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Master's Programme in Asian Studies

The Master’s programme in Asian Studies is a regionally-focused multidisciplinary program grounded in the Humanities and offered by the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies. It is designed for students with backgrounds in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Studies who wish to broaden their understanding of East Asia.

The two-year programme combines a wide range of content courses with advanced language training. Fields of possible specialization of MA research projects include translation studies and linguistics, literature, visual and performing arts, media cultures, cultural heritage and modern policies. Potential supervisors and their areas of expertise (109 Kb)

The programme consists of four semesters of full-time studies. During the first two semesters students take compulsory and elective courses (60 ECTS). The third semester (30 ECTS) provides an opportunity for exchange studies at another university in East Asia or Europe, internships, or taking elective courses offered at the Department and across Stockholm University as well as other universities or institutions of higher education in Sweden (or a combination of these three options). The fourth semester is devoted to the degree project, which entails writing a master’s thesis (30 ECTS). The thesis writing and all course instructions are conducted in English.

With its flexible programme format, the MA in Asian Studies allows students to tailor their studies in accordance with their interests or career ambitions. The programme prepares students for a diversity of careers in the public and private sector that require analytical thinking, deep knowledge of East Asia and relevant language skills. The students who graduate from the programme are also eligible to proceed to third cycle education in Asian Studies.

  • Programme overview

    First Semester
    The first semester comprises four compulsory courses in the following order:
    Issues and Approaches in East Asian Studies (7.5 ECTS)
    Cultural Flows and Political Relations in East Asia (7.5 ECTS)
    Scientific Methods and Research Ethics 7.5 ECTS
    and an advanced language course in accordance with an individually selected language track:
    Advanced Japanese I (7.5 ECTS)
    Advanced Chinese I (7.5 ECTS)
    Advanced Korean I (7.5 ECTS)

    Second Semester
    The second semester comprises of four courses, including two compulsory courses:
    English for Academic Research (7.5 ECTS Main subject area: English, Dept. of English)
    and an advanced language course in accordance with an individually selected language track:
    Advanced Japanese II (7.5 ECTS)
    Advanced Chinese II (7.5 ECTS)
    Advanced Korean II (7.5 ECTS)

    In addition, students have the opportunity to choose the following elective courses:

    Contemporary Cultural Politics and Identity in East Asia (7.5 ECTS)
    East Asian History (7.5 ECTS)
    Media Culture in Asia (7.5 ECTS)

    The elective courses are to be selected in consultation with the Director of Studies.  It is required that students take at least two of these courses. Students are assigned a supervisor for their Master's thesis project by the Director of MA Asian Studies who has prior to that consulted with potential supervisors at the Department. Students then begin their individual thesis tutorials.

    Third Semester
    The third semester provides an opportunity for exchange studies at another university in East Asia or Europe, internships, or taking elective courses offered at the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies, across Stockholm University as well as other universities or institutions of higher education in Sweden. It is also possible to combine all three options. Individual thesis tutorials with the supervisor continue throughout this semester.

    Exchange Studies in East Asia
    Students in the Japanese language-track can apply for exchange studies at Chuo University in Tokyo or Osaka University. Students in the Chinese language-track can apply for exchange studies at Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. Students in the Korean language-track can apply for exchange studies at Sogang University in Seoul. The application process begins at the end of the first semester. All questions related to the exchange application process should be directed to the Director of Studies.

    For more information on Exchange studies:
    Study abroad

    Internships
    Students interested in conducting internships are free to arrange placements by themselves. However, the selection needs to be approved by the Director of Studies and the Director of MA Asian Studies before the start of the internship. The Director of Studies provides a certificate stating that the internship will be awarded ECTS and that the student will have a supervisor from the Department. For more information students are asked to consult the Training Programme within East Asian Studies (143 Kb) guidelines, the Director of Studies and the Director of MA Asian Studies Programme.

