This course is discontinued

KIN4320 – Topics in Chinese History and Thought

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course focuses on one or more central topics in the field of Chinese history and/or thought. Such topics may include a particular historical period or event, a school of thought, particular philosophical, religious or historiographical texts, or issues relating to popular culture, modernity vs. tradition, conceptual schemes, self-cultivation etc.

The course is based on the reading, analysis and discussion of primary and secondary sources in Chinese and English. Training in essay writing and oral presentation is an integrated part of the course.

Learning outcome

The student will learn to read extensively, and to analyse primary and secondary sources in Chinese and English relevant for the study of a specific topic related to Chinese history and thought. The student will also learn to present academic knowledge orally and in the form of a written essay.


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

See the general enrolment criteria for the MA programme option in Chinese Society and Politics.

Recommended previous knowledge

The teaching presupposes:

1. Theoretical insights and methodological skills corresponding to at least one of the courses:
KIN4310 - Approaches to the study of Chinese civilization
KIN4510 - Approaches to the study of Chinese society and politics
KOS4001 - Grunnlagsproblemer for asiatiske og afrikanske studier
EAL4010 - East Asian Linguistics

2. Basic knowledge of Chinese history and thought corresponding to the courses KIN1503 - Kinas historie and EAST2504 - East Asia: Great traditions

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with KIN4340 – Dissecting Chinese Culture and History


The course is taught as a seminar organized as 10 classes of 2 hrs each throughout the semester. Active participation and at least 80 per cent attendance is required.


The course evaluation is portfolio assessment. The portfolio consists of two equal parts, one written and one oral. The written paper consists of an essay of 8-10 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. The oral consists of an oral presentation and participation during class. Students must pass both parts to pass the course.

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

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, 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.

Periodisk evaluering våren 2012


Useful information about Master's studies at IKOS
(This information will soon be available in English).

Resource sites for students in Chinese

Facts about this course






Spring 2012


Spring 2012

The course will not be offered again after Spring 2012.

Teaching language