Asian Studies (Research)
For information on the structure of the programme see the tab “More info."
For information on the structure of the programme see the tab “More info."
Note: ‘ Semester 1’ stands for Fall semester and ‘ Semester 2’ for Spring semester.
Note that this prospectus is still in the process of being updated.
|Vak||EC||Semester 1||Semester 2|
Common Core Course:
|Critical Area Studies: Placing Your Research||10|
|Methodologies in the Social Sciences and Humanities||10|
Students are strongly advised to opt to take the Methodologies course mentioned above. By taking this course, they fulfill the requirement that they should take in total at least 10 EC of courses from one of the research schools over the two years.
Core Elective Courses
|LIAS PhD Seminar: Decolonisation in Academia||5|
|LIAS PhD Seminar: Listening and Hearing in Research||5|
|Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese (ResMA)||5|
|China's International Political Economy (ResMA)||10|
|Comparative Asian Linguistics (ResMA)||10|
|Cultural Heritage in East-Asia: Dealing with the Past in the Present and Future (ResMA)||10|
|Democratizing Histories (ResMA)||10|
|Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia (ResMA)||10|
|Histories of Southeast Asia (ResMA)||10|
|Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (ResMA)||10|
|Material Culture, Memory and Commemoration along the Silk Roads in Central Asia (ResMA)||10|
|Religious Syncretism and the Study of Southeast Asian Cultures (ResMA)||10|
|Topical Readings in Classical Japanese (ResMA)||10|
|Topics in Chinese Art History, Things and Paths: Approaches to Chinese Art and Material Culture (ResMA)||10|
|Topics in Modern Chinese History (ResMA)||10|
|LIAS PhD Seminar: Themes in Global Political Economy||5|
|LIAS PhD Seminar: Against Caste and Race: Identity and Resistance in a Global Context||5|
|Approaches to East Asian Cinema (ResMA)||10|
|China and Global Cyberspace (ResMA)||10|
|China-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order (ResMA)||10|
|Contemporary Indian Politics (ResMA)||10|
|Creativity and Culture in Contemporary China (ResMA)||10|
|Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants (ResMA)||10|
|Cultures of Resistance: South Asia and the World (ResMA)||10|
|Ecofeminism in Island Asia and Oceania (ResMA)||10|
|The Gulf and Arabian Peninsula: Power, Class, Mobilities (ResMA)||10|
|Hands-on Museum Research Experience (ResMA)||10|
|Oral Traditions (ResMA)||10|
|The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (ResMA)||10|
|Political Economy of South East Asia (ResMA)||10|
|Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia (ResMA)||10|
|The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage (ResMA)||10|
|Sinographics: Chinese writing and writing Chinese (ResMA)||10|
|Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts (ResMA)||10|
|From Welfare through Work to Work without Welfare? Japan’s Changing Welfare Regime in Global and Regional Comparison (ResMA)||10|
|Word and Image in Premodern Japanese Culture (ResMA)||10|
Second year, Semester 1
During the first semester of their second year students need to do research worth minimally 20 EC and maximally 30 EC. As the semester must have a total load of 30 EC, the remainder may be filled by taking another course at at least 400 level in the case research is less than 30 EC.
|Research Project (Fieldwork) (ResMA)||20-30|
Second year, Semester 2
In this semester students write their research MA Thesis.
|Research MA Thesis (Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies)||30|
The writing process is supported through a bi-weekly Thesis Writing Seminar
|Thesis Writing Seminar||0|
First or second year, Semester 1
Additionally, students can apply to participate in a series of extra-curricular lectures
|Beyond Discipline and Place in the Social Sciences and the Humanities||0|
|What's Next? First Steps in Crafting Your Career (MA)||2|
Choose two or more courses with a minimum of 20 EC in total from the courses on offer in the regular MA Asian Studies as listed below, or
courses from other MA programmes (levels 400-500) (approval needed from the Board of Examiners), or
Students may also replace Elective Courses by Core Elective Courses or courses from the National Research Schools (take a 600-level course instead of a 500-level course).
The courses listed are, in principle, open to all students admitted to the MA Asian Studies (research). However, some of them may have additional entry requirements such as, for example, a particular level of language sufficiency. Please refer to the course descriptions for further details.
|Vak||EC||Semester 1||Semester 2|
Specialisation courses offered by the MA Asian Studies programmes and specialisations:
Asian Studies (120 EC): Chinese Studies
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in Chinese Studies through the following link.
Asian Studies (120 EC): Japanese Studies
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in Japanese Studies through the following link.
Asian Studies (120 EC): Korean Studies
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in Korean Studies through the following link.
