KIN4010 – Research Methodologies in China studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Based on the approved project description for your master thesis, you communicate in this course with your supervisor in order to decide which research methodologies are most relevant to your thesis, and which kind of data you need to collect. There is no teaching in class for this course.

Depending on your specific topic of research, data may be collected from, for instance:

  • literary, historical, political or other kinds of texts
  • interviews, participant observation, or other kinds of fieldwork
  • online sources, radio and TV programs, etc.

During the course, you identify and collect data that you need for your thesis work, and you read and summarize literature that critically assess the research methodologies you wish to apply.

Thus, the course has, at the same time, a practical component where you collect and describe data, and an analytical component where you reflect on your chosen methodology and practice of data collection. Therefore, the research process and the final exam paper will be of considerable use when you later write your Master thesis.

Learning outcome

  • Ability to identify and collect data in Chinese that are necessary to answer a given research question.
  • Ability to assess the relevance and validity of Chinese sources.
  • Ability to critically reflect on the relevance of different research methodologies.
  • Depending on your chosen methodology for collecting and analysing data, you will practice how to communicate in Chinese with interviewees, how to find historical texts in local archives, how to interpret Chinese texts (fiction and non-fiction), or how to work as a researcher in China.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the MA programme option Chinese Culture and Society.

KIN4510 – How to study Chinese Culture and Society at an Advanced Level.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with EAST4010 – Research Methodology in East Asian Studies


There is no mandatory teaching in this course. You will discuss data collection and chosen methodologies with your supervisor in order to obtain individual advise regarding suitable methodology for your chosen research topic. It is mandatory for you to be in contact with your supervisor throughout the course (either through meetings, skype, phone or e-mail in case you or the supervisor are abroad).

Compulsory activities

  • Dialogue with your supervisor regarding your choice of methodology and data. At least three such meetings have to take place and be confirmed by the supervisor before the exam paper can be submitted.
  • At least one finished draft of the exam paper must be sent to your supervisor before the submission.

All compulsory activities must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to check whether or not the compulsory activities are approved. This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.


The exam is a term paper of 4000-7000 words plus list of references. The paper needs to account for and discuss the choice of methodologies and the process of data collection related to the Master’s thesis. It also has to contain reflections on this process based on at least one relevant academic publication regarding research methodology.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course




Every autumn

From Autumn 2020


Every autumn

From Autumn 2020

Teaching language