Singapore University of Social Sciences

Overseas Experiential Learning (Beijing)

Overseas Experiential Learning (Beijing) (OEL304)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Others

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: College of Lifelong & Experiential Learning


China is one of the key players on the world stage. Yet it is also a country that is enigmatic to many. This perception could be due to the fact that an outsider tends to be ignorant of China’s immediate historical past and how this past has shaped the collective psyche of the Chinese. Michael Dillon (2008) pointed out that “contemporary China cannot be understood adequately without an appreciation of both its immediate historical past and how this past is perceived by Chinese people today” (pp. viii). With this consideration in mind, this course aims to give students a better understanding of contemporary China through location and history. Specifically, GSP 301 Overseas Study Mission introduces contemporary China through three approaches: (i) The theme of change and continuity in history provides the framework to identify the forces that shape China’s history as well as its current political and cultural environment. (ii) The focus on Beijing, the capital of China, and the important issues that the city faces and via this to understanding China’s larger social, political and cultural context. (iii) Exposing students to sites of historical importance as well as giving them the opportunity to interact with residents of the city will enable students to construct their own understanding of Beijing in particular, and China in general. Students will be required to work on study materials (both print and online) and complete formative and summative quizzes before attending F2F seminars . These study materials are intended to help them gain a better understanding of China’s historical, political and cultural environment before the visit. Guest speakers with the relevant background and expertise will be invited to share their insights about Beijing and Greater China’s political and cultural environment. Thereafter, the students will visit Beijing for nine days. During their stay, students will visit an institution of higher learning to understand the history of Beijing and attend seminars on Chinese culture. They will also visit the Singapore Embassy as well as a Singaporean association to learn about Beijing from the perspective and experience of overseas Singaporeans. The out of pocket expenses for the overseas trip is estimated to be about $2700 and is not included in the course fee. Seminars will be conducted in English; however, students are required to be able to communicate in Mandarin in order to conduct interviews for their assignment which will be written in English. Students from the Chinese-related programmes may submit their assignments in Chinese. The tour operator’s conditions for the study mission to Beijing apply; these conditions include levy of cancellation fees, and fare forfeiture, for any uncompleted travel or cancellations. In view of the travelling period (weeks 7 and 8), should students wish to register for other courses, they are advised to choose those that commence in Term 1 week 1 and Term 2 week 2. Students must complete an online Pre-Class quiz during the given window period. Students have THREE(3) attempts at the quiz and are required to achieve a minimum grade of 60%; otherwise, they will be deemed WITHDRAWN from the course. If students fail any of the other OCAS components, they will be deemed to have WITHDRAWN from the course. If students fail (or does not submit) the ECA component, they are deemed to have failed (or withdrawn from) the course. There will be no resit for this course.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • The concept of change and continuity in history
  • Conceptual framework of contemporary China
  • Singapore and China relations
  • An introduction to Beijing
  • Brief History of China before 1840
  • China from 1840 to 1911: Late Qing Era
  • China from 1912 to 1949: The Republican Era
  • China from 1950 to 2008: Liberation, Cultural Revolution, Open-Door Policy to Beijing Olympic
  • Political system
  • State and Society
  • Economic development
  • China’s foreign relations

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of change and continuity in understanding history
  • Examine the forces that shape modern China
  • Analyze some of the major issues in contemporary China
  • Relate the historical development of Beijing to the history of Greater China
  • Appraise the political and cultural environment of Beijing
  • Develop independent thinking and analytical judgment on critical issues in contemporary China
  • Apply essential knowledge of contemporary China in interpreting news events that take place in the Greater China region
Back to top
Back to top