MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies - Programme Details
The teaching on the MSc programme 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 thesis of 12,000 words on a research topic of your choosing, subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.
Option courses each have their own method of assessment, which can include examinations, usually scheduled in Trinity Term, essays, projects and take-home tests. The MSc handbook, distributed prior to students’ arrival in Oxford, will give further information on assessment for option courses.
In addition to classes, seminars are held by the China Centre once a week in the evenings. These are given by a wide range of speakers on topics relating to their research and work. Students will be notified of time, dates, and topics via email and announcements on the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies website. Students should consider the seminar series and special lectures integral to their time in Oxford.
The MSc is jointly taught by staff within Social Sciences and Humanities, who will also assess your application. The application process is administered by the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies.
The degree is designed for students from a wide range of backgrounds. Students may well wish to proceed to this degree from undergraduate courses in such areas as History, Politics and International Relations, Economics, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Media or Cultural Studies with some element of coursework on China. However, previous undergraduate coursework on China is not a compulsory requirement for admission. We welcome also applications from students with a background in natural sciences, for instance, who may wish to develop knowledge and skills in the Social Sciences and Humaniites - whether in order to broaden their disciplinary range for natural science research, or to begin a switch in discipline.
In addition, applications will be considered from those, whether or not they have an academic background on China, who have worked in NGOs, civil service, journalism, private sector, or similar fields and who wish to consolidate and extend their knowledge through sustained academic study.
Applicants are required to have some knowledge of Mandarin. This may include records from formal language training successfully undertaken, or evidence of residence in China or Greater China over an extended period,or other evidence that shows some existing language competency.
This course can also serve very well as first stage preparation for subsequent doctoral research on China. Other paths graduates take include government and public service at international institutions, development and NGOs, major private sector firms in industry or finance, commercial research agencies and international consulting.