This course is discontinued

KIN4310 – Approaches to the Study of Chinese Civilization. Theories and Methodologies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

In this course, students will become acquainted with central approaches to the study of Chinese civilization, including history, literature, thought, and religion. The notion of “civilization” is itself a major focus of the course, as are other topics that are crucial for a historical understanding of Chinese culture, such as conceptual schemes, cultural literacy, popular culture, literary structures, modernization, education, self-cultivation.

The aim of the course is to prepare students for further studies, both in other master courses and in connection with their master thesis. Through interactive seminars, they will be trained in identifying, accessing and processing Chinese primary sources and Chinese and English secondary sources, including reference works and digital material. Students will also be introduced to relevant theories and methodologies, including textual criticism and philology, and they will learn how to develop research questions and a research project.

Oral and written forms of presentation are an integral part of the course.

Learning outcome

Students will develop the methodological and theoretical skills needed to identify, read, analyse, and discuss primary and secondary sources for the study of Chinese civilization, including sources in modern Chinese, classical Chinese and English. Students will also improve their skills in presenting findings and engaging in academic dialogue with fellow students and others. More specifically, this course will train students in developing a project, writing a project description and in the techniques and genres of academic writing.


The course is compulsory for students in the master programme in Chinese Civilization. Only students admitted to the programme will be able to take this course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

See the general enrolment criteria for the MA programme option in Chinese Civilisation

Recommended previous knowledge

The course assumes basic knowledge of Chinese history, literature and philosophy corresponding to KIN1503 (Kinas historie), KIN2300 or KIN1300 (Kinesisk litteraturhistorie) and EAST2504 or EAST1504 (East Asia: Great traditions).


The course is taught as a combination of lectures and seminars, 20 classes of 2 hrs each throughout the semester. Active participation and at least 80 per cent attendance is required.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The course evaluation is portfolio assessment. The portfolio consists of three equal parts:

  1. One oral presentation, combined with participation in class.
  2. One written essay (10 pages, 2300 characters per page) on a subject approved by the teacher. The essay should include analysis of a subject based on both primary source readings in Chinese and secondary source readings in Chinese and English.
  3. One project description for the master thesis (5 pages, 2300 characters per page, plus bibliography)

The student must pass all parts to pass the course.

For 1 and 2, students may work together in groups, but the final oral and written products should contain parts that are identifiable as mainly stemming from each individual student. On all parts, preparing drafts for supervision is a central part of the process.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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.

Periodic Evaluation Autumn 2011


More information about Master's Degree

Kinesiske fagsider

Facts about this course






The course will not be offered again after Autumn 2011.

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