SOAS University of London

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

BA Korean Studies and... Combined Honours Degree (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2020 2019

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
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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.

We are unique in the breadth and depth of our regional specialisation and are home to the largest concentration of Korean specialists in Europe. The degree aims to serve both students with minimal Korean language expertise and also students who already have more advanced Korean language skills. Students have the opportunity to study Korean culture in depth, along with the study of Korean language.

Our rich and diversified expertise allows you to gain focused knowledge in the regions of your interest, both in their classical traditions as well as their contemporary developments, together with more or less intensive study of their languages.

Additionally, the nature of the Combined Honours Degree enables you to develop a specialist niche for yourself by studying another subject.

What subjects can you combine it with?

Other disciplines -  Development Studies, Economics, History, History of Art/ Archaeology, International Relations, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology, Study of Religions, World Philosophies.

Languages – Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Japanese Studies

Why study Korean Studies Combined Honours at SOAS?

  • we are home to the largest concentration of Korean specialists in Europe
  • you will receive an appropriate level of training in Korean language. We are specialists in the delivery of languages, your command of which will set you apart from graduates of other universities
  • 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
  • the combined honours programme allows you to develop a specialist niche alongside your Korean Studies degree by utilising the global expertise of one of our other departments

Apply now via UCAS or visit our upcoming Open Day.

Find out more about how to apply.

Find out more on our Japan and Korea department page.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

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, A level, or equivalent, is desirable but not essential.
  • 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

3 Years

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2020/21 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


Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


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 take 60 credits of Korean Studies, and the remaining 60 credits from their other subject in each year.

Year 1
Core Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Modern Korea: Culture and Society 155901429 15 Term 2 Not Running 2020/2021
Reading and Writing East Asian Studies 155901439 15 Term 1
Compulsory Modules

Students will take the module below:

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


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject

Year 2
Core Module

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

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


Guided Option

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


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject

Year 3
Optional Module

Compulsory Modules

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


Guided Option

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


Second Subject

60 credits are taken from the syllabus of the second subject

List of Modules (subject to availability)
List A (Language Modules)

Available to students depending on their language ability and subject to prerequisites (if any).

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Korean 1 A 155906028 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B 155906029 15 Term 2
Korean 2 155901404 30 Full Year
Korean 3 155900843 30 Full Year
K304: Introduction to Mixed Script Korean 155900844 30 Full Year Not Running 2020/2021
K301: Korean Readings 155901392 30 Full Year Not Running 2020/2021
K302: Korean Composition 155900722 15 Term 1
K303: Korean Conversation 155900915 15 Term 2
K402: Advanced Korean Composition 155900725 15 Term 1 Not Running 2020/2021
K403: Korean-English Translation 155901414 15 Term 2
K403: Advanced Korean Conversation 155901436 15 Term 2 Not Running 2020/2021
K402 Advanced Korean Readings II: Gender, Culture and Society 155901415 15 Term 1
K401 Advanced Korean Readings I: Nation Building and Social Transformations 155901430 15 Term 2
History of the Korean Language 155901434 15 Term 1
Grammar and Usage of the Korean Language 155901438 15 Term 2
List B (Non Language based modules)

Before selecting a module, students must first check that the module is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any prerequisites.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Cultural History of Tibet 155903018 15 Term 1 Not Running 2020/2021
H120 Introduction to the History of East Asia 154800229 30 Full Year
R110 Introduction to Buddhism 158000110 15 Term 2
R170 Introduction to the Religions of East and Central Asia 158000100 15 Term 2
History of Korea to the late 19th Century 155901433 15 Term 1 Not Running 2020/2021
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 2020/2021
Extended Essay in Korean Language and Culture 155900676 15 Term 1
Music and Japanese Identities 155901420 15 Term 2 Not Running 2020/2021
Fieldwork methods in language and culture 155901417 15 Term 2
Musical Traditions of East Asia 155800078 15 Term 2
International Relations of East Asia 153400078 30 Full Year Not Running 2020/2021
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 15 Term 2
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
Contemporary Issues in the Japanese and Korean Economies 151030020 15 Term 1
Finance in Japan and Korea 151030021 15 Term 2

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

Modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials, usually one hour a week of each. Sometimes, one follows the other in a two-hour bloc. Sometimes, the tutorial is at a different time or on a different day than the lecture.

Tutorials are sessions in which students are expected to present reports and take a lead in discussions.

Depending on the size of the class, some intermediate and advanced level modules are less strictly divided between a formal lecture and a tutorial discussion, and instead, the topic is briefly introduced by the lecturer, followed by a seminar discussion. Advanced level modules, which are usually taught in one two-hour bloc, often take this format.

The Independent Study Project (ISP)

These can be taken by final-year students only. Like the Special Subject dissertation, its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It too involves no formal classes and is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

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 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Programme Full-Time
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £18,630
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,385 £9,320

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


Studying this programme will provide students with competency in Korean language skills as well as intercultural awareness and understanding. Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of Korean, or to make comparative study with other areas.

Skills gained include:

  • a familiarity with the region through a combination of the study of language and culture
  • 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 Tokyo
  • Deloitte Management Consulting Ltd.
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International
  • NHK-Japan 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
  • HM Ambassador to Japan
  • Freelance Japanese Translator

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

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    Undergraduate applications should be made through UCAS.

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