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.

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

The first semester consists of the core courses Introduction to Asian Studies and Thesis and Methods Class, both of which are compulsory for all students of the MA in Asian Studies. 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.

More info to be announced.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship/Study abroad options
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports
  • Oral presentations

Detailed programme

For a 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

Florian Schneider

"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."

Mark Rutgers


Mark Rutgers

“Many of our master’s students discover the quality of our programmes only after they join us. In the Netherlands, self-promotion is not a big part of our culture, yet Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty ranks alongside the most prestigious universities in the world, and is the established leader in continental Europe. What can our students expect from this programme? An education on par with the world’s best, with teaching by top researchers.”

Alumni: close-knit global community

“Your graduation from a master’s programme marks a new chapter in your relationship with Leiden University. Our alumni community is highly active in terms of network-building and development. They are valued by the university, and we support them with personal and professional development and free use of our facilities such as the Leiden University Library. This close-knit global community offers life-long support for all our former students in terms of reaching goals, maintaining friendships and expanding networks.”

Research: encouraging you to think beyond your own discipline

“Some of the most high-profile humanities research produced today is conducted at Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty. These faculty members are among a handful worldwide who can lay claim to such a depth and breadth of academic expertise. One example is our centre of excellence on Native American cultures, languages and history – a research group that is one of the best in the world. At Leiden, we can offer students expertise in most niche areas of interest. Our faculty members often work together across disciplines, and encourage students to think beyond the limits of their own discipline, which is where the future of innovative research lies.”

Careers: opportunities to develop your talent

Decisions made during your studies have a big impact on your future. We offer you many opportunities to develop your talents both within and outside of the classroom, including internships, study trips abroad, student committees, and minors. These opportunities help define your objectives for after your studies, and equip you with additional skills and experience.”

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