SOAS University of London

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

BA Korean (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


Overview and entry requirements

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 - from the study of pre-modern Korean literature and history, to contemporary Korean cinema and TV. The BA Korean is suitable for both absolute beginners as well as those with some knowledge of the Korean language.

Students will spend the third year of study in Korea furthering language proficiency and understanding of the local business practices and culture.

See Japan and Korea Department

Why study Korean at SOAS

  • UK Top 10 in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Modern Languages
  • we are home to the largest concentration of Korean specialists in Europe
  • gain essential language skills but also an in-depth understanding of the region’s culture covering subjects from literature, history, cinema, and politics
  • spend your third year in Korea furthering language and cultural proficiency
  • flexibly structure your programme using our central options modules to take advantage of the expertise of our other departments


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 GCSE or A-level, or equivalent, is preferred
  • Interview Policy: Mature students, candidates with non-standard qualifications, Korean nationals, and heritage speakers (ie, 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




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.

  • Year 1: students concentrate on language study complemented by introductory modules on history and culture and academic writing skills.
  • Year 2: students will take further modules on language and history/culture.
  • Year 3: From 2021, the third year will be spent abroad at Korea University or Sogang University in Seoul, where the focus is on intensive language training which is essential to any further study of the subject.
  • 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
Contemporary Korean Society 155901480 15 Term 1
East Asian Imperialisms 155901481 15 Term 2
Introduction to Hanja 155901442 15 Term 2
Guided Option

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


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.

Year 4
Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
K400: Advanced Korean 155901473 15 Term 1
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.

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
Myths, Legends and Folkways of East Asia 155901460 15 Term 1
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
Extended Essay in East Asian Studies 155900854 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
Korean Cinema (UG) 155901477 15 Term 1
Culture and Society in Traditional Korea 155901431 15 Term 1
Year 4 - List B Guided Option Modules

FHEQ Level 6

Module Code Credits Term
Modernity, Nation and Identity in Japanese History (1853-1945) 155900882 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 1
Chinese Cinema (UG) 155901474 15 Term 2
Identity and social relations in Japanese 155901418 15 Term 1
Japanese Traditional Drama 155901422 15 Term 1
Japanese Cinema (UG) 155901476 15 Term 2
Murderers, Outlaws, and Magistrates in Traditional Chinese Literature 155901459 15 Term 2
Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China 155903017 15 Term 1
List B Language Modules
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
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

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.

Contact hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 60, 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.

Year abroad

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 Language Year Abroad (LYA).

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.



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

Skills gained

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


BA Korean graduates 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.


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


The 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

Find out more about Graduate destinations.

A Student's Perspective

Being a city girl, I thought life in London wouldn’t be too much of a culture shock but it actually was! London is very different from cities like New York or Tokyo. It really is one of a kind.

Hannah Kang, Georgetown University

Find out more