Introduction to Chinese History

Introduction to Chinese History (5 ECTS)

Level: Master’s level

Language: English

Time: Ongoing autumn 2019 – summer 2020

Organizer: University of Turku / Finnish University Network for Asian Studies

Goals: Students will learn the general course of Chinese history from the beginning of the Chinese civilization to the present, its major phases, events, personages and developments. As transferable skills students will learn how to assimilate and understand large amounts of new information through following lectures and reading research literature, as well as academic English listening and writing skills.

Contents: The course introduces students to Chinese history from the Stone Age to the present. The focus is on the political development and change of the Chinese state, classical Chinese political philosophy and statecraft, dynastic political system, the dynamics of the interaction between ‘barbarians’ and the Chinese civilization as well as Western influnce in China. Also the modern and contemporary histories of China are introduced and the historical roots of the modern Chinese society discussed during the course.

Taken as: Lectures and literature; exam (arranged once a month).

Application: Continuous application, apply anytime. Link to application form.

Available through the Open University at the University of Turku

Persons who are not registered at the member universities of the University Network for Asian Studies, can apply to this course via the Open University at the University of Turku. There is a quota of five students on this course for students of the Open University. Please note that the Open University has an own, separate application process.
Information about the application criteria and study fees is available on this web site
In Finnish:
In English:

Important Information about Registering:

After signing up to this course with the application form above, you will immediately gain access to the course site and can start studying.The welcome email comes to the address you give in the application form. It may go to the spam or offers-folder of your email (at least gmail tends to do it). So check those folders too.

Please note, however, that credits from this course will be registered only twice a year. Grade received from an exam taken between January to May will be registered in June. Grade received from June to December will be registered in January. You can read more about the registration process from our website ( Please note, your grade can only be registered if you fulfill the following criteria: 1) you are a degree student currently present at an Asianet member university, 2) you are a polytechnic student whose institutions has promised to pay for your studies and you have sent the required certificate (Read more here:, 3) you are a self-paying student and have paid the course fee (in this case you will be sent information about your study right and instructions on how to pay the study fee in late spring or autumn depending on when you took the exam. If you do not fulfill criteria 1, 2 or 3, your grade may not be registered.

Photo: Lauri Paltemaa. Asianet Material Bank