University of Oxford: Contemporary Chinese Studies

InstitutionUniversity of Oxford
Department Area Studies
Telephone 01865 270059
Study type Taught


**The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2019). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via**

The MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies is a three-term, twelve-month course offered jointly by the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA) and the Faculty of Oriental Studies designed to provide high quality graduate research training with an emphasis on an appreciation of research methods and on deepening your understanding of contemporary China.

You will develop or extend your knowledge and understanding of:
- the key approaches to the social scientific study of modern China

- research methods, strategies and ethics that will be of relevance to the social scientific study of China

- critical analysis of sources and ability to present findings effectively, both verbally and in sustained writing exercises

- framing and executing a workable research topic

- interdisciplinary research and its potential.

Modules involve lectures as well as seminar or class discussions, for both of which you will receive reading lists. It is a fundamental component of the Oxford educational system that you engage in individual reading and study in order to broaden and deepen your knowledge of your chosen field. There is limited one-to-one teaching on the MSc course. However, staff members will be available to advise you on reading, literature and topics. You will also be given a supervisor to help guide you through your dissertation research through regular one-to-one meetings. Students normally have some familiarity with Chinese language.

The teaching on the MSc course is built around the two core courses. The first core course, Research Methods, will introduce you to the strengths and weaknesses of contrasting discipline-based approaches to the study of Asia.

The second core course, The Study of Contemporary China, teaches foundational knowledge of modern Chinese history, politics and society needed for further study or research in all disciplines, and introduces the different disciplinary approaches to the study of modern China.

In addition to the two core courses you will choose two option courses and complete a research dissertation of 12,000 words on a research topic of your choosing, subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Assessment for Research Methods comprises two parts, each weighted equally: a practical exercise in the collection and analysis of qualitative data, and a take-home test in quantitative analysis.

The Study of Contemporary China core course is assessed by one unseen three-hour exam, as are most of the option courses.


Not what you are looking for?

Browse other courses in Area studies, languages and literature, Area studies, Asian studies, Chinese studies, Language or Literature, or search our comprehensive database of postgrad programs.

Scholarship Opportunity with

Are you a PG student at this University or have you applied to study a postgraduate program at a university in Europe? Tell us your plans and qualify for a £500.00 PGS Scholarship.

Click here

Register with

  • Exclusive bursaries
  • Open day alerts
  • Latest PG news
Register Now!