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Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

BA Korean

Programme Code: T415 BA/K Duration: 4 years

Overview

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2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: AAB
  • A Level language preferred
  • IB: 35 (6/6/5)
  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Minimum Entry Requirements: No prior knowledge of the language or the region is required.

Subjects Preferred: A foreign language at A level, or equivalent, is preferred

Interview Policy: In principle all mature students, candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications, Korean nationals, and 'heritage speakers' (i.e., Koreans raised abroad) are invited for interview.

In recent years Korean studies has developed into a viable and multi-faceted scholarly discipline. SOAS is committed to ensuring that, as the major centre for African and Asian studies in the UK, it provides an environment in which the full range of Korean studies can be consolidated and encouraged to expand further.

Degree Profile

The single-subject Korean degree is designed to provide a comprehensive overview and understanding of Korea and Korean culture by combining instruction in language, literature, and history. At the completion of their studies, students should have a strong command of both spoken and written forms of Korean. In addition to thorough training in the language, the degree aims to impart to its students knowledge of pre-modern traditions and the tools with which to interpret modern Korean society.

The degree offers a wide range of courses that include language modules (including mixed script Korean, composition, conversation, and translation), literature, pre-modern history, and modern culture and society. Students also have access to other Korea-related courses offered in other departments including art history and music.

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

In the first year, students concentrate on language study complemented by introductory courses on Korean history and culture. They are required to spend their second year at Korea University or Sogang University in Seoul, where they focus on intensive language training which is essential to any further study of the subject. The third and fourth years are devoted to applying and furthering their language skills through courses that involve reading and analysing advanced texts and literary works, through which they gain a deeper understanding of Korean culture and society.

Single subject students need to take a minimum of 12 units in Korean.

Year 1: Single-subject students normally take 3 or 4 units in Korean (Elementary Korean (2 units), modern culture and society, and/or premodern history), and/or 1 open option (i.e. a course in a subject or language other than those named in the student’s chosen degree title).

Year 2: This is a compulsory year abroad at Korea University or Sogang University in Seoul. (BA Chinese/Japanese and Korean students spend their year abroad in China and Japan respectively, not in Korea.)

Year 3: Single-subject students choose 3 or 4 units in Korean from mixed script Korean, readings in modern society, modern literature, composition, conversation, extended essay, Korean art history and/or 1 open option. Some of these units may be taught in other departments.

Year 4: Single-subject students choose 3 or 4 units in Korean from translation, modern literature, history and structure of the Korean language, advanced readings,  Independent Study Project (10,000-word essay on an approved topic),  Korean art history and/or 1 open option unit. Some of these units may be taught in other departments.

Single-Subject Korean

Students must take a total of four units each year.

Year 1
Compulsory Units
Choose 1 Unit

Choose one unit from the following list or an open option unit from another department.

Year 2: Year Abroad

For information on the year abroad in Korea, please see the Teaching & Learning tab.

Year 3
Choose 3 or 4 Units from the following list
Choose 1 Unit

If only 3 units are chosen from the previous list, a further unit is needed. This further unit can be either from the following list or an open option unit from another department.

Year 4
Choose 3 or 4 Units from the following list
Choose 1 Unit

If only 3 units are chosen from the previous list, a further unit is needed. This further unit can be either from the following list or an open option unit from another department.

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

Students spend Year 2 at Korea University or Sogang University in Seoul.

Teaching & Learning

Most units are taught in small classes. Modern language teaching involves classroom work and independent study. A few non-language units are taught by formal lecture. The single and combined degree courses are examined through oral and written examinations and coursework or reports.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources

Destinations

As a graduate who specialised in Korean, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. 

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

The best thing about my time here is that there has been a huge improvement in my language skills and I have become more aware of people from various backgrounds. 

Alice Yuen