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Asian Studies (60 EC): East Asian Studies

Students with disabilities

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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).


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Introduction to Asian Studies 5
Thesis Class 5

Select one language

Chinese (choose one Oral/ Aural proficiency course and one Language Training)

Modern Chinese Oral/Aural Proficiency A 5
Modern Chinese Oral/Aural Proficiency B 5
Modern Chinese Reading/Writing 5
Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese 5


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


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

Elective (select 10EC):

Ecology in East Asia: Past and Present 10
Asia through Consumption 10
The Politics of Culture in North Korea 10
The State in Modern Chinese History 10
China's International Political Economy 10
Linguistic diversity in and around Japan 10
Chinese Linguistics: The Basics 10
Modern China: Political Participation in China 10
Sociology of Japan 10
Political Economy of Contemporary Japanese Capitalism 10

Second semester

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

Elective (select 10 EC):

Chinese Art History 10
History of Chinese Linguistics 10
The remaining two Advanced Modern Chinese languages classes (see above) 10
Topical Readings in Classical Chinese 10
The Cultural Revolution(s) of China 10
New Diversities in Asia 10
Democratizing Histories: Asia and the World 10
Crime and Criminal Justice: East Asian Perspectives 10
Image/Text in Pre-modern Japan 10
Colonial Modernity and Gender in Korean Literature and Film 10
Topical Readings in Korean 10
Research Methods HAC 5
Research Methods PSE 5
The Material Culture of Food and Drink: Interaction and Exchange between Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 10

More info

1-year Master Asian Studies : 2014-2015


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 one-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 fall (first) semester: Introduction to Asian Studies ( period I), and the Thesis Class (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. Students are permitted to choose one of the electives outside their own specialisation but within the Asian Studies Master to a maximum of 10 EC . In the spring (second) 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). Students of HAC and PSE tracks have a new compulsory Methods course in the spring ( their second) semester. Other MAAS students can take this as an Elective.

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. Students of East Asia tracks can only start advanced language courses in their second (fall) semester.

For students outside the East Asia tracks, a maximum of 10 EC beginner’s language course credits can be applied toward degree requirements. Students of HAC and PSE tracks have a new compulsory Methods course in the spring ( their second) semester.
MA East Asia Students can only count the Advanced Language credits that are a compulsory part of their program (15 EC) 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. 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