This programme will give you an insight into the religious and philosophical traditions of East Asia, putting them in their cultural and historical contexts and exploring how they are changing in an increasingly globalised world.
You'll study the main traditions of Buddhism, Daoism, Shinto and Confucianism, as well as forms of folk religion and the encounter with Christianity and Islam. Using a range of approaches, you'll explore these traditions through the prisms of anthropology, sociology, theology and cultural and historical studies. You'll also have the chance to specialise in topics that particularly interest you when you select from optional modules. You even have the option to learn Chinese, Japanese or Thai, although we teach all modules in English.
Taught by world-leading experts in an internationally recognised centre for the study of East and South East Asia, this degree will equip you with an understanding of the religious life of this vibrant and fast-growing region.
We have an impressive variety of library resources to support the full range of your studies.
With over fifty years of acquisitions, the Chinese collection housed in the beautiful Brotherton Library is one of the best collections of modern Chinese books in the country. The Special Collections held in the Brotherton also contain extensive archive, early printed and manuscript material to help you in your research across areas such as theology and religious studies.
The University Library has impressive holdings of books in English about East Asia, its history and culture, backed up by a wide range of digital materials. Leeds also has state-of-the-art facilities to support language study - our fully equipped Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).
In your first year core modules will lay the foundations of your studies, introducing you to the study of religion as a whole as well as the different traditions within East Asia and key religious and philosophical texts. You'll also select from a range of optional modules: you could choose to learn Thai, expand your understanding of religion's role in society or explore the culture and history of East Asian countries.
Over the next two years you'll build on this knowledge, with core modules focusing on specific traditions and countries. You'll look at the religious landscapes of China and Japan and consider the roles of Buddhism and Islam across the region. Then you'll select optional modules allowing you to specialise in the topics that suit your interests, from the role of religion in development to modern Japanese history, Korean politics or even the status of Islam in the modern world.
In your final year, you'll also have the chance to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you've gained when you complete an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
This degree will grant you an in-depth understanding of religious traditions across the East Asian region, as well as their impact on the lives of individuals and communities. This cultural and social awareness will be valuable for a range of careers where cultural sensitivity is an important factor, from international business to media, teaching, politics and the civil service.
However, the programme will also equip you with a wide range of skills. You'll be a confident researcher who can work independently or within a team, and you'll have strong critical and analytical skills. In addition, you'll be able to communicate effectively both in writing and in person, as well as having strong organisational and time management skills. All of these are desirable to employers in a variety of industries.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
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