Singapore University of Social Sciences

The Making of Modern China

The Making of Modern China (CCS101)

Applications Open: 01 May 2023

Applications Close: 15 June 2023

Next Available Intake: July 2023

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1378 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Humanities and Social Sciences

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: SkillsFuture

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


CCS101 The Making of Modern China is an overview of the period from around 1840 when foreign imperialism started to encroach the Qing dynasty, to the formation of a Communist nation-state under Mao Zedong's leadership in 1949. By looking at this revolutionary period in Chinese history, students understand the challenging process dynastic China underwent to modernize and transform from alien Manchu rule experiencing foreign exploitation and internal rebellion, to nationalistic Communist republic overcoming foreign invasion and civil war. At the end of the course, students will have a sound knowledge of consequential developments during this period, and can use this historical awareness to understand important issues in Chinese politics and international relations, like its proud national passion, its fixation with sovereignty over Taiwan and disputed islands, and its non-acceptance of multi-party rule.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July
E-Learning: - Learning is done ENTIRELY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. There are no face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus. To be confirmed


  • Introduction to Modern Chinese History
  • The Opium Wars and Unequal Treaties
  • Internal Rebellions in the 1850s and 1860s
  • Pacifying the Internal Rebellions
  • The Self-Strengthening Movement
  • Qing Reforms in the 20th Century
  • The 100 Days Reforms
  • The Boxer Rebellion
  • The Xinhai Revolution of 1911
  • China under Yuan Shikai and Warlordism
  • The May 4th Movement and the New Culture Movement
  • Unifying China: The First United Front and Chiang’s Northern Expedition
  • KMT Performance during the Nanjing Decade
  • The CCP during the Nanjing Decade
  • The Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937 – 1945
  • The Chinese Civil War

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate knowledge of significant socio-political events and developments in China from the outbreak of the Opium Wars to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949;
  • Describe the process by which foreign exploitation, internal rebellion, insufficient reform and revolutionary activism led to the fall of the Qing dynasty;
  • Analyze the development of Chinese nationalism from dynastic rule to republican government and the conditions which helped shape it;
  • Recognize the political struggles and contestation in forming a stable political regime after the fall of the Qing dynasty;
  • Identify the political choices the Chinese elites and people made;
  • Explain historical events;
  • Examine historical information.
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