SOAS University of London

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

BA Korean (2020 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

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:
AAB - ABB
A Level language preferred
IB:
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements

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

Featured events

duration:
4 years

Convenors

Structure

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

In year 1, students concentrate on language study complemented by introductory modules on history and culture and academic writing skills. 

In year 2 students will take further modules on language and history/culture.

In 2020 year 3 will be spent at SOAS. Students will take further language and history/culture modules. From 2021, the third year will be spent abroad 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.

In year 4 students will further their language skills and take modules in history/stroke culture and write an independent study project.

Year 1
Core Module

This module must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study.

Module Code Credits Term
K100: Elementary Korean 155900842 60 Full Year

*Lifeboat Option: If a student is struggling with K100, they will move to Korean 1B (155906029) in the 2nd semeseter & write an extended essay (155901421), then move to the BA East Asian Studies Programme

Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below:

Module Code Credits Term
K-Culture 155901441 15 Term 2
East Asian Civilizations 155901464 30 Full Year
Reading and Writing East Asian Studies 155901439 15 Term 1
Year 2
Core Module

This module must be passed in order to progress into the following year of study.

Module Code Credits Term
K200 Intermediate Korean 155901472 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
East Asian Imperialisms 155901481 15 Term 2
K-Culture 155901441 15 Term 2
Introduction to Hanja 155901442 15 Term 1
Guided Option

Choose a module from Year 2 - List A to the value of 15 credits.

AND

Choose modules from Year 2 - List A or Central options (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) to the value of 30 credits.

Year 3

Year 3 of this programme is normally spent on your Year Abroad.  For information on the year abroad in Korea, please see the Teaching & Learning tab.

Compulsory Language Modules

Students choose modules below to the value of 60 credits

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Hanja 155901442 15 Term 1
Readings in Mixed Script Korean 155901443 15 Term 2

Guided Option Modules

Choose modules from above or List A (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) below to the value of 30 credits

AND

Choose further modules from List A (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) OR Central options below to the value of 30 credits

Year 4
Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 15 Term 2
Independent Study Project in East Asian Studies 155901483 30 Full Year
Guided Module

Choose a module(s) from Year 4List A to the value of 30 credits.

AND
Guided Options

Choose modules from Year 4 - List A/List B or Central options to the value of 30 credits.

Year 2 - List A Guided option modules

FHEQ Level 5

Module Code Credits Term
Gender in East Asian Literature (UG) 155901482 15 Term 2
East Asian Cinema (UG) 155901475 15 Term 1
Fieldwork methods in language and culture 155901417 15 Term 2
Year 4 - List A Guided option modules
Module Code Credits Term
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature and Film 155901390 15 Term 1
K401: Korean-English Translation 155901414 15 Term 2
The Other Korea: North Korea since 1945 155901356 15 Term 2
Readings in Mixed Script Korean 155901443 15 Term 2
Culture and Society in Traditional Korea 155901431 15 Term 2
Year 4 - List B Guided Option Modules

FHEQ Level 6

Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 1
Contemporary Chinese Society 155901478 15 Term 1
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond 155903011 15 Term 1
Identity and social relations in Japanese 155901418 15 Term 1
Japanese Traditional Drama 155901422 15 Term 1
Self, City and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Literature 1868 to present day 155901426 15 Term 1
Writing from the Margins: Voices of change in Modern Japanese Literature 155901427 15 Term 2
List B Language Modules
FHEQ Level 5
Module Code Credits Term
Chinese 1 A 155906022 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 B 155906023 15 Term 2
Chinese 2 155900829 30 Full Year
Japanese 1 A 155906026 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B 155906027 15 Term 2
Japanese 2 155900875 30 Full Year
Tibetan (Modern) 1 A 155906024 15 Term 1
Tibetan (Modern) 1 B 155906025 15 Term 2
Chinese 3 155901097 30 Full Year
Chinese 4 155901144 30 Full Year
Chinese 5 155901409 15 Term 1
Chinese for Business 155903010 15 Term 2
Ch 200 Intermediate Chinese 155901467 30 Full Year
Ch 400: Advanced Chinese 155901454 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 155901345 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 155901346 30 Full Year

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.

Employment

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

My advice would be: go for it! Especially if you are thinking about studying at SOAS because it is a great experience, not only for your CV but for yourself as well because [the] SOAS environment is really as great as the leaflets or the website tell you.

Sara Iannone, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”

Find out more