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Modern Chinese History


Admission requirements



This course is about China’s transition from empire to nation-state, a process that began in the nineteenth century with domestic rebellions and Western imperialism besieging the beleaguered Qing state. It can be said that China is still in the process of becoming a nation-state as its intellectuals continue to debate if the modern Chinese state should be a democracy, and as Tibetans, Uighurs and other minority nationalities protest exclusion from political representation and economic development. To understand China’s on-going transition, we rely on a combination of primary and secondary literature to examine various attempts at theorizing and organizing a Chinese nation-state, the role of history in the construction of national and ethnic identity, and the interplay between individual agency and collective mobilization. The readings, lectures, and assignments are also designed to expose students to historical methods and research skills.

Course objectives

  • Identify key events, personalities, and themes in the history of modern China;

  • Describe significance of key events in the history of modern China;

  • Analyze and write evidence-based arguments.


See timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 24 hours

  • Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 64 hours

  • Time for completing assignments, preparing classes and exams: 48 hours

Assessment method


  • • Midterm Exam:

  • Written examination with open questions and essay questions.

  • • Final Exam:

  • Written examination with open questions and essay questions.

  • • Paper


Paper 10%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 60%

End Grade

The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Paper grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.


A resit for the written exam is allowed if a student scores a non-passing grade (5,49 or lower) on the first attempt.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting readings materials and lecture schedules;

  • class communications;

  • paper submission.

Reading list

Wasserstrom, Jeffrey. Ed. 2016. The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Additional materials posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Contact information

Dr. L.M. Teh