Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
China From the Opium War to the Present
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Historical Essay  2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Contemporary Issues Essay  1500 Words  40%
Semester Assessment Seminar Participation  10%
Supplementary Assessment Contemporary Issues Essay  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Written submission  Summary in lieu of seminar participation 500 Words  10%
Supplementary Assessment Historical Essay  2000 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Show a thorough understanding of key actors, events, and processes in Modern Chinese history

Show a critical understanding of key issues and themes of contemporary Chinese domestic and international politics.

Define and discuss in depth concepts and theoretical approaches used in the study of Asian politics

Brief description

China likely stands on the cusp of becoming the world's second superpower, ending a period of unipolarity that has lasted since the end of the Cold War.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, it seems likely to become a much more active power in international relations and a key player in shaping the 21st Century.

This module aims to offer a balanced introductory course that will outline modern Chinese history since the 1842 Opium War, covering its 'Century of Humiliation', the emergence from the Civil War of the Chinese Communist Party, Maoism and Deng's reform era.

It will then spend the remaining third of the course looking at contemporary internal and external issues facing Xi's China in the 21st century.


-- To provide a comprehensive introduction to modern Chinese History

--To understand a range of key issues in Chinese domestic and foreign policy

--To situate the rise of China within its historical and geopolitical context.


This Module is taught through lectures and seminars.

This module aims to cover three main areas.

1) To provide an introduction to the key events of Chinese history since 1842

2) To provide an overview of some of the key issues arising from the integration of China as a new Great Power into the contemporary world.

3) To examine how China's historical experience has impacted core conceptual themes such as nationalism, the relationship of the state and society, and sovereignty

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Co-ordinating with others Students will work together in small and large groups in the seminars to consider different aspects of the topic and specific reading assignments.
Critical and analytical thinking Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the essays and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as critical thinking skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt different points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; reason logically; apply theoretical models; consider similar cases.
Digital capability Students will be required to undertake independent online research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as sourcing more conventional academic texts
Professional communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives.
Real world sense The module is design the help students develop key employability skills, such as speaking to small and large groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statements of others, as well as expressing themselves clearly in writing.


This module is at CQFW Level 6