Started in 2006-07, this degree brings together LSE’s considerable multi-disciplinary expertise on China for the benefit of students seeking a comparative perspective of the country. In addition to examining China’s modern economic history, politics, international relations, society and culture, you will be asked to compare and contrast China with India, that other huge and fast-growing economy, and with European modernising projects and other appropriate comparators.
The MSc is an ideal preparation for those with career interests related to China, in business, government, or cultural exchange. It is also suitable as a preparation for further research at the PhD level in anthropology, economic history, government, international relations and social policy. Applicants should have a good first degree in any of these or related subjects (such as sociology or economics), together with excellent English language skills.
When to Apply
We recommend that students apply as early as possible in order to ensure that they receive full consideration both for places on the MSc and for financial assistance from the School. However, if places are still available we will continue to accept applications after the School's deadline.
The twelve-month programme consists of four elements, each of which contributes 25% to the final degree mark. A mixture of seminars and tutorials will allow students drawn from East Asia and the rest of the world to compare their ideas and perspectives by application of different social science disciplines to China and its comparators. They will be guided in their options to take the discipline of their undergraduate degree to a more advanced level while applying it to China in comparative perspective.
The compulsory core course, China in Comparative Perspective, is designed to help students develop ways of putting the politics, economy and social life of China into a framework in which they can compare and juxtapose it with other major examples. The topics include: Occidentalism and Orientalism; civilisation: centre, periphery and hierarchy; imperialism and the history of world systems; the long term of political-economic history; demographic comparisons; famine and the modern state; statehood and national independence; international relations and recent history: revolution and cold war; the project of modernisation; reform, race and technologies of the self; rural-urban linkages and the liberalisation of economic relations; family, gender and modernisation; property rights; consumerism; school and ideology; civil society; democracy, human rights and political reform; and the local state and local power.
The core course is complemented by an optional full unit course, or two half units, from a selection in anthropology, economic history, government, international relations and social policy. A further optional full unit course, or two half units, can be chosen from a broader range, many of them including China and comparisons. Following examinations in these three units in June, students write an essay of not more than 10,000 words on an approved topic of their choice.
Students will be encouraged to use the facilities of the LSE Language Centre to take either Chinese language (for non-Chinese) in preparation for possible future research or work in China; or English as a second language (for Chinese students) in preparation for advanced research and writing. This is not, however, part of the degree programme.
Please click here for the home page of the online Graduate Prospectus, which contains further information and an application form. Follow this link for the prospectus page on the MSc China in Comparative Perspective.
If you have questions beyond those addressed in the Graduate Prospectus, please check the Department's FAQ page before contacting the Department.