- Chinese Studies
- East Asian Studies
- History, Arts and Culture of Asia
- Japanese Studies
- Korean Studies
- Politics, Society and Economy of Asia
- South Asian Studies
- Southeast Asian Studies
Depending on your background and interests, in the Master’s programmes in Asian Studies you will be able to deepen and broaden your knowledge of Asia as a whole or one of the regions within Asia. You will be able to focus on acquiring in-depth knowledge of the history, language and culture of Asian societies, or the contemporary developments in the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing region.
In your course you will benefit from the breadth and depth of Asian studies research in Leiden, which is unparalleled in the Netherlands and combines the very best of Asia-related research in North-West Europe.
The different specialisations offered within this programme cater for students both with and without prior proficiency in one or more Asian languages.
Both the two-year and one-year MA programmes in Asian Studies offer further specialisation in a country, region, or aspect of Asia. This structure allows us to accommodate students with diverse undergraduate backgrounds, objectives and expectations.
Thematic specialisations on Asia
These one-year specialisations each focus on a thematic approach to Asian Studies. These specialisations do not require prior knowledge of a relevant language, although students have the option of making a start with learning one of the many Asian languages taught at Leiden University.
History, Arts and Culture of Asia is for students interested in humanities approaches to pre-modern, modern or contemporary Asia. Expertise in Leiden on modern Asia covers all Asian regions.
Politics, Society and Economy of Asia is intended for students interested in social science approaches to modern or contemporary Asia. Students are free to choose a specific region or to cover all Asian regions.
Specialisations on South Asia, Southeast Asia
These one-year specialisations each focus on a particular region of Asian Studies. These specialisations do not require prior knowledge of a relevant language, although some individual courses require knowledge of a classical or modern Asian language. Students have the option of making a start with learning one of the many Asian languages taught at Leiden University.
South Asian Studies is for students interested in pre-modern, modern or contemporary South Asia, in fields such as history, literature or religious studies. The focus of the programme is on India and Sri Lanka.
Southeast Asian Studies is for students interested in one or more aspects of Southeast Asia, such as history, literature or religious studies. Expertise in Leiden is concentrated on Indonesia, but also covers the other Southeast Asian countries.
Specialisations on China, Japan, Korea
These specialisations offer the possibility for in depth study of one of the countries in East Asia. Contrary to the other specialisations, these specialisations require advanced knowledge of the relevant language.
- Chinese Studies,
- Japanese Studies, or
- Korean Studies
These two-year programmes are for students with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese studies, Japanese studies or Korean studies, depending on the choice of programme. The programmes emphasise disciplinary specialisation, and focus on developing fluent classical or modern language skills, with a year spent at a university in the relevant country. Advanced proficiency is required in the language in question. Students are expected to use primary materials in the language of their study when writing their MA thesis.
The number of places in the Japanese Studies specialisation is limited.
East Asian Studies
is a one-year programme for students interested in China, Japan, or Korea, specifically in fields such as history, sociology, philosophy, economics, linguistics, politics and international relations. Advanced knowledge of a modern or classical East Asian language is required. The programme is similar to that of the related two-year specialisations, with the advantage that it allows students to choose from a broader range of elective courses, including those on other Asian regions or countries than that of their specialisation.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated February 29, 2016