Programme Structure
Core course 3 units
Major Concentration Elective courses* 9 units
Other Elective courses 15units
Total: 27 units

Note: *For Major Concentration Elective courses, course code start from the following:



Concentration Course code
Economic and Reform ECON 7xxx
History and Culture HIST 7xxx
Society and Community SOC 7xxx
Urban Development and Environmental Management GEOG 7xxxx
Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, students must complete 24 credit units plus a Project (3 credit units) within the duration of the Programme and obtain:

Grade C- or above in all courses, and
A cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above

Core and Common Elective Courses
Core Course

POLS 7010 Advanced China Studies*

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the origin and development of China studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. In general, it evaluates the state of research and substantive knowledge in the field of contemporary China studies. It also examines the works of Western China scholars since the World War II as well as the recent trends in China Studies.

* Reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund, HKSAR. For details, please check with the Programme Office and visit the CEF Office’s website http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/cef.

Common Elective Course

SOSC 7510 Project^

The course aims to offer an opportunity to students’ competence in exploring in depth an aspect of contemporary China. Students are required to discuss with their project supervisors about the topic and research methodologies, and to meet them regularly to report progress, review work completed, and finalise written report. The anticipated length of the project is about 8,000-10,000 words in English, or 12,000-15,000 words in Chinese.

^ Students who intend to take this are requested to get permissions from Coordinators in respective Concentrations after evaluation. Students without intentions/permissions are suggested to take another elective course instead.

Economic Development and Reform

ECON 7240 Economic Development and Growth#

The aim of this course is to examine the driving forces and mechanisms of economic development and growth. We will explain and discuss economic models and perspectives on development and growth, go through the empirical findings on the issues and assess the difference and growth potentials across countries.



ECON 7310 Economic Institutions in China#

This course studies key economic institutions of China that have emerged in the course of transition from a planned to a market economy. These institutions are not necessarily the first-best choices from the perspective of conventional theories of market economy, but they might overcome some typical institutional weaknesses of transitional economies. They include the doubletrack pricing and allocation system, local government ownership of firms, fiscal decentralization and yardstick competition among different regional jurisdictions, etc. Drawing on the major contributions in the economics literature, the costs and benefits of adopting these institutions by China will be analysed.



ECON 7320 Public Finance and Monetary Economics in China#

This course aims at providing an in-depth understanding of the functions and the performance of China’s fiscal, monetary and exchange rate systems, as well as their impact on the economy. After explaining major trends in those changing regimes, their developments in the post-1994 and post-2001 periods are analysed, using theoretical models and econometric techniques to tackle critical issues. Regarding the fiscal system, the course emphasizes topics such as central-local intergovernmental relations, the transition from contracts to tax assignment, and the impact of patterns of taxation and public expenditure on macroeconomic development and income distribution, amongst others. Sterilization operations for a semi-open monetary regime and increasing flexibility of the exchange rate form the foci for discussion of the challenges facing the People’s Bank of China, on top of the reforms of monetary tools and capital account liberalization.

The reactions and effectiveness of China’s fiscal-monetary mix in alleviating the adverse consequences of the global economic crisis which began to unfold from the fourth quarter of 2008 are to be reviewed. The course ends by an investigation of the evolving financial relations between the Mainland and Hong Kong.



ECON 7510 China’s Economic Development & Reform*

This course provides an overview of the Chinese economy, with emphasis on the development in the reform period. The evolution of reform measures in various sectors and how they have affected the economic performance since 1978 will be covered.



ECON 7520 China’s Foreign Trade & Investment*

This course provides both theoretical and empirical analyses of China’s liberalisation of foreign trade and investment. Upon completion of the syllabus students are expected to have basic understanding of how foreign trade and investment liberalisation has been pursued in China, how it may have shaped the structure, administration and performance of the Chinese economy as well as the adjacent economies and how the beneficial role of liberalisation may be strengthened after China’s WTO accession.



ECON 7540 Graduate Workshops on China’s Economy

The course attempts to discuss three major types of theoretical models that are useful for analyzing the problems facing the Chinese economy today. In particular, the lectures will explore (i) how to explain the rapid economic growth after the reform in 1979, (ii) what institutional changes have been introduced in order to stabilize the country’s economic growth and (iii) how to identify the impacts of government policies or economic changes on the country’s economic growth rate.



ECON 7550 Financial Markets and acorporate Governance in China

This course is designed to introduce the financial and corporate governance environment in China. The first part covers the development of banking system and financial markets in China. The second part provides theoretical as well as empirical framework for the analysis of corporate governance in China. Upon completion of the course, students are expected to have basic understanding on the contribution of financial and corporate governance reform in Chinese economic growth; and to be able to evaluate policies and potential challenges on the financial markets and corporate governance in China.


* Reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund, HKSAR. For details, please check with the Programme Office and visit the CEF Office’s website http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/cef.

# These elective courses are normally offered in daytime (8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) and joint class with undergraduate or other postgraduate courses. Students can take no more than ONE course from this group of elective courses.

History and Culture

HIST 7510 South China Studies*

For more than two decades, South China has been described as the “promised land” of modern China. This course begins with a close look at the major treaty ports in the region and extends to explore the subsequent political, economic and cultural changes in South China over the past 20 years. The discussion may focus on one or more of the following regions or areas: Guangdong, Fujian, Hong Kong and/ or Taiwan.



HIST 7520 Chinese Culture in Transformation*

This course will begin with an orientation in the changing perspectives on Chinese culture since the early 20th century. It will cover the political, economic and social aspects of Chinese culture in the last century. Special attention will be given to the recent scholarship in relevant areas, including Chinese business culture, popular culture, and the others. The contents are designed in a thematic manner, and the instructors may stress certain aspects as they deem fit and as they feel are most useful for the students concerned.



HIST 7530 Graduate Seminar on Contemporary Chinese History

This course covers mainly three categories of further study in: (1) historiography; (2) various themes in contemporary Chinese history including political, social, economic and other aspects; and (3) Sino-foreign relations. Seminars covering individual headings could be offered by rotation or concurrently, subject to the need of students.



HIST 7540 Contemporary Chinese Political Thought#

This course examines the historical origins and development of major schools of political ideas in modern and contemporary China, paying special attention to the period since 1949. The Chinese response to the introduction of Marxism-Leninism, and the role played by Mao Zedong in “sinicizing” various aspects of Marxist-Leninst ideology, will be dealt with throughout. Students will be required to read the original works of major political thinkers. Whenever possible, other important political ideology, such as liberalism, socialism and democratic thought, will also be addressed.



HIST 7550 History of Taiwan#

This course examines the political, diplomatic, economic, social and cultural development of Taiwan. Discussions will include historical factors which have played crucial roles in Taiwan’s transformation, as well as issues related to its current changes.



HIST 7570 China and Asia in the Twentieth Century#

An in-depth study of the relations between China and other Asian countries, mainly Japan, Korea, Vietnam and India in the 20th century. Special attention is given to China’s influence on Asian nationalist movements and communist movements, Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean relations, and China’s role in East and Southeast Asia.


* Reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund, HKSAR. For details, please check with the Programme Office and visit the CEF Office’s website http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/cef.

# These elective courses are normally offered in daytime (8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) and joint class with undergraduate or other postgraduate courses. Students can take no more than ONE course from this group of elective courses.

Society and Community

SOC 7510 Social Networks in the Contemporary Chinese Society*

This course will apply the basic concepts and theories of social network analysis in a thorough analysis of the patterns of interpersonal relationships in contemporary Mainland Chinese society. In particular, this course will compare personal networks in contemporary China with those in other Chinese societies and in Western societies in order to explain how the patterns of interpersonal relationships in China are affected by the characteristics of the Chinese culture and by the characteristics of the political and economic systems in China.



SOC 7530 Graduate Seminar on Contemporary Social Issues in China

This course involves a guided study of selected contemporary issue(s) in China, which are of academic interests to students and meet the expertise of our teaching staff. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester, and will be decided jointly by both the students and instructor(s), who specialise in the selected area(s). The research areas in which our teaching staff specialise include issues related to gender, population, family, and modernisation. Students are expected to read widely and discuss the different contributions of leading scholars in the selected area(s).



SOC 7540 Chinese Social Demography

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the social demography of contemporary China focusing on the understanding how China's population policies affect fertility and migration. It also examines several sociological issues related to demographic changes such as family change, rising sex ratio, aging, floating population, migrant workers and ethnic enclaves.



SOC 7560 Sociological Issues in Urban & Rural Development#

This course combines an analysis of theoretical issues relatives to urbanization and rural development with a comparative study of these processes in different countries including China. It explores aspects of city size and type. It also examines patterns of urban growth in the capitalist societies of Europe and USA, the Third World and China, and patterns of rural-urban migration. Issues related to the environment and urban planning are considered and special attention is given to the study of patterns of urbanization and rural development in China.



SOC 7570 Chinese Family & Kinship#

This course focuses on the family and wider kinship in traditional and contemporary China, emphasizing their characteristics and how these have changed. Topics include: the nature of the kinship system and the structure of the family in China, changes in the family institution from the pre-Communist period to the present, and the consequences and attendant problems of changes in the family and kinship systems.



SOC 7580 Women in China#

This course focuses on the family and wider kinship in traditional and contemporary China, empha sizing their characteristics and how these have changed. Topics include: the nature of the kinship system and the structure of the family in China, changes in the family institution from the pre-Communist period to the present, and the consequences and attendant problems of changes in the family and kinship systems.



