Created in 1987 with the kind support of the Korea Research Foundation, and subsequently the Korea Foundation, the Centre has been the leading academic centre of its kind in Great Britain since its establishment. It coordinates work done on Korea in various departments of the School, and offers expert knowledge and advice on Korea to interested outside parties.
The Centre oversees programmes at the BA, MA, and MPhil/PhD level in Korean Studies. With growing numbers of students and PhD candidates in Korean studies and studies related to Korea (also outside SOAS in other colleges of the University of London), the Centre has become a forum where research in progress can be presented and discussed in front of an informed audience. The Centre also hosts visiting scholars who are working on projects relevant to the Centre.
One of the main activities of the Centre is the ongoing Seminar Series. Speakers and scholars from around the world who are engaged in diverse fields of work related to Korea are invited to speak at the seminars, which are held regularly during the academic year.
The Centre also acts as host to workshops and conferences organised by Korean studies associations such as the British Association of Korean Studies (BAKS) and the Association of Korean Studies in Europe (AKSE).
The Centre publishes an annual newsletter, Korea at SOAS, which reports the activities of the Centre and its member and lists past and forthcoming events in SOAS.