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First year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester (Fall semester)

Introduction to Asian Studies 10

Advanced Chinese Language

Advanced Mandarin 1 10

Electives (select 10 EC):

China's International Political Economy 10
China's New Workers and the Politics of Culture 10
Comparative Asian Linguistics 10
Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5 EC 5
Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 10EC 10
Cultural Heritage in East Asia: Dealing with the Past in Present and Future 10
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (5 EC) 5
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (10 EC) 10
Pilgrimage and Holy Places 10
Pure Land Buddhism 5
Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts 10

Spring Semester

Year in China or Taiwan A 30

Second year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Fall Semester:

Year in China or Taiwan B 30

Spring Semester:

MA Thesis Asian Studies (120 EC) 15

Language Elective (select one of the following two courses):

Advanced Mandarin 3 5

Elective (select 10 EC):

Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese 5
Art and Power in China 10
China-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order 10
China and Global Cyberspace 10
Creativity and Culture in Contemporary China 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
Sinographics: Chinese writing and writing Chinese 10
The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (5 EC) 5
The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (10 EC) 10
The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage 10
Buddhism seminar 10
Material Culture, Heritage and Memory along the Silk Roads in Central Asia 10

Information on the year in China

Students spend a total of one year at Shandong University (Jinan, People’s Republic of China) as part of their Master’s program. The focus of the year at Shandong University is on language acquisition, in order to obtain at least HSK level 5 upon returning to Leiden. During their year in China, the students are also expected to do preparatory research for their Master’s Thesis.

Career Preparation

Important events and sites to develop future career skills

Master’s Open Day (Leiden University)

Skills that improve your employability are also known as:

Transferable skills

Future employers are interested not only in the subject-related knowledge that you acquired during your study programme, but also in ‘transferable skills’. These include cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning and argumentation and innovation; intrapersonal skills, such as flexibility, initiative, appreciating diversity and metacognition; and interpersonal skills, such as communication, accountability and conflict resolution. In short, they are skills that all professionals need in order to perform well.
It is therefore important that during your study programme you not only acquire as much knowledge as possible about your subject, but also are aware of the skills you have gained and the further skills you still want to learn. The course descriptions in the Prospectus of MA Asian Studies include, in addition to the courses’ learning objectives, a list of the skills that they aim to develop.

The skills we want you to acquire and that you may encounter in the various courses, perhaps in different terms, are:

  • Collaboration

  • Persuasion

  • Research

  • Self-directed learning

  • Creative thinking