SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Approaches to Chinese Studies

Module Code:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate: 

  • To have acquired a solid foundation in the core disciplines of Chinese Studies
  • Familiarity with the range of approaches and theoretical frameworks in the various disciplines, and the ability to critically question and evaluate scholarship and data.
  • Opportunity to specialise in the subject of interest, without missing the bigger picture.
  • Ability to formulate appropriate research questions, propose and evaluate analyses and present evidence (for and/or against) these analyses.
  • Ability to practice research techniques in the library and through tutor consultation.
  • Ability to retrieve and select information from a variety of sources, such as specialised papers, digital material and reference books.

Scope and syllabus

This course represents the vast expertise in Chinese Studies that is available at SOAS, and provides all MA students in Chinese Studies with a rounder, more comprehensive, interdisciplinary training on “the state of the field”.

The syllabus is organized thematically, in two-week units, with two lecturers from different disciplines addressing similar themes from their own perspectives. Examples include:

  1. Nationalism 
  2. Greater China 
  3. Transformation to market economy
  4. Language and language policy
  5. Media
  6. Archaeological findings and their contemporary relevance

Method of assessment

  • Essay 1 (3,500 words, 30%)
  • Essay 2 (4,500 words, 40%)
  • Reading Reports - only the best 5 count towards final mark (500-800 words each, 30%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules