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Asian Studies (60 EC): Politics, Society and Economy

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

PSE core elective courses (select minimally 10 and maximally 20 EC)

Sociology of Japan 10
Modern China: Political Participation in China 10
Nation, State and Security in Post-war Japanese Political Thought 10
Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia 10


Choose from the following courses with a maximum of 10 EC

The Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 5.0/10.0
BRIC: emerging powers and changing global relations 10
Democratizing Histories: Asia and the world 5.0/10.0
Chinese Linguistics: The Basics 10
Linguistic diversity in and around Japan 10
Eurasian Studies 10
New Diversities in Asia 5.0/10.0
Understanding China's Economic Development 5
Chinese Economy and its Institutions 5
Histories of Southeast Asia 5

Electives: beginner's language courses

Chinese I 10
Beginner’s level Japanese 10
Indonesian 1 Beginners 10
Hindi 1 10
Tibetan 1 10
Language Acquisition Turkish (beginner's level) 10
Language Acquisition Persian 1 (beginner's level) 5
Language Acquisition Persian 2 (beginner's level) 5

Second semester

MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15
Thesis Class (only for new students starting in spring semester) 5


Select two of the following electives (max 15 EC)

Life and Work in Contemporary China 10
Asia through Consumption 5.0/10.0
Image/Text in Pre-modern Japan 5.0/10.0
Practicing Modernity: State and Society in Soviet and post-Soviet Central Asia 10
Hands-on Research Experience in Museum Volkenkunde 5.0/10.0
The Cultural Revolution(s) of China 10
Environment and Development 5.0/10.0
Contemporary Indian Politics 5.0/10.0
Identity and Security in East Asia 10
History and Heritage in South Asia 5.0/10.0
Areas and Policies 10
Geopolitical Imaginations in Korea 10

Electives: beginner's language courses part 2

Chinese II 5
Beginner’s level Japanese 2 5
Indonesian Language 2 10
Tibetan 2 10
Hindi 2 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