MSocSc Public Management and Social Development

Student life

Study environment

The programme is small (about 30 students), which means that there will be close student-student and student-teacher interaction. You will be part of a tightly knit group of people in a highly international and diverse environment. Half the students will be from Denmark/Europe, the other half Chinese. Teachers will likewise be European and Chinese. There will no doubt be a wide variety of academic backgrounds represented which will provide very different perspectives on the topics covered.

Even before the programme starts students will be brought together to inform, prepare and help them with all the practicalities of moving their life to China for two years.

The programme is carried out at Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC) , which is located at the Yanqihu campus north of Beijing.

SDC PMSD Students

What to consider?

Potential students should have pioneering spirit. It is important that you are open-minded and ready to meet unfamiliar conditions head on. Many parts of daily life related to language and culture will be different from what you are used to.

Spending two years in China is in itself is a challenge. However, SDC are very experienced and available for assistance with practical issues. Also, there is both Danish and Chinese staff available on campus as well as 50 plus fellow master’s students.

When studying in a cross cultural class room you will experience challenges and learning situations, such as doing group work may take some effort. Every day will be a learning experience. But with curiosity and patience, you will have a very rewarding life experience.

For the programme itself, it is important that students have an interest in subjects like social innovation, healthcare, social mobility, environmental challenges or energy challenges. You should be open to new and different perspectives on subjects.


Students will have only one course at a time for a period of three to four weeks, followed by an exam. This makes it a very intense learning experience with complete focus on each subject, one at a time. Classes are small and there will be close student-teacher interaction. Students will be expected to take active part. As the lecturers are both Chinese and Danish/European, the teaching styles may differ from what you are used to because of the difference in education culture.

Emphasis is on cooperation and interaction between students, learning from each other and combining knowledge and skills. As such, the learning output will come from both interaction in class and through group work, but also from social interaction between students and cultures outside the classroom.


Each course is concluded with an examination. Exam types differ, but include take-home assignments, group projects and oral presentations.

Work,life,study balance

The MSocSc in Public Management & Social Development is more than a programme. It is two full years of academic and intercultural learning inside and outside the class room.

You are required to take basic courses in language and culture. The programme follows the Chinese academic calendar.

You should not expect to be able to find a study job in Beijing. The programme is demanding, and issues like work permits and Chinese wages are not easily solved. However, you will have an internship in your third semester where you will gain work experience in a relevant sector.

Studying in English

Before studying a programme taught in English you might want to consider the following:

  • All literature, lectures, exams, projects and group work are in English
  • Academic English differs from the English used in everyday language – so it might be a challenge even if you are used to speaking English in other situations.
  • You may have to spend more time on reading and understanding the material in English
  • You may find it challenging to express yourself with the same ease as you would in your mother tongue.
  • Some will feel uncomfortable and shy when speaking English – especially when in a crowd or among native speakers.


As part of the preparation process before leaving for China, students from the Danish universities are invited to a preparatory seminar and will have a Facebook group where they can connect with each other.

In China you will have the opportunity to socialise with your fellow SDC students from all of the programmes.  and outside of SDC you have ample opportunity to take part in networking activities through the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing, the Danish Chamber of Commerce in China and through your third semester internship.

Important/relevant links

For more information on the programme, study environment and activities at SDC, check out

The page was last edited by: Communications // 12/11/2018