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East Asian Cultures and Societies (Language Pathway), MA

University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

University of Leeds

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MAFull-time1 yearSeptemberGBP 8000 per totalGBP 18000 per total

About East Asian Cultures and Societies (Language Pathway), MA - at University of Leeds

This interdisciplinary programme will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the politics, economies and societies of East Asia as well as allowing you to learn, or develop your knowledge of, an East Asian language.

Taught by leading researchers in our world-class facilities, you'll apply academic analysis to your experience of the region, or convert past training in another academic discipline to apply it to the Asian context. You'll also learn Chinese, Japanese or Thai at a level appropriate for you.

A wide range of optional modules will give you the chance to focus on topics such as business practices, the role of China or Japan in international development or the complex politics of the Asia Pacific.

Whether you're entering a professional career and want to gain regional expertise, want to build on your experience of living and working in an Asian context or you're preparing for further research, you'll gain an insight into a complex and fascinating part of the world alongside valuable language skills.

By choosing to study East Asian Studies at Leeds you will be joining a leading centre for research in the region, with over 50 years of history. In addition to the academic strengths that have accrued over this time, we have developed an extensive and active international network of alumni. Leeds is also home to very substantial and world-renowned specialist library collections.

If you would like to study East Asian cultures and societies without learning a language, you may be interested in our East Asian Cultures and Societies MA.

  • Course content

    A core module will give you an understanding of research methods in the humanities and social sciences, allowing you to develop your skills. This will culminate with your dissertation - an independent research project on a topic of your choice that allows you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you've acquired.

    Throughout the year you'll also undertake intensive language classes in Chinese, Japanese or Thai. We teach all three languages from beginner level, but if you already have some knowledge of a language you can study at a level appropriate for you, right up to advanced classes equipping you to use primary sources and literature in your research.

    To complete the programme, you'll select from a range of optional modules allowing you to focus on topics that interest you, from China's links with the developing world to political economy around the Pacific Rim.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Dissertation 45 credits
    • Principles and Practices of Research 30 credits

    Optional modules

    • Chinese Politics 15 credits
    • China's Development 15 credits
    • China and the Developing World 15 credits
    • Japan in the Discourse of International Development 15 credits
    • Japan: Politics and International Relations 15 credits
    • Political Economy of the Pacific Rim 15 credits
    • International Politics of the Asia Pacific Region 15 credits
    • Basic Chinese Language 1 30 credits
    • Basic Chinese Language 2 30 credits
    • Basic Japanese Language (1) 30 credits
    • Basic Japanese Language (2) 30 credits
    • Basic Thai Language and Culture 1 30 credits
    • Chinese 2A: Grammar and Readings 30 credits
    • Chinese 2B: Media and Communication 30 credits
    • Japanese 2A: Written Communication Skills 30 credits
    • Intermediate Chinese (1) 30 credits
    • Intermediate Japanese (1) 30 credits
    • Chinese 3: Translation and Composition 30 credits
    • Advanced Chinese Communication Skills 30 credits
    • Modern Documentary Chinese: Politics and Law 15 credits
    • Post-Cultural Revolution Chinese Literature 15 credits
    • Contemporary Chinese Literature 15 credits
    • Chinese Literature 1912 - 1949 15 credits
    • Chinese Language for International Trade and Business 30 credits
    • Japanese 3A: Written Communication Skills 30 credits
    • Advanced Japanese in Context 1: Politics and International Relations 15 credits
    • Advanced Japanese in Context 4: Literature 15 credits
    • Advanced Japanese in Context 5: Japanese Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in Historical Context 15 credits
    • Advanced Japanese in Context 6: Japanese Religion and Culture in Historical Context 15 credits
    • Advanced Japanese in Context: Culture and Identity 15 credits
    • Specialised Readings 15 credits
    • The Rise of China 30 credits
    • Show more

    For more information on typical modules, read East Asian Cultures and Societies (Language Pathway) MA in the course catalogue

    Learning and teaching

    We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Language classes may also include practicals and computer classes to develop your skills. However, independent study remains an important element of this degree as a chance for you to develop your skills and explore topics that interest you.


    You'll also experience a range of assessment methods, depending on the modules you choose. These may include exams and essays as well as presentations, project work and in-course assessment among others. Language modules may also include different forms of assessment such as translation tests.

  • Applying, fees and funding

    Entry requirements

    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.

    We will consider other relevant qualifications or work experience in exceptional circumstances.

    International qualifications

    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.


    How to apply

    Application deadlines

    UK/EU students: 4 September 2018

    International students: 28 August 2018

    It can take between four and six weeks to assess an application, so we advise you to apply as early as possible. Application deadlines for many scholarships are also much earlier than the application deadline, and you may need to leave time for arrangements such as visa applications or moving to Leeds.

    • Apply

    This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
    If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Documents and information you'll need

    • Transcripts of your degree and other relevant qualifications, or a partial transcript if you're still studying
    • We do not generally request references, unless further information is required to support the assessment of your application
    • Evidence of your English language qualifications if English isn't your first language
    • A personal statement of around 500 words explaining why you want to study this programme, how it will benefit your career and why you want to study the programme at Leeds in particular

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


    UK/EU: £8,000 (total)

    International: £18,000 (total)

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Scholarships and financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    This programme will suit you whether you're just starting your professional career, you're a mid-career professional who has lived and worked in an Asian context, or you're seeking to develop skills to equip you for further research.

    You'll gain subject knowledge as well as transferable skills in topics such as analysis, research, communication, presentations and cultural awareness. Language skills are also increasingly attractive to international employers.

    All of these are valuable in a wide range of professions across different sectors and industries, including business, public and third sectors. Graduates from our School have developed exciting careers in the UK and worldwide, as diplomats, educators, and policy-makers, to name just a few.

    The programme will also prepare you for PhD study, providing a good stepping stone towards an academic career.

    Careers support

    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.

    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.

  • Related courses

    Chinese and Management MA
    East Asian Cultures and Societies MA
    East Asian Studies MRes

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.

Language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component

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