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A Panoramic View of China: Introducing Chinese Culture

Delve into the history, literature, and economy of China to gain a panoramic overview of Chinese culture.

A train travelling through the mountains with the Great Wall of China in the background.

A Panoramic View of China: Introducing Chinese Culture

  • 8 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    8 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
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    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Prepare to study in China with Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

Any international student hoping to study in China needs to know a little about Chinese culture. That means delving into the country’s history, art, economy, and more.

This eight-week course from SISU is designed to provide a panoramic overview of Chinese culture. Aimed at international students starting out at a Chinese university, it will give you the knowledge you need to ace your study abroad experience.

Delve into Chinese history and philosophy

Underpinning Chinese culture are several millennia of history and ancient philosophical movements, including Taoism and Confucianism.

The course will start by tracing the historical roots of Chinese culture, together with the thoughts and ideas that have forged it.

Explore great works of Chinese literature and art

Next, you’ll survey some of the greatest Chinese artistic contributions, spanning literature, art, architecture, and more.

From great classic writers like Lu Xan and Mo Yang to the legacy of traditional Chinese painting and music, you’ll be introduced to the most influential works and traditions.

Understand the Chinese economy and the role of technology

In Weeks 6 and 7 of the course, you’ll look at the structure of the Chinese economy and the role technology plays within it.

You’ll examine the three main industries in China today, discussing how China has become a global leader in trade and innovation.

Get a flavour of Chinese customs and language

Last but not least, you’ll be introduced to the Chinese language and given a flavour of customs and traditions.

You’ll learn about the difference between Mandarin and other dialects, while mastering the staples of Chinese etiquette.

With the knowledge you gain over the eight weeks of the course, you’ll be ready to take your first steps as an international student in China.


  • Week 1

    Primary National Conditions&Environment and Resourses

    • Course Introduction

      Hello! Let's take you on a journey into an true, multidimensional, and panoramic view China together!

    • Primary National Conditions

      China has a vast territory, rich resources, a long history of civilization, and diverse ethnic cultures. Understanding China's fundamental national conditions can help us better understand ts politics, economy, society, culture.

    • Environment and Resources

      The vast territory of China boasts complex terrains, diverse climates and rich resources. China has always been committed to protecting its environment. China is also an essential contributor to global ecological protection.

  • Week 2

    Chinese History

    • Introduction

      It's a brief introduction of Chinese history.

    • The Pre-Qin Period

      The pre-Qin period mainly refers to the historical stages from the remote antiquity to the Xia,Shang, Zhou dynasties, the Spring and Autumn Period , and the Warring state period.

    • The Qin and Han Dynasties

      You will learn the history of the Qin and Han dynasties. Qin is the first unified feudal dynasty in China. The Han Dynasty was a significant period in Chinese history.

    • The Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty, and the Northern and Southern Dynasties

      You will learn the history of the Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty, and the Northern and Southern Dynasties, which is the most frequent changes of regimes in Chinese history.

    • The Sui Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty, and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.

      During the Tang Dynasty, arts such as poetry, dance, painting, sculpture, and music developed with immense prosperity.

    • The Song Dynasty, the Liao Dynasty, the Western Xia Dynasty, and the Jin Dynasty

      Song dynasty was divided into the Northern Song Dynasty and the Southern Song Dynasty, the Northern Song Dynasty became the wealthiest dynasty in Chinese history.

    • The Yuan Dynasty

      he Yuan Dynasty had had a territory of nearly 14 million square kilometers, ranking No.1 in all the dynasties in terms of territory in Chinese history.

    • The Ming Dynasty

      You will learn the “Hongwu Reign”, the “Yongle Golden Age”, which are two developed periods of the Ming dynasty.

    • The Qing Dynasty

      The Qing Dynasty was the last feudal dynasty in Chinese history.It lasted for 296 years with 12 emperors.In the end, the Qing Dynasty was invaded by Western powers.

    • The Modern Chinese History

      In the late Qing Dynasty, due to the invasion of the Western powers and the corruption and incompetence of the Qing government,the people suffered terribly.

    • The Communist Party of China and Modern China

      In 1949 The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China was established, which ended the semi-colonial and semi-feudal periods and the division in the country.

    • Quiz

      quiz for this week

  • Week 3

    Chinese Philosophy&Religion

    • Chinses Philosophy

      The concept of 'philosophy' originated in the West, but ancient China also developed its philosophy.More than 3000 years ago, in Xi Zhou Dynasty, there was a book called Zhouyi.

    • Religion

      China is a country where multiple religions coexist. In this chapter, let's explore the religions of China

  • Week 4

    Chinese Literature&Art

    • Chinese Litereature

      Chinese literature has a long history.Literary masters and masterpieces have emerged in every dynast,granting China a marvelous literary legacy.

    • Art

      Boasting a long history, the traditional Chinese art is an important vehicle for the inheritance and development of traditional Chinese culture. In this chapter, we will learn about traditional Chinese art together.

  • Week 5

    Chinese Language and Script& Mid-term

    • Chinese Language and Script

      Chinese is one of the six official languages of the United Nationsand the most widely used language in the world.The influence of Chinese is gradually expanding and being learned and used by people worldwide.

    • Mid-term

      To see how much have you mastered after learning

  • Week 6

    Chinese Economy

    • Chinese Economy

      Since the reform and opening-up, China has made remarkable economic achievements and sees a dramatic rise in technological strength, comprehensive national power, and people’s living standards

  • Week 7

    Chinese Science and Technology&People's Well-being Projects

    • Chinese Science and Technology

      In the long history of China,the Chinese people, highly imaginative and creative.

    • People's well-being Projects

      People’s well-being projects refer to various policies and measures implemented by the government to improve people’s living standards. Starting from this chapter, we will learn about people’s well-being projects in China.

  • Week 8

    Chinese Customs and Traditions&Course Summary&Final

    • Chinese Customs and traditions

      The long history and rich cultural legacies of China give birth to many customs and traditions. These customs and traditions vary in different regions, historical periods, and social backgrounds.

    • Course Summary

      The summary of "A Panoramic View of China‘".

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how has China developed, how might China be.
  • Develop an understanding of Chinese History, Culture and Literature.
  • Get an understanding of Chinese Economy and Technology.

Who is the course for?

This course is primarily designed for international undergraduate students intending to study abroad in China.

It will also be suitable for anyone interested in gaining a comprehensive overview of Chinese history and culture.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), established in 1949, is one of the earliest institutions where China’s higher education in foreign languages took shape.

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Choose the best way to learn for you!

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Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 25 Apr 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 4 March 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 4 March 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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