Politics in Contemporary China - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay (40%) , Invigilated Exam (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

The rise of China has been one of the most important aspects of contemporary global politics. This unit covers the history of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to present, with emphasis on the period of reform since the end of 1978. It also includes some focus on particular issues connected with the political process in the PRC, such as the system of government, foreign relations, population policy including ethnic minority issues and law and corruption.

By the end of this unit, you should be able to describe and analyse China's contemporary history since 1949, analyse China's political culture against the background of its contemporary history and understand the political context to current political issues in China.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. describe and analyse China's political history since 1949
  2. analyse China's political culture against the background of it's history
  3. understand the historical context of current political issues in China
  4. argue a case on a current political issue in China.
  • Essay (40%)
  • Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Report (30%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

While there are no mandatory prerequisites, students need to be aware that this is a third year level unit and they need to have developed the skills to write essays at university level.

This unit addresses the following topics.

2People's Republic of China 1949-78
3People's Republic of China 1978-89
4People's Republic of China 1989-97
5People's Republic of China 1998-present
6The party and government
7The Law & corruption
8Population and ethnic minorities
9Trends in China's foreign policy 1949 -1976
10Trends in China's foreign policy 1977 - 1991
11Trends in China's foreign policy 1992 - 2000
12Trends in China's foreign policy 2001 - present

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • China's Political Systems PNIE


    ISBN: 9780205981816


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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