Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)

Module CHNS1021: Introduction to Chinese Culture

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Chinese)

CHNS1021: Introduction to Chinese Culture

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Module not available for students on the BA Modern Languages and Cultures (with Year Abroad) (R002) programme


  • To offer students a general introduction to Chinese culture to complement their linguistic studies and provide a framework for deeper study of the subject


  • An introduction, to the geography of China and its impact on China’s development followed by an outline of Chinese history over the last four millennia, and a discussion of major aspects of philosophy, literature and art.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Basic features of China’s geography and history and their impact on China’s development over the last four millennia, and key features of Chinese philosophy, literature and art. The ability to demonstrate a reasoned awareness and a critical, comparative understanding Chinese culture and society
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to describe, explain and evaluate significant elements in the history, literature, culture, and sociology of China, and the ability to make effective intercultural connections and comparisons. The ability to relate key features of China’s history and culture to the study of modern China and the enhancement of communicative skills with Chinese people.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to communicate ideas and information orally and in writing, devise and sustain coherent and cogent arguments
  • The ability to employ the sophisticated reading skills acquired to gather, sift, process, synthesise and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources (print, digital, aural, other audio-visual)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure, manage time and work to deadlines
  • The ability to make effective use of information and communications technology

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures to present structured information
  • seminars to develop student skills in information retrieval and oral presentation
  • summative essays to develop analytical and presentational skills
  • end of year examination to ensure acquisition of basic knowledge.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination 1 Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Summative Essay 1 Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 1 1000 words 100%
Component: Summative Essay 2 Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2 2000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University