SOC 7590 Popular Culture and Society in Contemporary China

Popular culture refers to a wide range of cultural practices and genres that are consumed by us in our daily lives. While we usually perceive it as a source of entertainment, consumption, and fun, it is in fact much more than that. Popular culture is a powerful force that helps shape social class, nationalism, gender, race, and other socio-cultural constructs of society. It constitutes a major industry and a significant contributor to the GDP. It is the base of youth subcultures, symbolic resistance, and alternative discourses. It is a major factor that shapes contemporary urban formation. And it is a major link through which the local and the global impact on each other. This course introduces students to these sociological and interdisciplinary approaches to understand how popular culture impact on China. By revealing the powerful social functions and impacts of popular culture, these approaches will equip and encourage students to critically assess their own daily consumption of popular culture.



* Reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund, HKSAR. For details, please check with the Programme Office and visit the CEF Office’s website http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/cef.

# These elective courses are normally offered in daytime (8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) and joint class with undergraduate or other postgraduate courses. Students can take no more than ONE course from this group of elective courses.

Urban Development and Environmental Management

GEOG 7510 Resource & Environmental Management in China*

The course introduces the concepts, knowledge and skills in analysing the environmental and resource management issues in China in five broad areas. Firstly, the course begins with a general survey of the environment-resource-population-development system of China. Secondly, it sets the background for an understanding of the basic environmental issues confronting China today, especially those problems associated with energy uses, water pollution, land degradation, and deforestation. Thirdly, the course discusses the development of the environmental management system in China, and the factors affect the way regulators and polluters alike have responded to China’s environmental controls. Fourthly, the course examines the societal responses to resource and environmental problems, particularly on the awareness and participation of the general public in resource conservation and environmental protection. Finally, the course concludes with an examination of China’ Agenda 21 and strategies for sustainable development.



GEOG 7520 Urban & Regional Development of China*

The course provides students an in-depth understanding on China’s regional development and urban issues. Economic reform since 1979 has shifted China from a planned economy to one driven by market forces. Consequently, economic development has not only re-established cities’ function as economic central places but also generates disparities between urban and rural, and different regions. These changes have generated heat discussions on the country’s urbanization and regional development strategy. This includes debates on city size, small-town strategy and the abolishion of special economic zones. This course introduces students to these discussions and also recent literate on the topic.



GEOG 7530 Graduate Seminar on Geography of China

Geographical and environmental concerns underpin much of contemporary China. This graduate seminar allows students to develop an in-depth understanding of selected topics on the geography of China. Students are expected to conduct critical reviews of the latest theoretical and empirical works and undertake a limited research project.



GEOG 7540 Energy Development in China#

In the past two decades, momentous changes occurred in the Chinese energy sector, including changes in the institutional framework – moving from state allocation to the market economy – and with respect to individual energy industries. By the mid-1990s, the problem of energy shortage had largely beeen resolved, yet the country had become a net oil importer, and is projected to import an increasingly larger amount in the future, with serious implications for the security of energy supply and future oil import outlay. The course takes a comprehensive survey of the Chinese energy sector, including the resource endowment, energy policy since the 1980s, the major energy industries like oil, coal, natural gas, electricity – HEP and nuclear included – and the international energy trade of China. Current issues such as the Three Gorges Dam and the West-East Pipeline are also dealt with.



GEOG 7560 Rural and Agricultural Development in China#

An examination of (1) the physical and historical factors affecting China’s agriculture, (2) institutional changes since 1949 in China’s rural sector, and (3) underlying contemporary problems and programmes concerning agricultural growth and rural development. Field study in China may be required.



GEOG 7570 Urban Development in China#

This course will provide an insight into the internal structure and external linkage of Chinese cities, and analysis of problems, policies and reforms in China’s urbanization and urban economy. Field study in China may be required.

Popular culture refers to a wide range of cultural practices and genres that are consumed by us in our daily lives. While we usually perceive it as a source of entertainment, consumption, and fun, it is in fact much more than that. Popular culture is a powerful force that helps shape social class, nationalism, gender, race, and other socio-cultural constructs of society. It constitutes a major industry and a significant contributor to the GDP. It is the base of youth subcultures, symbolic resistance, and alternative discourses. It is a major factor that shapes contemporary urban formation. And it is a major link through which the local and the global impact on each other. This course introduces students to these sociological and interdisciplinary approaches to understand how popular culture impact on China. By revealing the powerful social functions and impacts of popular culture, these approaches will equip and encourage students to critically assess their own daily consumption of popular culture.



* Reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund, HKSAR. For details, please check with the Programme Office and visit the CEF Office’s website http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/cef.

# These elective courses are normally offered in daytime (8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) and joint class with undergraduate or other postgraduate courses. Students can take no more than ONE course from this group of elective courses.