SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia

Chinese 303: Chinese Cultures on Screen and Stage

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 3, Year 3 of 4 or Year 4 of 4
Taught in:
Full Year
This module aims to present students with an introduction to Chinese-language theatre and film produced in Mainland China, Taiwan, and the diaspora. Films and recordings of plays will be shown as part of each week’s session. In conjunction with the viewings, students will read related Chinese-language texts, such as plays and film scripts.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, students should be able to read screenplays, dramatic scripts, critical essays and other texts related to the discipline in simplified and traditional Chinese and translate them into English. They should have a comprehensive knowledge of the history, key trends, and main genres of Chinese cinema, drama and theatre performance in the modern and contemporary period, and be able to situate and assess cinematic and dramatic works within their cultural, social and political context of production and reception. Students should be familiar with the fundamental concepts of film and theatre theory and demonstrate an ability to engage them in the analysis and interpretation of cinema and drama. They should also be able to conduct research and produce written reports on a variety of topics, based on analysis of primary and secondary sources in Chinese and English.


Total of 22 weeks of teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week (2 hours viewing; 2 hours tutorial).

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination (70%) taken in May/June. One essay of 3,000 words due for submission on day 1 of term 3 (30%).

Suggested reading

Students will be provided with a comprehensive reading list at the beginning of the module.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules