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Methods and Issues in Korean Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA students in Korean Studies who successfully completed the BA1 course, Koreaanse geschiedenis tot 1876.


This seminar introduces research methods and issues in various fields in Korean Studies through the examination of a range of texts and research practices. The seminar consists of five 2-week modules and students will follow all five modules during the semester. Students will register for a group, which has a maximum number of 20 students per each. Application happens on a first come, first served basis.

The five modules cover the following fields:

  • Dr. Chris Green / Sociologies of Modern Korea: This course uses a range of research articles to explore themes in the evolution of the post-war North and South Korean societies. As well as exploring the results, the course looks at the methods used: how do others go about answering questions about the driving forces of modern societies?

  • Dr. Se Young Jang / International Relations of Korea: What is IR (international relations)? How can Korea’s international relations be analyzed? This module provides a brief overview of major IR concepts, actors, theories, and methodologies. Then it introduces main foreign policy issues of Korea in a globalizaing world. By reading some basic literature about IR and participating in a group debate, this module also helps students develop their interests in IR-related topics which korea is involved in.

  • Dr. Jin Hee Park / Korean Linguistics: This module begins with an overview of major approaches to examine Korean language and goes further into research topics and themes closely related to each methodology. The course centers around this question: which component(s) of language structure and/or what aspect(s) of language use does a particular method facilitate researchers to investigate and how?

  • Dr. Elmer Veldkamp / Representations of (South) Korean culture: What is considered to be ‘Korean Culture’ by whom, and how are these perceptions shaped and maintained? This module will explore a range of everyday cultural phenomena and the way they are made to function as indicators of Korean cultural identity.

  • Dr. Bonnie Tilland / Korean Media Studies: This module provides an overview of Korean media cultures. Together we answer the question: How do shifting modes of production and consumption of cultural forms including but not limited to popular music, TV dramas, film, and new media/social media contribute to new understandings of Korea and its place in the East Asia region?

Each module introduces selected texts or practices and focuses on specific topics and approaches in the above fields. The core concern of this seminar is to investigate what some of the main debates in each field are, and how they can be approached through research. The seminar sessions consist of mini-lectures, class discussions, group and individual presentations, and film viewings (to be decided by the individual instructors).

Course objectives

Oral skills:
1. to make clear and substantiated arguments;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course;
3. to actively participate in class discussion

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to critically review and report both orally and in writing on this literature

Writing skills:
1. to write up clear and substantiated academic outputs;
2. to actively engage in key discussion concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of Instruction


Assessment method

The seminar consists of five modules that are assessed separately. In order to pass the course, students should comply with the attendance policy and fulfill all course requirements and assignments, which means that students should 1) submit all the assignments from five modules and 2) take a resit of all non-passing modules and pass them. The final grade is the average of the end grade of each module. Students need a passing grade (5.50 or higher) as the final grade in order to pass the course.


  • Assignments (oral, written): 100% (Each module (20%) x 5)

Specific instructions and requirements for the assignments will be communicated by the individual instructors.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 2 weeks after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Deadlines and extensions: if you foresee that you will not be able to keep a deadline because of extenuating circumstances, contact your instructor well in advance (at least one week before the deadline). For extensions beyond the end of the semester, please contact your instructor and the study coordinator and file a request with the Board of Examiners at least one week before the original deadline.

Reading list

Specific readings per week are listed in the course syllabus for each module.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: VRIESHOF


  • Attendance policy: a strict attendance policy is imposed. Missing more than three sessions during the semester gets you barred from further attending the course and your papers may not be graded. Any absences must be notified in advance. Dispensation from the attendance rule for extenuating circumstances can only be given following consultation with the coordinator of studies. (Dispensation from the attendance policy for extenuating circumstances can only be granted by the Board of Examiners.)

  • Deadlines are to be kept. Failure to fulfill the assignments counts as an absence. Late submission of final assignments may result in a grade deduction of 0.5 per day.

  • Students can make an appointment with the instructor to view the assessment of their final assignments within 2 weeks of receiving the grade.