SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

BA Korean (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2020 2019

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Please note that this BA programme will undergo a structural reform for 2019/20. Although the overall scope and learning outcomes will remain mostly unchanged, there may be minor changes to the core module and the selection of guided options. These changes are designed to improve the student experience and engagement with the subject matter, based on feedback from current and previous students.

From the study of pre-modern Korean literature and history, to contemporary Korean cinema and TV. The BA Korean programme provides students with the highest level of competence in all aspects of the written and spoken language, as well as an introduction to both classical and modern Korean culture, and is suitable for both absolute beginners as well as those with some knowledge of the Korean language. Students will spend the second year of study in Korea furthering language proficiency and understanding of the local business practices and culture.

Why study Korean at SOAS?

  • we are home to the largest concentration of Korean specialists in Europe
  • you will not only learn the essential language skills but also an in depth understanding of the region’s culture covering subjects from literature, history, cinema, and politics
  • you will spend your second year in Korea furthering language and cultural proficiency
  • you will be able to flexibly structure your programme using our Open Options modules to take advantage of the expertise of our other departments
  • we are specialists in the delivery of more that forty African and Asian languages. Your command of a language will set you apart from graduates of other universities

Apply now via UCAS or visit our upcoming Open Day.

Find out more about how to apply.

Programme Code: T415 BA/K

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

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: Mature students, candidates with non-standard qualifications, Korean nationals, and heritage speakers (i.e., Korean raised abroad) who meet the academic requirements may be invited for interview.
A Levels:
A Level language preferred
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements


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

Featured events

4 years

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2019/20 entrants. 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 Undergraduate Tuition Fees page



Students take 120 credits per year composed of core and optional modules, which allows for students to design their own intellectual journey while maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals. Students must take a minimum of 360 credits in core Korean modules.

In the first year, students concentrate on language study complemented by introductory modules on Korean history and culture. This includes 90 credits of Korean modules and 30 credits from an Open Option in another department.

You will then be required to spend your 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 modules that involve reading and analysing advanced texts and literary works, through which they gain a deeper understanding of Korean culture and society.

Year 1 (for students with no previous knowledge of Korean)

Students who have no previous knowledge of Korean take the following modules in their first year:

Core Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
K100: Elementary Korean 155900842 60 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
H120 Introduction to the History of East Asia 154800229 30 Full Year
Modern Korea: Culture and Society 155901429 15 Term 2
Reading and Writing East Asian Studies 155901439 15 Term 1
Year 1 (with previous knowledge of Korean)

Those with previous knowledge of Korean will instead take the following modules in their first year:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
K100: Accelerated Elementary Korean 155901435 45 Full Year
H120 Introduction to the History of East Asia 154800229 30 Full Year
Modern Korea: Culture and Society 155901429 15 Term 2
Reading and Writing East Asian Studies 155901439 15 Term 1
History of Korea to the late 19th Century 155901433 15 Term 1
Year 2: Year Abroad

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

Year 3
Compulsory Language Modules

Choose 60 credits from the following.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
K304: Introduction to Mixed Script Korean 155900844 30 Full Year
K301: Korean Readings 155901392 30 Full Year
K302: Korean Composition 155900722 15 Term 1
K303: Korean Conversation 155900915 15 Term 2

Choose a module(s) from above or List B1 below to the value of 30 credits


Choose a module(s) from List B1 below to the value of 30 credits

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits at Level 5

Year 4
Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Independent Study Project in Korean Language and Culture 155900795 30 Full Year

Choose a module(s) from List A below to the value of 30 credits


Choose a module(s) from List A or List B below to the value of 30 credits OR choose a module from the Year 3 Core Modules list above to the value of 30 credits

Guided Options

Choose a module(s) from List A or List B2 below to the value of 30 credits

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits at Level 5

List of Modules (subject to availability)
List A (Language modules)
Module Code Credits Term Availability
K401: Advanced Korean Readings 155900968 30 Full Year
K402: Advanced Korean Composition 155900725 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
K404: Korean-English Translation 155901414 15 Term 2
Readings in Korean Literature 155901415 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Readings in Modern Korean Society 155901430 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
History of the Korean Language 155901434 15 Term 1
K403: Advanced Korean Conversation 155901436 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Structure of the Korean Language 155901438 15 Term 2
List B1
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Management in Japan and Korea: Domestic and International Developments 151030023 30 Full Year
Cool Japan: Manga, Anime, Sushi 155901416 15 Term 2
History of Korea to the late 19th Century 155901433 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature 155901390 15 Term 2
Literary Traditions and Culture of Korea 155901389 15 Term 1
The Other Korea: North Korea since 1945 155901356 15 Term 2
1990's South Korean cinema: A critical Survey 155901401 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Extended Essay in Korean Language and Culture 155900676 15 Term 1
Fieldwork methods in language and culture 155901417 15 Term 2
Early Modern Japan 155901432 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Modern and Contemporary Japan 155901437 15 Term 2
Cultural History of Tibet 155903018 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
List B2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
State and Society in Traditional Korea 155901431 15 Term 2
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 15 Term 2
Identity and social relations in Japanese 155901418 15 Term 1
Japanese Cinema: a Critical Survey 155904000 15 Term 1
Japanese New Wave Cinema: Youth, Sex and Protest 155904001 15 Term 2
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 155903002 15 Term 2
Cinema and Performance in China: Critical and Historical Approaches 155903001 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 2
Gender and Society in Contemporary Japan 155901330 15 Term 2
Nation and Identity in Contemporary Japan 155901329 15 Term 1

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 60, 45, 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are taught over one term or the full year. It also shows which modules are compulsory and which are optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.

More information is on the page for each module.

Further Information

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

Year Abroad (LYA)

Students will be required to enrol in the Korean Regular Course for three terms, sit and pass the local examinations at the Korean partner university. Students will also be required to complete a particular level by the end of the LYA.

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 undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

Fees for 2019/20 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Programme Full-Time
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £17,750
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,385 £8,875
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2019-04-30 00:00

Undergraduate SOAS Global Leadership Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2019-01-31 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


Studying this programme will provide students with competency in language skills as well as intercultural awareness and understanding.

Skills gained include:

  • you will have gained competency in language skill
  • intercultural familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion
  • communication and presentation skills
  • analytical skills
  • the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources

Graduates from the Department leave SOAS not only with language 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.

Find out more about Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea Destinations.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

  • Bloomberg L.P
  • British High Commission
  • British Council Seoul
  • Deloitte Management Consulting Ltd.
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Korea Trade Organisation
  • Korea Broadcasting Corporation
  • Oxford University
  • The British Embassy
  • The British Museum
  • Wall Street Associates

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

  • Financial Analyst
  • Head of Production
  • US Marketing Executive
  • Senior Research Executive
  • Director of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Project Leader, Strategic Planning
  • Solicitor
  • Architect
  • Interactive Designer
  • Freelance Korean Translator

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


Find out more

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    Undergraduate applications should be made through UCAS.

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