SOAS University of London

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

MA Korean Studies and Intensive Language (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning


Overview and entry requirements

The MA Korean Studies and Intensive Language is a two-year full-time (or four-year part-time) programme. It is designed to provide Intensive Language training at different proficiency levels - depending on entry level - within a Masters programme in Korean Studies.

The MA Korean Studies and Intensive Language allows students to:

  • cultivate or further develop a basic expertise in particular aspects of Korean Studies.
  • choose modules that meet their own needs, with respect to their interest in Korea and future career plans.
  • develop their abilities to synthesize information, to think critically, to manage a complex research project and to present their results in verbal and written form.
  • achieve a high level of language proficiency.
  • master transferable language and analytical skills in order to prepare for a variety of potential future professional or research careers.

See Japan and Korea Department

Why study Korean and Intensive Language at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 1st in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in the UK
  • ranked 8th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2021 for South Asian Studies
  • SOAS is specialist in the studies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia
  • access SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

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May be combined with:

MA Korean Studies can be combined with the following Intensive Language pathways:



Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.  15 credits are allocated to the core module.

In the first year, students take 60 credits of intensive language instruction, 15 credits on the core module and 45 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad which gives them a further 45 credits upon successful completion.

In the second year, students take a further 30 credits in language, 60 credits in the discipline and a further 60 credits in the dissertation.

Across both years, students must choose a minimum of 45 credits of modules from List A (modules related to Korea) and a maximum of 60 credits from List B and/or List C (total of 30 credits), which includes language modules, modules related to other regions of East Asia and modules on Korea offered by other departments.

For students opting to take language acquisition modules in more than one language, a maximum of 30 credits of these can be at an introductory level.

Students will be asked to choose the module on which they will base their dissertation. The convenor of this module will usually be their dissertation supervisor. The module will usually be chosen from List A modules within the department, but after consultation with the programme convenor it may be possible to arrange for a supervisor from another department.

Please see 'Programme specification' below to download the PDF pathways specifications of the four-year part-time version of the programme.

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures has more information on the Intensive Language part of the programme.

All modules are subject to availability.


Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component
Module Code Credits Term
Connections and Intersections: Core Aspects of East Asian Studies 15PJKH025 15 Term 1

Modules from the list below to the value of 45 credits.

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Modules from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Korean Studies 15PJKC997 60 Full Year
List A: Guided Options

Choose modules to the minimum value of 45 credits

Module Code Credits Term
The Making of Modern Korea 15PJKH032 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature and Film (PG) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1
Korean-English Translation (PG) 15PJKH057 15 Term 2
List B: Guided Options (East Asia)

Choose modules to the maximum value of 30 - 60 credits from the List B.

Module Code Credits Term
East Asian Cinema (PG) 15PCHH051 15 Term 1
Myths, Legends and Folkways of East Asia (PG) 15PJKH052 15 Term 1
Gender in East Asian Literature (PG) 15PEAH014 15 Term 2
Fieldwork methods in language and culture (PG) 15PJKH045 15 Term 2
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Taiwan (PG) 15PCHH003 15 Term 1
Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China (PG) 15PCHH042 15 Term 1
Japanese-English Translation (PG) 15PJKH003 15 Term 2
Modernity, Nation and Identity in Japanese History (1853-1945) (PG) 15PJKH027 15 Term 2
Writing from the Margins: Minority and "Outsider" Texts in Modern Japanese Literature (PG) 15PJKH031 15 Term 2
Japanese Cinema (PG) 15PJKH058 15 Term 2
Contemporary Chinese Society (PG) 15PCHH054 15 Term 1
Contemporary Japanese Society (PG) 15PJKH060 15 Term 1
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese 1 A (PG) 15PJKH035 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B (PG) 15PJKH036 15 Term 2
Japanese 2 (PG) 15PJKC009 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 (PG) 15PJKC010 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 (PG) 15PJKC011 30 Full Year
J400: Advanced Japanese (PG) 15PJKH055 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 A (PG) 15PCHH031 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 B (PG) 15PCHH032 15 Term 2
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 30 Full Year
Chinese 4 (PG) 15PCHC012 30 Full Year
Chinese for Business (PG) 15PCHH027 15 Term 2
Ch400: Advanced Chinese (PG) 15PCHH049 15 Term 1
List C: Guided Options

Choose modules to the maximum value of 0 to 30 credits from List C or the central options list.

Module Code Credits Term
Political Economies of Northeast Asia: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOH061 15 Term 2
Comparing Democracies in North East Asia 15PPOH050 15 Term 2
International Security Politics in East Asia 15PPOH059 15 Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 15 Term 2
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 15 Term 1
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 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

The MA Korean Studies and Intensive Lnaguage programme allows students to develop in 4 key areas:


  • Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of Korea’s past and present, within the parameters of the modules and disciplines chosen, and on her connections to the wider East Asian region through the core module.
  • Students will acquire an advanced understanding of the theoretical and methodological tools of the relevant disciplines.
  • Students who choose to take language will improve their knowledge of and ability to use Korean in their everyday life and, depending on the level achieved, professional career.

Intellectual (thinking) skills

  • Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically from a variety of sources and how to resolve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations.
  • Students will learn the strengths and disciplines of particular disciplinary and theoretical approaches, cultivating their ability to draw on a variety of such approaches.
  • Students will learn how to design and manage an independent research project, formulating the problem to be addressed, identifying the data to be analyzed, and synthesizing the findings to present well-supported conclusions.

Subject-based practical skills

  • Students will learn how to read critically, to participate effectively in seminar discussions, and to present their work in both oral and written form.
  • More specific skills will depend on the particular modules taken.

Transferable skills

  • Students will learn how to access and evaluate electronic and other data effectively and efficiently.
  • Students will learn how to solve complex problems, for example concerning economic development, historical causation, literary interpretation, or political decision-making.
  • Students will learn how to communicate effectively in a variety of settings and formats.

Through their language study, students will:

  • acquire/develop skills in both written and spoken language.
  • develop a practical knowledge of rules governing both oral and written linguistic usages and multiple norms regulating intercultural communication, analytical skills (problem solving, formal operations), critical skills and creativity.
  • develop the ability to engage with people or texts from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, understanding the role of different linguistic or cultural frames of reference.

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