This degree is designed either to prepare the student for advanced graduate work in a wide range of subjects related to Korea or as an end/qualification in itself.
The programme explores the history, politics, art, music and literature of Korea, as well as providing opportunities to study the languages of the region.
The MA in Korean Studies consists of four components. Students choose one major course and two minor courses from the lists on the Course Detail page.
Students who plan to go on to further research can take a higher-level Korean language course as a minor.
Students take three taught courses and must also complete a 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)
- One calendar year (full-time) Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 15 credit compulsory module. You must take a further 105 credits from taught modules. Of the taught modules, students select 30 credits which will be their major, a further 60-75 credits from the list of majors/minors. 30 credits may be taken from the approved open options list.
As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students are required to select their modules from a minimum of three different disciplines, and a maximum of 60 credits may be taken in any one discipline.
List A: Guided Options (Korea)
Choose modules to minimum value of 45 credits from List A.
Of the 105 credits, students must select 30 credits from the same discipline as a major. Credits less than 30 credits will be consider minor only.
List C: Guided Options
Choose modules to maximum value of 0 to 30 credits from List C or from the central options list.
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 & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. 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. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module
- Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of Korea’s past and present, within the parameters of the modules chosen.
- 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.
In the two year intensive language pathway:
- Students will acquire/develop skills in Korean language to Effective Operational Proficiency level
- Students will be able to demonstrate awareness of the conceptual and communicative underpinnings of Korean and through this interlinguistic and intercultural understanding.
- Students will learn to communicate in written and spoken medium in contemporary Korean.
- Students will be able to engage with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, understand the role of different frames of reference.
- 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
As a student specialising in Korean, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of Korea.
Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
Hannah Kang, Georgetown University
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.