Sinology is the academic study of China primarily through Chinese language, literature, Chinese culture and history, and often refers to Western scholarship. Its origin "may be traced to the examination which Chinese scholars made of their own civilization."

The field of sinology was historically seen to be equivalent to the application of philology to China, and until the 20th century was generally seen as meaning "Chinese philology" (language and literature). Sinology has broadened in modern times to include Chinese history, epigraphy, and other subjects.