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Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc Politics Of China

Duration: 1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time.


Minimum Entry Requirements: The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Politics or International Relations, or a related social science discipline. Applicants without such a background may be considered for admission depending on their academic training and undergraduate performance.

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

China has the world’s biggest population and the second largest economy in the world. As part of the BRICS and BASIC group, China has a large impact in world affairs: understanding China is increasingly becoming essential to understanding the world. Politics and International Relations of China provide a fascinating opportunity to examine issues and themes in modern politics. From dynastic rule to the fall of the Qing, unequal treaties and their legacies in the form of Hong Kong and Macau, China offers an example for examining and analyzing long standing questions of territory, border, identity and sovereignty. From these historical origins to the more recent ‘Rise of China’, the buzzword of the 21st Century, this MSc degree brings together elements required to fully appreciate and understand China’s rise, its origins, and its current position in the world.

The MSc covers China’s domestic and international politics, and the historical and theoretical issues through the Chinese Politics courses of State and Society in the Chinese Political process (domestic politics), China and International Politics (international relations) and Taiwan’s Politics and Cross-Strait Relations. Each China Politics course combines empirical and theoretical material in a historically sensitive manner. The courses aim to establish thematic groupings for the purposes of considering and debating the government and politics of China, and further examine the relations between the government and politics of China and regional developments, international pressures, and the global political economy.


2 or 3 China units are required for the MSc China degree (in addition to the Chinese Politics dissertation).

Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

  • At least TWO units from A (compulsory);
  • ONE additional unit from A, B, or C;
  • Dissertation on some aspect of Chinese Politics (compulsory)
A. At least TWO of the following Chinese Politics courses:
B. ONE of the following Politics courses:
C. ONE of the following courses focussed on China in a cognate discipline:
Language courses: students should chose the language they wish to take from the list below. They should then make contact with the relevant Course Convenor during welcome week who will assess which level of course would be appropriate, and will advise re. changing course enrolments if necessary.
D. Dissertation:

this would focus on some aspect of Chinese Politics

Programme Specification


Teaching & Learning

A Student's Perspective

Like a jigsaw puzzle, everyone has a place here at SOAS; fitting together to make this wonderful university wonderful.

Sumaiya Fatine