Module LXC-1100:
Intro. to Chinese Studies

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Shuai Zhao

Overall aims and purpose

This module is intended to introduce to students a basic but broad scope of Chinese history, literature and culture. It addresses some of the key concerns and issues in these areas. This module aims to give a good background knowledge for acquiring the language as well as lay a solid foundation for exploring more complex topics in Chinese Studies in later years.

Course content

This is an introductory course on some of the central concerns and issues in Chinese literature, history and culture. Students will be familiarised with a variety of literary genres, historical themes, and cultural theories through representative readings from primary and secondary sources. This module is taught primarily in English.

Assessment Criteria


C- - B+: Solid comprehension of the given topic; focussed answers with good structure; arguments presented coherently; good presentation with accurate communication.


A- - A*: Detailed comprehension of the given topic; highly focussed answer and well structure; logically presented and defended arguments; excellent presentation with very accurate communication.


D- - D+: Satisfactory comprehension of the given topic; answer focusing on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure; arguments presented but lack coherence; some weaknesses in presentation and accuracy.

Learning outcomes

  1. demonstrate general knowledge of the field of Chinese studies with a particular focus on history, literature and culture from earlier times;

  2. contextualize and analyse some aspects of historical events, simple literary works, cultural movements in English;

  3. acquire skills in evaluating diverse perspectives on Chinese history and culture and arrive at an informed judgment of issues.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Coursework 30
ORAL Presentation 20
ESSAY Essay 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar in Week 6, 7, 9, 10, 13 and 15 for Semester 1.

Private study 176

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others


Reading list

Birch, Cyril, Anthology to Chinese Literature: Volume I: From Early Times to the Fourteenth Century Birch, Cyril, Anthology to Chinese Literature: Volume II: From the Fourteenth Century to the Present Day Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, The Cambridge Illustrated History of China Fairbank, John K. and Edwin O. Reischauer, China: Tradition and Transformation Fenby, Jonathan, The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present, 2nd edn. Gamer, Robert E., ed. Understanding Contemporary China Hsu, Immanuel C. Y. , The Rise of Modern China Lau, Joseph S.M. and Howard Goldblatt, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature Levenson, Joseph R., Confucian China and Its Modern Fate: A Trilogy Mair, Victor H., ed. The Columbia History of Chinese Literature Meisner, Maurice, Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: