Universiteit Leiden

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Politics, Society and Economy of Asia (MA) (60EC)

About the programme

The one-year master's in Politics, Society and Economy of Asia, 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 on which you will focus.

Programme structure

Courses (September start)
Course EC
Introduction to Asian Studies 10
China's International Political Economy 10
Automation, Justice and Governance in China 10
State, Economy and Politics in Contemporary China and India 10
Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 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
Japan’s Quiet Order Building Amid China’s Rise 10
Urban Ecology of Asian Cities 10
Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia 10
Hindi 1 10
Sanskrit 1 10
Tibetan 1 10
Indonesian 1 10
Introduction to Asian Studies 10
MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15
The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage 10
China and Global Cyberspace 10
China-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order 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
The Gulf and Arabian Peninsula: Power, Class, Mobilities 10
Ecofeminism in Island Asia and Oceania 10
From Welfare through Work to Work without Welfare? Japan’s Changing Welfare Regime in Global and Regional Comparison 10
Forgery as Historiography in Korean and East Asian History 10
Modern Japanese International Political Thought 10
Political Economy of Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
Political Economy of Southeast Asia (5 EC) 5
Cultures of Resistance: South Asia and the World (10 EC) 10
Cultures of Resistance: South Asia and the World (10 EC) 5
Contemporary Indian Politics (10 EC) 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia (5 EC) 5
Esotericism, Politics, and Global South Asia 10
Contemporary Japanese Literature and the Anthropocene 10
Contemporary Indian Politics (5 EC) 5
Hindi 2 10
Hindi 2 10
Tibetan 2 10
Indonesian 2 10

The first semester consists of the compulsory core course Introduction to Asian Studies that all students of the MA in Asian Studies have to take. You must also choose two or more electives specific to the Politics, Society and Economy of Asia specialisation.

Each of your electives are grounded in one of Asia’s regions and introduce the issues, debates and methodologies of a discipline within modern Asian studies. These disciplines include anthropology, media and cultural studies, sociology, development economics, politics, and international relations. You will also participate in a thesis research seminar class linked to one of your electives.

In your second semester you will again take one or two electives for a minimum of 15 EC, or fulfill this partially by an internship, and write your MA-Thesis (15 EC).

The curriculum of this programme consists of compulsory core courses, electives, a research seminar and an MA thesis.

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.

Florian Schneider

Researcher and University Lecturer

"During projects, I take the time to talk to my students, ask questions about their topic, and give as much detailed feedback as I can on their writing. Putting a large research project together is a lot of work, and it requires skills that most of us don’t have when we start our graduate studies."

A rewarding experience

"What I find  important is that students realize that it can be a tough journey, but that if you are willing to keep revising and improving your work, then it is also extremely rewarding to see all the pieces finally come together into a unique piece of work in the end."

Turning course work into a game

"I believe it is important to give students control over their own learning experience. We learn best when we find a subject fascinating, not because  attendance is mandatory or because a final exam is forcing us to study. For this reason, in one of my classes my students and I have turned the course work  into a game: you get to pick your tasks and decide how much time you want to invest in the task, and you receive ‘experience points’ in return, giving you the chance to ‘level up’ until you have the grade you yourself want. I’ve found that this really motivates participants, because they are the ones in  control of their education. To me, that’s what a university education is all about."

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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