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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST2006 China Since 1979

20 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Caroline Fielder

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

EAST2082 and EAST2083

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module offers students the opportunity to develop their understanding of the historical, political, governmental and policy context against which the economic transformations of contemporary China take place. The general aim of this module is to give students: - A basic understanding of the history of the People's Republic of China since 1979 - An appreciation of the political, economic and social changes brought about since the Reform Era - A practical awareness of how social, economic and political changes since 1979 have impacted on Chinese institutions and on individuals’ daily lives. - Opportunities to engage critically with the key debates surrounding these changes including the rise and impact of China in a global context.


More than three decades of political, social and economic changes have radically changed the way in which Chinese society operates and has altered the ways in which China engages with the outside world. China's rise has attracted considerable attention not just in popular media but also from those in academic and policy settings. This module aims to help students develop their own analytical skills and ability to understand events in this period by exploring a number of key changes that Chinese society has gone through since 1979 from a variety of different perspectives.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should have:
- Deepened their knowledge of the social, economic and political systems of contemporary China;
- Shown their ability to analyse some of the major changes in Chinese society since 1979 through active participation in lectures and seminars and through the production of an essay;
- Demonstrated their ability to critically assess the impact of those changes through preparing for an assessment essay.


Themes covered by the lectures and seminars include:
Economic and political reforms; social welfare issues and changes in social policy; gender and sexuality; protest, corruption and crime; education reforms; the rise of civil society, and China in a globalising world.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparatory reading for lectures 40 hours
Preparatory reading for seminars 40 hours
Preparation for non-assessed in-class presentation 30 hours
Additional reading for essay preparation, essay-planning and writing up 70 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In week 6 of the module, students will be expected (working individually or in pairs) to submit a source evaluation report on their chosen sources, for feedback and for seminar discussion. The amended reports will be shared online, and will provide a hub of sources, to be used in seminars and for the summative essay.
There will also be ample opportunities during the weekly seminar discussions for oral individual feedback, on general contributions and on non-assessed presentations, and students will be encouraged to make use of the tutor’s office hours for this purpose.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/03/2024


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