Asian Studies (60 EC): History, Arts and Culture of Asia
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in History, Arts and Culture of Asia through the following link.
Asian Studies (60 EC): Politics, Society and Economy
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in Politics, Society and Economy through the following link.
Asian Studies (60 EC): East Asian Studies
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in East Asian Studies through the following link.
Asian Studies (60 EC): Southeast Asian Studies
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in Southeast Asian Studies through the following link.
Asian Studies (60 EC): South Asian Studies
You can find information on course availability for the 2023-2024 academic year in South Asian Studies through the following link.
A special elective...
is the following course which aims at training the students in some skills particularly relevant if they want to pursue an academic career.
Advanced Language Courses
Students can also opt to take language courses at advanced level (MA courses, level 400-500), as part of their electives.
|Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese||5|
|Advanced Mandarin 1||10|
|Advanced Mandarin 2||5|
|Advanced Japanese 1 (60EC)||10|
|Advanced Japanese 2 (60EC)||5|
|Advanced Readings in Sanskrit Literature||10|
Another MA-level course open to ResMA students of the Faculty of Humanities as elective:
|Leiden Elective Academic Periodical||10|
BA-level language or other skills courses
Alternatively, students may take maximally 10 EC worth of language or other skills courses such as methods or digital humanities courses at BA-level (100–400), unless similar courses were part of the previously completed programme which gave access to this programme. See below for a limited list of available courses.
If they opt to take more than 10 EC of these BA-level courses, they will not count towards their degree, but listed on the Diploma Supplement as extra-curricular pending approval by the Board of Examiners.
Note that the number of available places for these (BA-)courses may be limited.
Note that this course is only offered in Dutch.
Note that some of these courses are only offered in Dutch and that if you choose to follow an elective in Japanese language you are obliged to follow all four courses.
|Actieve Taalbeheersing 1a: Conversatie & Luistervaardigheid||3|
|Actieve Taalbeheersing 1a: Kanji||2|
|Taalkundige Structuur: Grammatica 1a||5|
|Persian Language and Culture 1||10|
Digital Humanities Courses:
Courses from the Minor Digital Humanities:
|Information Visualization and the Humanities||5|
|Exploring the Past in the Digital Present||5|
|Special Topics in Digital Humanities||5|
Digital Humanities electives:
In these courses a limited number of places have been reserved for students of the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the MA Asian Studies (research).
|Digital Humanities and Digital Natives||5|
|Digital Media, Culture and Society||5|
|Introduction to Experimental Methods for the Humanities||5|
|Statistics for the Humanities (Statistics I)||5|
|Digital Text and Data Analysis||5|
Title: Master of Arts
Duration: 2 years, full-time
Start date: September
Language of instruction: English
Responsibility: Programme director Master Asian Studies (research), Dr. C. Strava.1).
This research master provides core training in an Area Studies approach to knowledge, opportunities for the development of disciplinary skills (politics, history, literature, philosophy, religion, etc.), and possibilities to build upon regional and language specialisation (such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, and Tibetan). Master students in Asian Studies develop sophisticated theoretical and methodological tools for scholarly reflexivity as well as tools specific for their research projects – which may be framed in more conventionally disciplinary and regional terms. They are guided to understand the parameters of the various disciplines and the ways in which they may be creatively combined into sophisticated forms of inter-disciplinarity, suitable to their subject matter. Students develop in-depth knowledge of one of the regions of Asia (East Asia, South or Southeast Asia, including Tibet), and/or a transregional/comparative perspective that tracks particular themes through their relationship with ‘areas.’
In the course of October, the students of the MA Asian Studies (research) are coupled with their research and thesis supervisor, one of the professors involved in the programme who (preferably) works on a topic of interest to the individual student. Together with the research and thesis supervisor, the student composes a programme which caters to her or his interest.
The programme consists of four semesters with a course load of 30 EC each. The courses have a weight of 10 EC each (a limited number of courses have a weight of 5 EC) and students generally follow three courses per semester. During the first year students have to take two Common Core Courses: ‘Critical Area Studies: Placing Your Research’ (Fall Semester) and ‘Methodologies in the Social Sciences and Humanities ’ (Spring Semester). The first one of these courses is obligatory for all students of both the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) and the MA Asian Studies (research) and attended by them jointly. The other one may be replaced by courses from one (or more) of the [national Dutch research schools in the Humanities.
