Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Select Topics in Chinese History

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Oriental Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit presents a broad outline of the historical foundations of China’s ancient, modern and contemporary history. Students will be introduced to the major trends in historical development of China from the origins to contemporary issues: the three ancient dynasties (Xia, Shang, Zhou); from the period of division to the Tang dynasty; the Song and Yuan dynasties; the early modern period: the Ming and early Qing; China in the late Qing; the Republic of China; and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Study-unit Aims:

To give students a basic knowledge of the historical evolution of China from the pre-imperial period to the beginning of the 21st century;
To increase the awareness of the major historical trends which enabled the flourishing of Chinese values and cultural phenomena.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Have a good basic knowledge and understanding of the major periods and trends which affected the development of Chinese history;
Appreciate the rich variegated historical aspects of China’s culture, society and religion.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Explain and argue about the historical developments of ancient, modern and contemporary China by producing solid and critical arguments;
Demonstrate an understanding of the historical problems and explain the roots of China’s contemporary cultural, social and economical phenomena;
Appreciate in a more appropriate fashion the culture of other people including that of the societies of the far east.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Fairbank, John K. and Twitchett, Denis C. Eds., The Cambridge History of China Vol. 1 – Vol. 15, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1979 onwards.
Gernet, Jacques, A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 1982.
Wang, Shuangshuang, History Of China I & II, Beijing, Peking University Press, 2007.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.