This course will introduce you to the study of the unique human faculty of language and to the investigation of the world's languages. You will explore a number of fascinating topics such as the ways in which dialects differ, how languages arise, change and die, how children acquire their first language, differences between the speech of men and women, how we communicate as individuals and within groups, and what happens when speakers of different languages come into contact. You will also discover how language can be used to shape and manipulate ideas and opinions, looking in detail at how language and thought interact in fields such as politics and advertising. In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation. We aim to provide students with a firm grounding in Mandarin Chinese and in contemporary Chinese culture, society, economy and politics as well as China's changing relations with the West. Students will study Mandarin Chinese throughout the course. The core language teaching in Mandarin Chinese enables you to develop various linguistic skills: speaking and writing accurately; understanding and analysing audio, video and written material; using different registers; speaking to a group with confidence; and translating with appropriate sensitivity. At the same time, students can choose China-related topics in literature, film, cultural studies, politics, history, linguistics, economics, development studies, and business, drawing on the wide range of research expertise in Chinese Studies across the Faculty of Humanities. In this way, students will be able to tailor the course in keeping with the development of their interests.