POL20260 Introduction to Chinese Politics

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module aims to introduce students to the political system of the People’s Republic of China and the politics of its ruling entity, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The module first provides a historical foundation for understanding CCP rule, covering major events in the 20th Century. From this foundation, it then examines the party’s relationship to the state and policymaking, China’s foreign relations and foreign policy, as well as the politics of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. By the end of the module students will have a well-grounded understanding and be prepared to think carefully about current and future developments in Chinese politics.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

This course intends to provide students with a critical outlook on the common narrative surrounding the CPC and its rule over China. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: understand how to approach the CPC; explain the origins and historical development of China’s contemporary political system; to describe the inner workings of the CPC and how it relates to the Chinese state; to assess both the sustained basis of legitimacy and future challenges to the CPC’s rule over China.

Indicative Module Content:

Content will include: the history of the CPC since 1949, with consideration of the decades that went before; key concepts through which to understand Chinese politics; the organisational make-up of party-state-military relations in China, as well as those between the party-state and society; ideology and policymaking within China; key issues within Chinese politics at present, as well as future challenges to the CPC’s rule.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures; class discussions; independent reading, and critical listening (assessed through a podcast assignment). 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: 2 hour end of term exam; long answer 1 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Examination: 2 hour end-of-term exam; short answer section Unspecified No Graded No


Class Test: In-class MCQ Unspecified n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: 2 hour end of term exam; long answer 2 Unspecified No Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Continuous assessment: activity organized around podcast listening. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 15:00 - 15:50