possible and occasionally developed in cooperation with interested firms. Past examples have been market research for business models for electric mobility in China, business plan development for a new German beverage to be introduced to the Chinese market, a strategy to improve the tourism experience of Chinese tourists in Würzburg or a study on the economic entanglement of China with Lower Franconia.

Modules Chinese and Commerce 1-2

These modules are required electives offered at Peking University.

Chinese Studies

Module Modern China

This compulsory module comprises an introductory class on history and society of the People's Republic of China, which can be combined with two lectures, namely the “Political System of the PRC” and “People’s Republic of China 2”, of the BA program “Modern China”.

Modules Transformation in Contemporary China 1-6

The Modules Transformation in Contemporary China each consist of two seminars offered in the Chinese Studies master program. Students are required to elect one module.


Students have to select one module at master level at the Departments of Economics.

Language courses and Academic Discourse (compulsory)

  • Modules Modern Chinese 1-3
  • Module Commercial Chinese


  • Basic Japanese
  • Japanese for Sinologists
  • Academic Writing
  • Chinese Economic Discourse Analysis 1
  • Chinese Economic Discourse Analysis 2
  • Recent Questions in China’s Academic Discourse

Application Procedure & Entry Requirements

Required application documents (please do also read the FAQ):

  • Bachelor’s certificate in economics, business administration or an equivalent degree with a grade of 2.5 or better (accreditation of comparable degree programs is possible). A copy of the certificate should be handed in together with a copy of the diploma supplement. In case that the Bachelor’s degree has not yet been completed, documentation of the performance in the study program is to be provided.
  • Your BA degree should document at least 25 ECTS earned in mathematics, statistics or business informatics as well as 50 ECTS in general economics and business administration with a minimum of 15 ECTS each. If you lack ECTS in economics, up to ten ECTS can be compensated by ECTS in mathematics or business informatics earned beyond the 25 ECTS required for these subjects.
  • In addition, you should document 5 ECTS from classes on China’s economy or some equivalent.
  • Proof of English proficiency (at least B2 level). Accepted certificates are: TOEFL certificate (at least 72 points), IELTS certificate (grade 6.0 or better), Cambridge First Certificate in English, German university entrance qualification (Abiturzeugnis, English classes finished with grade "Befriedigend" or better), a foreign university entrance qualification that is equivalent to the German Abitur, or other proof that you already have finished training (e.g. an undergraduate degree) which required English skills equal to or better than the requirements listed above.
  • Applicants who have graduated from a university in mainland China need to provide an individual APS certificate.
  • CV (German or English)
  • Letter of Motivation (English)

Please send the required application documents via e-mail to Dr. Florian Thünken ( You may also send your documents via mail to

Institut für Kulturwissenschaften Ost- und Südasiens - Sinologie
Kommission China Language and Economy
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

Please note: you do not need to have your documents verified by uni assist.

Applicants fulfilling all formal requirements and with a grade of 2.5 or better will be directly admitted, applicants fulfilling all formal requirements but with a grade below 2.5 will be invited for an interview to assess their qualification for the program. For more details on entry requirements please read the FAQ.

Application deadline for admission in September is 15 March each year.

For further inquiries please contact Dr. Florian Thünken (, but make sure to first read the FAQ.