Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Chinese)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Chinese Language 2A (CHNS2041) OR Chinese Language 2B (CHNS2012) or equivalentOR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Chinese Studies programme: Chinese Language 4B (CHNS3062). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop linguistic skills in the study of Chinese media texts
  • To gain a good knowledge of major developments of Chinese media since 1949 in its political, historical and cultural contexts
  • To develop an understanding of the nature, structure and roles of China media in contemporary China


  • This module focuses on the study of media texts and examines media institutions and structures in the People’s Republic of China in a historical and contemporary context. It introduces structural features of media texts contextualised in the development of the press from 1949 to the present day, the formation and development of broadcasting, and the emergence of new media.
  • It focuses on the roles of the media in Chinese society through examining such key issues as socialist journalism, media freedom, state censorship and media commercialization.
  • The overall aim of the module is to provide students with skills and knowledge of analysing media texts and a solid grounding in contemporary history of Chinese press, television and new media, as well as an understanding of the theoretical perspectives that underpin critical studies of Chinese media.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Analytical skills in studying media texts
  • Key developments of Chinese media since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949
  • Impacts of communist/socialist ideologies, market liberalism and cultural traditions on theories and practice of Chinese journalism
  • Structures and media institutions in China such as the People’s Daily and China Central Television
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to examine and evaluate critically Chinese media texts
  • Ability to analyse the way in which China’s mass media have been influenced by various factors
  • Ability to appreciate the driving dynamics behind media changes in post-reform China
Key Skills:
  • Ability to communicate ideas and information effective and develop coherent arguments
  • Ability to gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources
  • Ability to use sources of information in the Chinese language

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

  • Teaching will be delivered through lectures and seminars with an emphasis on student independent learning and research.
  • Students will be encouraged to draw on their experiences of living in China during their year abroad in a Chinese city.
  • They will be required to find relevant materials to develop their own interpretations of the Chinese media for discussions in seminars and class presentations.
  • Summative assessment will be by a summative essay and an end-of-year examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 Weekly 1 Hour 21
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 Hour 10
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Assignment (in English) 3,000 words 100% No
Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination (in English) 2-hours 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Class presentation Each student makes a 10-minute presentation at the end of Michaelmas Term.

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