Module code: POL3090

Module Overview

In this module students will develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of International Relations in respect of both the discipline and the practice. The module builds on work done in previous modules, particularly POL 1012 Intro to IR, POL1019 Contemporary International History, POL2038 International Political Economy, POL2029 Them and Us: Comparative Government and Politics and POL 2030 Theorising International Relations. It is therefore expected that students will enter the module with a developed understanding of International Relations and Comparative Politics theories and approaches with the aim of connecting these to the case studies discussed.

The module provides an examination of the domestic-foreign policy linkages between China and the areas of the so-called Greater China region (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau) and beyond. It thus examines China in the broader context and focuses on its role in the region and beyond building on an understanding of the PRC’s societal and institutional transformation. This will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of China’s growing role in the world while at the same time highlighting the linkages between the domestic and international sphere, the importance of socio-historical context and alternative approaches to analyse international relations.

Module provider


Module Leader

KAEDING Malte (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: L240

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
The course will examine the domestic-foreign policy linkages between China and the areas of the so-called Greater China region (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau) and beyond. After an introduction into contemporary Chinese history, political structures, the module will examine major issues such as Chinese nationalism, media and corruption. This will be followed by lectures on political developments in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau and how these are shaped by their relationship to China. The final lectures will highlight the role of overseas investments and emotions in Chinese foreign policy in the region and beyond (Europe).

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION 20
Examination EXAM (1-HOUR) 60

Alternative Assessment

Alternative assessment is a separate mini-essay on the group presentation, (800 words) 20%

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

· Critical engagement with the relevant literature, e.g. to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key debates in the rise of China

· Demonstrate understanding of the need to apply theoretical arguments to the analysis of actual events and actions

· Demonstrate capacity to apply theoretical arguments to the analysis of contemporary international affairs

· Identify appropriate and feasible area for analysis

· Identify and apply appropriate methodological approach

· Demonstration of excellent study, research and team-working skills

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

· Group Presentation

· Supporting documentation for presentation

· Exam (All details above)

Assessment deadlines advised prior to the beginning of each semester.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback on their performance during lectures/seminars, and in one to one meetings during office hours. Additionally, students will receive detailed written feedback on their group presentation and individual feedback on their supporting documentation by the module leader. They also receive written feedback on the presentations by peers. Furthermore summative coursework will be receiving feedback summarised in a cover sheet. Feedback is module-specific but is also designed to be used for feedforward to other aspects of the degree programme as well.

Module aims

  • Understand the evolution of China's political institutions and discuss their roles in the governance of China and articulate the different theoretical and ideological viewpoints on China’s development in the last twenty years
  • Build on the work of previous modules and so allow students to deepen their understanding of IR and Comparative Politics generally and the contribution of non-Western case studies.
  • Deepen students' knowledge of the role of various actors that influence Chinese (foreign) policy and understand how nationalism plays a crucial part in China’s foreign relations
  • Through the analysis of empirical evidence and theoretical literature, develop students' ability to think and reflect critically.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Draw upon already existing research and analytical skills, necessary for the application of theory to empirical examples, in order to determine, and account for, the manner in which actors at political and societal levels function in the contemporary world. CKP
002 Critically evaluate the development of China and its changing role in the region and internationally through a series of case studies and application of theory CKP
003 Comment critically on the relationship of theory to practice. CKP
004 Use existing research skills to locate relevant empirical examples and theoretical debates and to make connections between seemingly unrelated events. CKP
005 Communicate appropriately academic arguments persuasively and fluently in speech and writing PT
006 Develop presentation skills. PT
007 Manage large amounts of data effectively, employing a range of skills PT
008 Develop critical faculties and the ability to assess evidence independently and in dialogue with others PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop students’ capacities as independent learners, to deepen their knowledge and understanding of theoretical and empirical issues in the study of the Greater China region, a field situated between the disciplines of Comparative Politic and International Relations. It requires students to develop their research and critical thinking skills and to manage large sets of data appropriately. In addition, group presentations will allow students to build and develop team-working skills. Students are given the opportunity to formulate their own lines of enquiry, thus developing and testing their skills in respect of making appropriate critical judgments in respect of both theory and empirics.

The learning and teaching methods include lectures, seminars, independent study, presentations, prescribed reading, group discussions. Classes are run in 2 hour sessions at different times in the semester over an 11 week period. One hour lectures will introduce students to the subject matter, which will subsequently be discussed in weekly hour-long seminars. Borders between lectures and seminars are fluid and lectures are held in a discursive style. Students will be expected to contribute actively during seminars, having prepared to contribute to discussions based on the reading material. One seminar is designated for a filmed enactment of a research article which students prepare and which will be uploaded to the VLE. They will engage in assessed presentations including student-led activities through presentations and be prepared to debate issues in a well-informed fashion.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL3090

Other information


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.