SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

MA Korean Studies

One calendar year (full-time) Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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  • Overview
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  • Fees and funding
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Start of programme: September intake only

This degree is designed either to prepare the student for advanced graduate work in a wide range of subjects related to Korea or as an end/qualification in itself.

The programme explores the history, politics, art, music and literature of Korea, as well as providing opportunities to study the languages of the region.

The MA in Korean Studies consists of four components. Students choose one major course and two minor courses from the lists on the Course Detail page.

Students who plan to go on to further research can take a higher-level Korean language course as a minor.

Students take three taught courses and must also complete a 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic.



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.

Students choose three taught units. One of these units must be a major and two units must be minors. Students can choose all three units from List A or two units from List A and one from List B. No more than one course can be chosen from List B.

List A
Majors or Minors
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Topics in Modern Korean History 15PEAC059 1 Unit Full Year
Topics in the History of Traditional Korea 15PEAC053 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Topics in the History and Structure of the Korean Language 15PEAC060 1 Unit Full Year
International politics of East Asia 15PPOC251 1 Unit Full Year
Readings in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKC016 1 Unit Full Year
Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOC253 1 Unit Full Year
Majors together/Minors individually

These courses can be considered as majors only if both half-unit courses are taken together. Separately they will be considered as minors.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 0.5 Unit Term 2
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Literary Traditions and Culture of Korea (Masters) 15PJKH005 0.5 Unit Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in 20th Century Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 0.5 Unit Term 2
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea 15PARH059 0.5 Unit Term 1
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 0.5 Unit Term 2
Majors together with Directed Readings course/Minors individually

These courses can be considered as majors only if taken together with one of the Directed Reading courses in the Minors only list below. Separately they will be considered as minors.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Years of Radical change: South Korean cinema from the 'New Wave' to the new millenium 15PJKH009 0.5 Unit Term 1
North Korea since 1945: the rise and decline of an East Asian developmental state 15PJKH012 0.5 Unit Term 2
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 0.5 Unit Term 2
Minors only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Korean Advanced (Masters) 15PEAC018 1 Unit Full Year
Practical Translation from and into Korean 15PJKC002 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Korean Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy 15PLIH037 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Directed readings in Korean Studies A 15PJKH010 0.5 Unit Term 1
Directed readings in Korean Studies B 15PJKH011 0.5 Unit Term 1
Korean Language Learning and Teaching 15PJKC030 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
List B
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Basic Korean (PG) 15PJKC022 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Korean (PG) 15PJKC015 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Intermediate Korean (PG) 15PJKC013 1 Unit Full Year
Introduction to Mixed Script Korean (PG) 15PJKC014 1 Unit Full Year
Higher Intermediate Readings in Korean (PG) 15PJKC018 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese: Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (PG) 15PCHC010 1 Unit Full Year
Basic Japanese 1 (PG) 15PJKC008 1 Unit Full Year

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Students are exposed to a wide range of topics through participation in the seminars, general lectures and specialised workshops.

Lectures and Seminars

In most courses there is one 2-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or student presentation.

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.


The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.

Learning Resources

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
£7,985 £17,215 £3,993 £8,608 £2,662 £5,738


As a student specialising in Korean, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of Korea.

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 in both business and 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

SOAS is a unique institution not only through its degrees, but also through the diversity of people that you meet here. My department is more like a family, the teachers are warm and caring, and they know how to maintain our curiosity for learning new things.

Ana Luiza Olanescu


Find out more

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