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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. 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. Yoonai Han / Korea as Method: This module looks at different methods to study spaces in South Korea and the ways of thinking that the methodological choice entails. We will engage in case studies that examine physical and digital spaces in Korea of the past and the present, and reflect on knowledge production from and within Korea.

  • Dr. Steven Denney / Politics and Society of Contemporary Korea: This module examines Korea's political landscape and social dynamics in both democratic and authoritarian contexts. It emphasizes the significance of civil society, social diversity, and democratic pluralism, with a focus on immigration. The curriculum integrates the comparative politics literature with work focusing on Korea. Students will engage with social science theories, consider Korea-specific content and questions, and develop an understanding of some of the research methods used to study Korea today.

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


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 required assignments and 2) take a resit of all non-passing assignments and pass them. The final grade is the average of the end grade of all the assignments. Students need a passing grade (5.50 or higher) as the final grade in order to pass the course.


  • Assignments (oral, written): 100%


The resit consists of a second attempt for the final assignment of the module(s) which students failed.  For details, students are required to check the syllabus of each module.

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 have to be organized.

N.B. 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 MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • 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 may get 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 granted by the Board of Examiners after consultation with the teacher.

  • All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

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