Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3133: Chinese Politics and Society

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

It is anticipated that the module will cover a range of topics on Chinese politics and society including the following: 

  • Dynasties and Imperialism in Chinese History -1912
  • The Rise and Consolidation of Communism
  • China during the Cold War
  • Deng Xiaoping and Economic Restructuring: 1976-1989
  • The peaceful rise of China as a superpower
  • The Chinese Communist Party Today
  • Confucianism, Gender and Family Structure
  • Urbanization, Migration and Social Mobility
  • Nationalism, Ethnicities and Ethnic Relations: From Tibet to Xinjiang
  • Chinese Foreign Policy

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities2211 seminars, each 2 hours long
Guided Independent Study128Private study – students are expected to read suggested texts and make notes prior to seminar sessions. They are also expected to read widely to complete their coursework assignments. More specifically, students are expected to devote at least: 58 hours to directed reading; 6 hours for completing the formative essay plan; 24 hours on completing the presentation; around 40 hours on completing the essay.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

This course will require you to keep up to date with political developments in China, not only from Western/European perspectives, but also from Chinese perspectives. This means reading widely across different news and commentary platforms.

Western/European perspectives (aside from the standard reputable Western media sources, you might like to browse the following)

The Diplomat: http://thediplomat.com/

China-US Focus: http://www.chinausfocus.com/

ChinaFile: https://www.chinafile.com/

Black Livity China: https://blacklivitychina.com/

Chuang: http://chuangcn.org/

I also recommend signing up for the following newsletters on Chinese affairs:

Sinocism: https://sinocism.com/

Axios China: https://www.axios.com/newsletters/

Chinese perspectives

Xinhua: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/

The People’s Daily: http://en.people.cn/

The Global Times: http://www.globaltimes.cn/ 

South China Morning Post: http://www.scmp.com/frontpage/international

Caixin Global: https://www.caixinglobal.com/



Sinica Podcast: https://supchina.com/series/sinica/

China History Podcast: https://www.teacup.media/
Belt and Road Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-belt-and-road-podcast/id1419143614