Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)

Module CHNS3021: Chinese Historical & Literary Texts

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Chinese)

CHNS3021: Chinese Historical & Literary Texts

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Chinese Language 2A (CHNS2041) or Chinese Language 2B (CHNS2012) or equivalent


  • Chinese Language 4B (CHNS3062)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop higher level reading and translating skills based on literary and historical texts in Chinese


  • The course will use a selection of 20th century and contemporary Chinese literary and historical texts for detailed reading, content analysis and discussion.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of some key texts with significant cultural impact on modern Chinese society
  • Knowledge of the vocabulary and rhetorical techniques used in such texts
  • Knowledge of the literary, social or political background to the texts
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to understand and analyse written and spoken discourse in Chinese, and to mediate between Chinese and English in interpreting and translation
  • Ability to read high level texts for content comprehension purposes and appreciate their significance at different levels
  • Ability to place such texts in their literary / intellectual contexts and explain their significance
Key Skills:
  • Ability to analyse and use complex language
  • Ability to relate texts to their literary, political and social environments
  • Ability to carry out self-directed study and present the results both orally and in writing

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

  • Language classes and seminars; students will be expected to read both Chinese texts and background material out of class. Assessment will be a summative essay and an independent research essay.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Language Classes 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Preparation 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assessment 1 Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 1 2500 words 100%
Component: Summative Assessment 2 Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Independent Research Essay 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Oral feedback in classes and seminars

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