Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

China's International Politics POLITIC5020

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course gives students a broad but rigorous introduction to China's international politics. It will introduce students to the key foreign policy making institutions and actors in China today, the drivers of China's foreign policy in historical context, and major issues in contemporary China's foreign relations. The course will include discussion of such issues as national security, human rights, trade and environmental cooperation.


One two-hour seminar held weekly for 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Group presentation, with powerpoints handed in, 10%

2000-word literature review, 45%

2000-word essay, 45%

Course Aims

1. Introduce students to contemporary China's international politics;

2. Examine the key institutions and actors shaping China's contemporary foreign policy-making and some important issues in China's international policies today;

3. Consider and assess competing explanations of China's foreign policy;

4. Explore key issues in China's foreign relations

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

--demonstrate informed knowledge of the key institutions and actors shaping China's foreign policy;

--explain the main determinants of China's foreign policy;

--critically assess different explanations of China's foreign policy;

--demonstrate understanding of the key issues in China's foreign relations.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.