Classic Chinese Civilisation

Subject CHIN30001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

Time commitment totals 170 hours.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Anne Mclaren



Subject Overview:

In this subject students will be introduced to the distinctive characteristics of Chinese civilization from a comparative East-West framework. The focus will be on how the ancient Chinese found solutions to universal human problems, such as how to set up social and political organizations, the operations of kinship systems, and the impact of human settlement on the environment. The focus will be on Chinese ideas relating to government, religion, belief systems and law. Students will read and interpret key primary texts in English translation and assess the value of ancient Chinese material culture (including art, technology and architecture) in understanding the past. On completion of this subject students will have an overview of key notions in Chinese civilization and an appreciation of the relevance of these to contemporary beliefs and practices.

Learning Outcomes:
  • understand the development of major philosophical schools in China.
  • demonstrate an understanding of their most important arguments.
  • be able to discuss the development of certain key terms in the Chinese philosophical and cosmological traditions.
  • demonstrate an ability to discuss the ways in which philosophical discourse and correlative thinking relate to important and enduring patterns in Chinese language, politics and culture.
  • acquire skills to critically think and analyse.
  • understand cultural context.
  • and acquire skills in tha areas of research and analysis.
  • Class participation based on contribution to class discussion in tutorials throuhout the semester (10%)
  • One class paper of 1500 words presented in class and submitted one week after presentation (40%)
  • One 2500 word research essay due during the examination period (50%)

Hurdle requirement: Class attendance is required for this subject; if you do not attend a minimum of 80% of classes without an approved exemption you will not be eligible for a pass in this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Materials supplied by the Institute.

  • Heritage of China: Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization (Paul S. Ropp) University of California Press, 1990
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • acquire written communication skills through essay writing and seminar discussion.
  • show attention to detail through essay preparation and writing.
  • acquire time management and planning skills through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
  • acquire public speaking skills through tutorial and seminar discussion and class presentations.

Previously offered as 110-052 Chinese Thought. Students who have completed Chinese Thought are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Diploma in Modern Languages (Chinese)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies
Asian Studies Major
Chinese Language Major
Chinese Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Asian Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Asian Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Chinese

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