Besides these Common Core Courses students take elective courses. The programme offers two kinds of electives: “core electives” and “electives”. Students need to choose at least two “core elective” courses (20 EC in total) during their first year. These core electives are courses which are also attended by regular MA students, but they aim at the same time at offering an extra intellectual challenge to the students of the research MA: during the course more challenging literature is read and extra tutorials are offered by the converners of the courses to discuss the literature read. Moreover, the assignments are assessed at a higher level to cater to the higher intellectual need of research MA students. Alternatively, students may opt to join LIAS PhD candidates in the LIAS PhD Seminars.
The remaining regular “electives” (20 EC in total) are courses attended jointly with the students of the regular MAs and lack the extra challenges offered by the “core electives”.
It is also possible to take courses from other programmes, but when students choose to do so, they need to obtain approval from the Board of Examiners first. Students should be aware, though, that for some of the courses a certain level of knowledge of a particular language is required (see course descriptions).
N.B. In the right column under files you will find a useful document explaining more about which courses can be replaced by which other courses.
Students are expected to spend the third semester of the programme on their research research project. They may combine this research project with taking a course of maximum 10 EC either in Leiden or at an affiliated institution.
After the students have finished their research project, they write their Research MA Thesis. The process of writing is supported by a “Thesis Seminar” which is offered bi-weekly. Students present their research during this seminar and discuss relevant issues with their peers.
|Semester 1||Common Core Course: Critical Area Studies (10 ec)||Core Elective Course (10 ec)||Elective Course (10 ec)|
|Semester 2||Common Core Course: Methodologies in the Social Sciences and Humanities or Research School courses (10 ec)||Core Elective Course (10 ec)||Elective Course (10 ec)|
|Semester 3||(Core) Elective Course (≤ 10 ec)||Research Project (≥ 20 ec)|
|Semester 4||Thesis and Thesis Writing Seminar (30 ec)|
In the first year the students start working on their individual research project proposal, while the research project itself will take place in the first semester of the second year. This will result in a master’s thesis. The thesis must be based on the student’s own research, including primary data. The fourth semester is entirely reserved for the writing of the thesis. During this semester, the students gather on a regular base under the guidance of Prof. Jonathan Silk in the Thesis Writing Seminar to discuss their progress.
In order to graduate, students need to have successfully completed the 120 EC programme including the thesis (30 EC) as part of that programme. The thesis should be related to the expertise of at least one of the members of staff involved in the programme.
MA Asian Studies (research) programme
Secretariat Vrieshof 4, rm 112a
2300 RA Leiden
Matthias de Vrieshof 4, 2311BZ Leiden
Witte Singel 25, 2311BG Leiden
Matthias de Vrieshof 4, room 112a
Phone +31 (0)71 527 2253
E-mail osz-oa-Vrieshof@hum.leidenuniv.nl Opening hours
Nicole A.N.M. van Os, PhD
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2937
Office hours: upon appointment through e-mail.
The introductory meeting of this programme will take place on Monday, September 4th, and start at 10 am (no endtime determined yet) in room Matthias de Vrieshof 4/005. Further details will follow later.
Directions on how to get from Leiden Central Station to the Faculty of Humanities.
Most rooms are situated at the Witte Singel Doelen-Complex, the location of the Faculties of Humanities.
You can find the courses for the academic year 2021-2022 and the detailed course descriptions in the Prospectus. Find your programme under Asian Studies (research) to view all courses on offer.
The timetables are available through MyTimetable. Here you can also find what courses start when. Some of them will start in the week of September 4th, others a week later in the week of September 11th.
Please note that changes in the timetable may still occur during the summer.
For information on the exam periods, (official) holidays, etc see the Academic Calendar 2023-2024.
Make sure to complete your enrolment no later than 31 August. For this you need to:
pay the tuition fees;
accept the offer in the online application portal;
hand in all required documents at the Admissions Office as per the instructions in your admission statement.
Once your enrolment with Leiden University is complete and you have received your Student Identity Number, log in name and password, you will be able to enroll online for all courses (and later for exams) through MYStudyMap. You may also want to have a look at this FAQ.To make sure your register for the right (version of the) course, make sure to read the item "Course registration" in the course descriptions.
To find out what books you will need for next year, you can visit the Prospectus. Here you will find the course descriptions of the courses you will be taking, with the required literature. Most professors use Brightspace for a detailed list of literature. As soon as you are registered for a course, you will have access to the relevant Brightspace module.
General information on the programme is available at the Asian Studies (research) (MA) website. You will have to log in the first time you visit this page. Once you have done this your cookies will enable you to enter this page further without problems.
For questions related to more general issues of registration, housing and other practicalities around your coming to Leiden and Leiden University, please, refer to the university's FAQ base.
For any other questions you may contact the student advisor, Ms. Nicole van Os.