Module Catalogue 2022/23

CHN1005 : Introduction to Chinese Culture

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jun Qian
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



In consonance with the overall aims and objectives of the degree programme:

1) To develop a knowledge of the role of traditional Chinese philosophical/religious beliefs in Chinese life.
2) To develop a knowledge of the modern transformation of Chinese culture and its impact on Chinese life today.
3) To develop an understanding of key elements of Chinese culture such as history, language, governmentality, self-cultivation, aesthetics of life, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, communism, identity and soft power.
4) To develop critical faculties relating to the humanity and modernity of Chinese culture.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture themes will include:

1. Chinese History and Language
2. The Chinese Model of Government
3. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism
4. Chinese Poetry and Aesthetics
5. Modern Chinese Nationalism
6. A Cosmopolitan World
7. Radical Revolutions
8. Rise of China and Its Cultural Factors
9. To Be or Not to Be a Chinese

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1) An appreciation of the way in which traditional Chinese philosophical/religious beliefs affect daily routines and behaviour.
2) An appreciation of how modernity has radically transformed Chinese culture as related to Chinese life today.
3) Critical skills to appreciate the humanity and modernity of Chinese culture in some key issues such as history, language, identity, aesthetics, nationalism, cosmopolitanism and communism.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1) The ability to analyse customs and behaviour against the background of traditional Chinese philosophical/religious beliefs.
2) The ability to analyse critical issues in Chinese modernity such as nationalism, cosmopolitanism, communism and the rise of China in contemporary Chinese life.
3) The ability to understand Chinese culture and Chinese people as a whole in terms of their humanity and modernity.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials161:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching161:0016:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1168:00168:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

For Structured Guided Learning, students will be able to take advantage of the new textbook authored by the instructor, titled: Chinese Culture: Its Humanity and Modernity, to be published in Autumn 2020. Students will read the chapters in the book, as well as some additional readings of source materials.

For Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities, students will explore the critical issues covered in each chapter such as history, language, governmentality, self-cultivation, poetry and aesthetics, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, communism, rise of China. An essay writing workshop will be held by the end of the semester.

The instructor will be available for individual consultation and advice during the course of study and particularly in preparing for the essay writing.


Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 word essay in English
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MEssay plan.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An exam by the end of Semester 1 will test students’ command of the Chinese cultural knowledge so far covered in Semester 1. This will not only include factual historical knowledge but also short interpretive narratives on key cultural notions, events or texts.

The assessed essay, based on classroom learning as well as extensive independent study, encourages students to foster individual initiative and project management skills. A successful essay will require the development and application of library and research skills, the acquisition of word-processing skills, demonstration of a high level of understanding of the chosen topic, and evidence of skills of critical analysis and discourse organisation.

The assessment prepares Stage 1 students to take further cultural context modules at Stages 2 and 4, including the dissertation option (SML4099).


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.