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Asian Studies (60 EC): East Asian Studies

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).


Welcome meeting
All Master Asian Studies students are cordially invited to attend the welcome meeting on Wednesday 4 September from 10.00-12.00 hrs in the Lipsius building, room 028.
Classes start Monday 9 September.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Introduction to Asian Studies 5
Thesis Class 5


Select one of the following languages


Select one of the following language courses

Modern Chinese Oral/Aural Proficiency A 5
Modern Chinese Oral/Aural Proficiency B 5

Second language course Chinese

Select one other language course

Modern Chinese reading/writing 5
Language Training: Advanced readings in Premodern Chinese 5


Advanced Reading & Writing in Japanese 1 (60 EC) 10


Advanced Korean Language Training: Reading 5
Advanced Korean Language Training: Translation 5

Select one or more electives:

Modern China: Political Participation in China 10
New Diversities in Asia 5.0/10.0
Pre-Modern China: Topics in Chinese History (600-1300) 10
Chinese Linguistics: The Basics 10
Literature and Mass Media in Colonial Korea 10
Buddhist-Confucian Dialogue in Pre-Modern Korea 10
Sociology of Japan 10
Linguistic diversity in and around Japan 10
Democratizing Histories: Asia and the world 5.0/10.0

Second semester

Thesis Class (only for new students starting in spring semester) 5

MA thesis

MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15



Choose one of the following three courses:

Advanced Modern Chinese: Writing 5
Advanced Modern Chinese: Reading 5
Advanced Modern Chinese: Listening and Speaking 5


Advanced Reading & Writing in Japanese 2 (60 EC) 5


Korean Translation 5

Select one elective:

Asia through Consumption 5.0/10.0
Image/Text in Pre-modern Japan 5.0/10.0
Life and Work in Contemporary China 10
Topics in Chinese Linguistics 10
Topical Readings in Chinese (texts on premodern China) 10
The Cultural Revolution(s) of China 10
The remaining two Advanced Modern Chinese languages classes (see above) 10
Identity and Security in East Asia 10
Topical Readings in Korean 10
Areas and Policies 10
Geopolitical Imaginations in Korea 10

Meer info

1-year Master Asian Studies : 2013-2014


In the one-year Master’s program in Asian Studies you will be able to deepen and broaden your knowledge of Asia as a whole or one of the regions within Asia. The different specialisations offered within this program cater for students both with and without prior proficiency in one or more Asian languages. In Asian Studies, you may focus on a specific region, choosing between China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia. Alternatively, you may opt for an interregional, disciplinary emphasis, focusing on History, Arts, and Culture topics in the HAC specialisation, or on issues in Politics, Society and Economy in the PSE specialisation. The MA also has a special track Critical Heritage Studies as part of its History, Arts and Culture specialisation. The rich collections of the University Libraries in Asian Studies incorporate both the long textual tradition of Leiden University and the most up-to-date theories and approaches of history, literature, linguistics and the social sciences. Museums and other long-standing institutions in Leiden related to Asia provide much material for study. The 0ne-year Master Asian Studies specifically encourages in-situ internships as part of the curriculum.

Programme Structure

The master’s program in the one-year Asian Studies Master is divided into two semesters (each subdivided into two periods for some courses). Each semester consists of 30 EC. Students starting in September follow two compulsory courses in the first (fall) semester: Introduction to Asian Studies (sem. 1, period I), and the Thesis Class (sem. 1 period II). Each counts for 5 EC, 10 EC in total. In addition to these common courses, students take one or two courses that are specific to their specialisation – Core Electives. In addition and to a maximum of 10 EC students are permitted to choose one of the electives outside their own specialisation but within the Asian Studies Master. In the second (spring) semester students take one or two Core Electives for a minimum of 15 EC, or fulfill this partially by an internship, and write their MA-Thesis (15 EC).
For students who start in the Spring Semester the programme has slightly been adapted. They take their Thesis Class (5 EC) in their first (spring) semester and the Introduction to Asian Studies (5 EC) together with the other students in their second (the fall) semester, and also write their MA-thesis (15 EC) in the fall semester. In the spring semester they take 25 EC Core Courses and Electives and one 10 EC Core Course in the fall semester.

For students outside the East Asia tracks, a maximum of 15 EC beginner’s language course credits can be applied toward degree requirements. MA East Asia Students can only count the Advanced Language credits that are a compulsory part of their program toward graduation.

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed the 60 EC programme, including the MA thesis. The thesis is 15 EC, written in English and up to 10,000 words in length, including footnotes and bibliography. The Department assigns a thesis supervisor with expertise appropriate to the thesis topic. More details on the procedures regarding the MA-Thesis can be found in the course description.


The 1-year MA programme in Asian Studies offers the following specialisations:
History Arts and Culture , with an option Critical Heritage Studies
Politics, Society and Economy
East Asian Studies , subdivided into Japan, China and Korea tracks
South Asian Studies
Southeast Asian Studies