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Eerste jaar

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Eerste semester

Advanced Language Training: Reading 5
Advanced Language Training: Translation 5
State of the field seminar: National history, public memory and the politics of remembrance in contemporary Korea 10
Asian Studies Masterclass: Perception of space in Asia 10

Tweede semester

Jaar in Korea 30

Tweede jaar

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Eerste semester

Jaar in Korea 30

Tweede semester

Korean Translation 5
Topical Readings in Korean 10
MA Thesis Korean Studies 15

Meer info

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation


Successful completion of the programme equips students with:

  • an excellent command of Korean, and – for certain specialisations – a knowledge of Classical Chinese;

  • broad knowledge of Korea and understanding of its internal and external dynamics;

  • starting points for contextualising Korea within Asia;

  • the ability to comment on Korea from different angles (e.g. Western Europe) for both specialist and general audiences, and to act as cultural mediators;

  • understanding of the history of Korean studies and its current development, as well as its interfaces with various disciplines (e.g. Anthropology, (Art) History, Political
    science) and its social relevance;

  • understanding of disciplinary thinking;

  • good analytical skills;

  • understanding of concepts, terminology and methodology as dictated by regionaldisciplinary specialisation, as well as some experience in their application;

  • research experience: the ability to locate, evaluate and use source materials, professional literature and research methodology and techniques, as well as training in the oral and
    written presentation of results, both for monitoring purposes and for reporting in various professional settings.

The programme aims to raise students to a level of knowledge and skills that allows them to proceed to PhD research. Alternatively, graduates qualify for positions outside the
university that require an academic level of thinking.



In the first semester courses are attended in Leiden. The next two semesters are spent at
a Korean partner university. For the fourth and final semester students return to Leiden

First Semester
Much of the teaching in this semester overlaps with that of the research master Asian
Studies. The courses of the RESM Asian Studies deals with a number of important
cultural and cultural-historical subjects, such as ‘the West seen as the Other’ and also
such issues as globalisation and frontier cultures in Asia, and Asian philosophies and
religions. Language training in the second year aims at providing a command of Korean
and focuses especially on broad and practical applications for situations in which
graduates often find themselves in their professional lives; analyzing Korean data and
translating Korean materials.

The state-of-the-field seminar offers students specialist knowledge. This seminar aims to
acquaint students with the primary sources of, and academic literature about a subject
related to the complex interactions between historiography and various forms of culture
and religion. This may involve representations of history in literature, film, TV drama
and digital media, catering to different interests on the part of the students.

Second and Third Semester
Korean language skills are further improved by means of intensive contact with native
speakers in Korea itself. The second and third semester of the programme consist
of a stay at a good Korean university, where the emphasis lies on intensive language
acquisition. There is a variety of course levels. Students sign up for the appropriate level
on the basis either of recent scores in internationally recognised tests of Korean as a
foreign language, or of examinations held at the beginning of the academic year. Courses
are conducted entirely in Korean, with the obvious exception of translation from and
into English. Language pedagogy aims at giving students as much content exposure as
possible. For the language acquisition courses, the Korean Studies Programme of Leiden
University has entered into student exchange agreements with Korea University, Seoul
National University, Sungkyunkwan University, Sookmyung Women’s University, the
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Yonsei University.

Fourth Semester
In the final semester, again time is devoted to translation skills. A topical reading’s
tutorial assists students with the reading of Korean materials relevant to their thesis

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed the 120 ects programme
and have completed their master’s thesis as a component of that programme. The
master’s thesis should be based on a substantial use of primary material in the Korean
language and the relevant academic literature. Students are supervised individually by
staff members of the department. The thesis for the Korean Studies master’s programme
carries 15 ects, and as a rule contains a maximum of 17,000 words including notes,
bibliography and appendices. Also see: