Universiteit Leiden

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Korean Studies (MA) (120EC)

About the programme

The two-year master's in Korean Studies, a specialisation of Leiden University’s master's in Asian Studies, offers a large and varied selection of subjects and the freedom to choose the areas upon which you will focus.

First Year

Semester 1: Leiden 

The first semester of the programme is held at Leiden and consists of the following courses: 

  • The core course Introduction to Asian Studies that explores the place of Asian Studies in the larger field of Area Studies and among the many disciplines represented in Asian Studies;

  • Electives with a focus on Korea; 

  • Advanced Korean language courses. 

You will be free to follow a variety of academic courses – known as Master Classes in Asian Studies and State of the Field seminars. These include classes in: 

  • History (modern and pre-modern) 

  • Politics and International Relations 

  • Philosophy 

  • Religion 

  • Literature 

  • Social science 

  • Linguistics 

Semester 2: Korea

Two semesters of your degree will be spent studying at a university in South Korea, where you will follow relevant courses in your chosen field of research and conduct research for your MA thesis. The purpose of this study trip is to strengthen your language skills while developing your understanding of the country and its society. 

Second Year

Semester 3: Korea 

Two semesters of your degree will be spent studying at a university in South Korea, where you will follow relevant courses in your chosen field of research and conduct research for your MA thesis. The purpose of this study trip is to strengthen your language skills while developing your understanding of the country and its society. 

Semester 4: Leiden

Upon your return to Leiden, you will continue to develop your language skills while developing knowledge in your area(s) of specialisation. Our goal is that, by the time you are ready to write your MA thesis, you will be in a strong position to integrate your language and academic skills to the point where you can use primary sources written in Korean as part of your research. 

You are free to choose the topic of your thesis from any field supported within the department – although we recommend that the topic closely mirrors one or more of the classes you followed while in South Korea. Your thesis supervisor will be available to advise you. Currently the department can supervise theses from the following specialisations: 

  • History
  • Philosophy

  • Religion 

  • Literature 

  • Politics and International Relations 

  • Anthropology 

  • Sociology 

  • Linguistics 

  • Material Culture 

During the final stages of the programme you will concentrate on honing your language skills to a level that can be applied in your professional life (post graduation). This includes, for example, learning how to use language in a legal, commercial and political setting. 

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.

Koen De Ceuster

Researcher and University Lecturer

Koen De Ceuster

"Korea is not only an object of study, but also a site of critical knowledge production. We do not only ask what we can know, but how we can know."

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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