Universiteit Leiden

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East Asian Studies (MA) (60EC)

About the programme

The one-year master's in East Asian Studies, a specialisation of Leiden University’s master's in Asian Studies, offers focused study of either China, Japan or Korea.

The programme has been designed with a modular structure that includes elective courses in each of the two semesters and an individually supervised thesis, giving you considerable freedom to shape the curriculum to work for you.

Language training

An important part of the programme (about one-third) consists of advanced language training in modern and/or classical Chinese, Japanese or Korean. You are expected to use primary materials in Chinese, Japanese or Korean when writing your MA thesis.

Detailed programme

Courses (September start)
Course EC
Introduction to Asian Studies 10
Advanced Mandarin I 10
Advanced Reading & Writing in Japanese 1 (60 EC) 10
Advanced Korean Reading 10
Nuclear Asia 10
The Visual and Material Culture of Exchange in Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 10
Art and Power in Asia (10 EC) 10
Art and Power in Asia (5 EC) 5
Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese 5
China's International Political Economy 10
The Politics of Digital East Asia 10
Topics in Modern Chinese History (10 EC) 10
Comparative Asian Linguistics 10
China’s New Workers and the Politics of Culture 10
Democratizing Histories (5 EC) 5
Democratizing Histories (10 EC) 10
Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5
Elective: Anthropology of Japan 10
Topical Readings in Classical Japanese 10
The Politics of Culture in North Korea 10
The Politics of Culture in North Korea 5
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (10 EC) 10
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (5 EC) 5
Cultural Heritage in East Asia: dealing with the past in present and future 10
Material Culture, Memory and Commemoration along the Silk Roads in Central Asia 10
MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15
Advanced Mandarin: Listening & Speaking 2 5
Advanced Mandarin: Reading & Writing 2 5
Advanced Reading & Writing in Japanese 2 (60 EC) 5
Topical Readings in Korean (5 EC) 5
Topical Readings in Korean (10 EC) 10
Word and Image in Premodern Japanese Culture: Reworking the Classics 10
Sexualities and Genders in Modern East Asia, 1600-1945 (10 EC) 10
Approaches to East Asian Cinema (10 EC) 10
Approaches to East Asian Cinema (5 EC) 5
Confucianism in Context 10
The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage 10
Creativity and Culture in Contemporary China 10
Sinographics: Chinese writing and writing Chinese 10
China and Global Cyberspace 10
Topics in Chinese Art History, Things and Paths: Approaches to Chinese Art and Material Culture 10
Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts 10
The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (10 EC) 10
The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (5 EC) 5
Economy Japan/East Asia 10
Forgery as Historiography in Korean and East Asian History 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
Topical Readings in Korean (10 EC) 10

For a more detailed programme, see the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Ethan Mark

Senior University Lecturer

Ethan Mark

“I try to encourage my students to think critically by pushing them to interrogate the categories through which we think and by which we describe the world: where they came from, what forces constructed them, and for what purposes.”

“In a world in which we are so often confronted with the appearance of essential differences, I seek to stimulate an awareness of the interconnectedness of our identities and our histories, informed by an awareness of history itself not as a single narrative of objective facts, but as a field of ongoing contest between competing narratives and competing political agendas.”

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?

Check the entry requirements

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