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Asian Studies: Korean Studies (120EC)

Leiden University

Master Postgraduate Leiden

Course description

Qualification Master of Arts
Field of study Humanities, social sciences, communication and arts
Course summary This master's offers specialised and in-depth knowledge on the cultural and societal issues of pre-modern and modern Korea.
Course description The Master's in Korean Studies capitalises on Leiden University's position as Europe's leading centre of expertise on Korean studies. Leiden University opened the first centre dedicated to Korean studies in Western Europe in 1947. During your studies, you learn from scholars at the leading edge of research on pre-modern and modern Korea. Explore Korea from diverse disciplinary perspectives – at times using original source materials – from its religion and popular culture to its modern and contemporary history. Access the world-class resources of the Leiden University Library and its famous collection of Asian artifacts. Small classes ensure you have direct and quality time both with your peers and with your lecturers, who are invested in helping you reach your full potential. We encourage you to study part of your degree at one of our partner universities in Korea, such as the Seoul National University, Sungkyunkwan University or Yonsei University. * Leiden University's Humanities Faculty was recently ranked 25th in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking.
Study subjects The two-year MA in Korean Studies offers a large and varied selection of subjects with the freedom to tailor your specialisation.
Course objectives The objective of the Master's in Korean Studies is to equip ambitious students with the essential knowledge and skills to pursue a successful career in their chosen profession. The development of a high-level of fluency in the Korean language, a broad and in-depth knowledge of Korea, and the ability to think critically and analytically are key goals of this programme. Opportunities are provided for you to broaden your world experience and professional skills.
ECTS credits 120.00
Duration 24 month(s)
Language of instruction English
Instruction modes excursion, group discussion, lecture, literature study, oral presentation, research, research project, research proposal, seminar, tutorial, working group, self study
Accreditation NVAO

About the institution

Department Faculty of Humanities
Information about the institution High-quality education, a broad choice of programmes and all complemented with personal support make Leiden University the perfect option for successfully taking your studies to the next level.


Admission requirements
  1. Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.0 (Dutch grading system) for the entire bachelor's programme, and a grade for the bachelor's thesis of a 7.0 or higher (Dutch grading system)
  2. Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.0 (Dutch grading system) for the entire bachelor's programme, and a grade for the bachelor's thesis of a 7.0 or higher (Dutch grading system)
  3. Knowledge of the nature and role of as well as the ability to analyse and report on academic inquiry in the humanities or social sciences. You must have fundamental knowledge of pre-modern and modern Korea, knowledge of Koreanist traditions and understanding of disciplinary-methodological issues. Sufficient command of Korean (level TOPIK 4) is required. Please note that because an important distinguishing aspect of the programme is advanced language acquisition in Korean, this specialisation is not suitable for native speakers, and for students with a higher TOPIK level.
  4. A bachelor's degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor's degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Prior education must include completed components at the bachelor's level (which may include the thesis) equivalent to at least 30 credits on at least three out of these six disciplines: history, art, culture, politics, society or economy of one or more East Asian countries or regions.
  5. Your motivation should be demonstrated by a well-argued and structured motivation letter in which the applicant indicates why he/she wants to follow the MA programme, and shows clear understanding of the content of the study programme, specifically listing two courses of the current study programme (from the e-Prospectus) and explaining why these appeal to the applicant. The statement should be between 700 and 1,500 words.
  6. Good academic writing skills: the ability to write a well-structured essay/paper on a topic in the specific field of the specialisation in English.
  7. Good academic writing skills should be demonstrated by a Writing Sample. You should submit a 1,250 word essay as part of the admission process: * in this essay you must demonstrate a clear affinity with and specific knowledge of Asian studies in general and specifically in the field of the specialisation for which you apply, * specifically, the essay must answer a research question, provide an argument that demonstrates a satisfactory understanding of the topic of the essay.
Language requirements
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English C1
IELTS overall band 7
TOEFL computer based 250
TOEFL internet based 100
TOEFL paper based 600
Professional experience required -
Duration 24 month(s)
Application deadlines
Start date EU/EEA Students Non-EU/EEA students
1 Sep 2020 15 Jun 2020 1 Apr 2020
1 Sep 2021 15 Jun 2021 1 Apr 2021
Tuition fees
Year EU/EEA Non-EU/EEA Institutional
2020 (FT)€ 2143€ 18300n.a.

In short, the following rules apply:

  • The “EU/EEA rate” is the regular fee for students from within the EU/EEA.
  • The “non-EU/EEA rate” is the rate for students from outside the EU/EEA.
  • The “institutional rate” is for all students who have already obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree and who want to start a second programme leading to a degree at the same level or at a lower level.
  • Note that FT, PT and D stand for "full-time", "part-time" and "dual", respectively.

Make sure you contact your institution to find out what rate applies to you. The rates listed here are estimates.


Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme (LExS)

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Contact information for the study programme

Studielijn Universiteit Leiden

Contact information for the institution

Studielijn Universiteit Leiden

study info

Telephone number +31 (071)5271111
Course website More information about the course
Institution website More information about the institution