CHIN155-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)

Understanding China

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course provides basic understanding of China and Chinese culture through selected topical issues about China. The course will be taught in English; all prescribed readings and assessments (writing and spoken) are in English.

This course surveys Chinese culture through selected topical issues. Students will read various cultural texts such as fiction and poetry in English translation and compare these classics with their adaptations and renditions in modern China. Students will learn how to analyse Chinese literary texts and better grasp the cultural legacies of China as a civilization. In doing so, students will develop a more sophisticated understanding of and critical appreciation for Chinese culture. No knowledge of Chinese language or prior coursework on Chinese culture is required.

*This course is designed for students who have adequate English reading and presentation skills expected for undergraduate students.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course, each student will:

  • Have a basic understanding of traditional Chinese culture and of how it is perceived in modern China;
  • Identify the evolving cultural trends of traditional China;
  • Show a cross-cultural view of China in the international network;
  • Develop a global awareness by connecting China with New Zealand and the rest of the world;
  • Be able to deploy organized ideas in presentation and participate in class discussions;
  • Demonstrate academic writing skills, including providing an argument, gathering and organizing second-handed resources, and analyzing materials closely and critically.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Chia-rong Wu


Haiyan Zhang


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
End-of-semester reflection/research paper 10% 400+ words
Reading journals (8) 40% Each journal accounts for 5% of the final grade and should be 100 to 150 words long
Term tests (2) 50% Week 6 (25%) and Week 12 (25%)

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Wu Cheng'en; Monkey ; Penguin Classics, 2016 (translated by Arthur Waley).

E-book: Wu Cheng’en’s Monkey, translated by Arthur Waley. This e-book is available for purchase via
the following link:

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All CHIN155 Occurrences

  • CHIN155-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023
  • CHIN155-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)