    Elective Courses
    Instead of exchange studies or internship students have an opportunity to choose elective courses either offered at the Department and across Stockholm University as well as other universities or institutions of higher education in Sweden. The selection needs to be consulted on with the MA thesis supervisor and the Director of Studies during the second semester.

    Fourth Semester
    The fourth semester is devoted to writing a master’s thesis. MA thesis defenses are held in two rounds: in early June and in late August. For more information, please refer to the MA Thesis Protocol (255 Kb)

  • How to apply

    Selection process

    Additional eligibility criteria

    The selection to the programme is based on the following five criteria: the specialization and grades of the Bachelor’s Programme studied, the quality and topic of the Bachelor’s Thesis, the motivation letter explaining the relevance of previous studies in relation to the programme, the reference letter as well as an interview that, however, will only be conducted if deemed necessary.

  • More information

    MA Thesis Protocol

    MA Thesis Protocol (255 Kb)

    Training Programme within East Asian Studies

    Training Programme within East Asian Studies (143 Kb)

    Scholarships

    Scholarships and other funding options for master's programmes at Stockholm University:

    Scholarships

  • Meet us

    Meet our teachers

    A Range of expertise related to Asian Studies

    A broad range of expertise represented by our faculty members encompass diverse topics and approaches related to Asian Studies and include:

    Jaqueline Berndt, Professor

    Topics: Visual arts/aesthetic culture in Asia (19th – 21st centuries: graphic arts, filmic media), manga/comics, anime and animation

    Approaches: Media Studies; Art Theory/Aesthetics; Museum/Exhibition Studies

    Other supervision areas: Film Studies, Intermediality Studies, Narratology, Gender Studies, Queer Studies, Intersectionality Studies, Cultural Studies, Game Studies

    Monika Gänssbauer, Professor

    Topics: Sinophone and Hong Kong literature, translation in theory and practice, Confucianism and popular belief in China

    Approaches: Sinological, Philological, Translation Studies

    Other supervision areas: Chinese-European intercultural relations

    Sonja Häussler, Professor

    Topics: pre-modern, modern and contemporary Korean literature; intellectual history; cultural heritage policies in the East Asian regional context

    Approaches: textual analysis, comparative literature, historico-cultural approach, critical heritage studies

    Other supervision areas: cultural memory and identity; local and regional culture  

    Stina Jelbring, Associate Professor

    Topics: classical Japanese literature

    Approaches: metaphor theory, translation studies, philology, close reading, stylistics

    Other supervision areas: modern and premodern Japanese literature, Japanese script, ancient Japanese history and culture

    Gabriel Jonsson, Associate Professor/Docent

    Topics: Korean politics and economics

    Approaches: social science and qualitative methods

    Other supervision areas: Japanese-Korean Relations, Chinese politics

    Eunah Kim, Lecturer

    Topics: Modern Korean literature, contemporary South Korean women’s literature (prose and fiction), literary translation

    Approaches: Koreanlogy, narratology, translation studies, gender studies

    Other supervision areas: Korean popular culture, contemporary South Korean society

    Gunnar Jinmei Linder, Associate Professor

    Topics: Performative arts, with a special focus on pre-Meiji performative arts, aesthetics, cultural history.

    Approaches: Text studies, including philological studies, but also using a theory of semiology in music (J. J. Nattiez’s tripartitional approach), as well as theories of performativity in music and performance theory.

    Other supervision areas: pedagogics/education; inter-cultural communication and understanding.

    Mitsuyo Kuwano Lidén, Lecturer

    Topics: Japanese linguistics (modern Japanese grammar, especially in demonstratives; Japanese pedagogical grammar within syntax, semantics and pragmatics), foreign language acquisition, Japanese language education

    Approaches: cognitive linguistics, contrastive linguistics, corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics

    Other supervision areas: translation

    Ewa Machotka, Associate Professor/Docent

    Topics: art and visual culture of Japan (mainly early-modern culture and contemporary art),

    Approaches: global art history (incl. Postcolonialism, Orientalism, Japonism, nationalism), social art history, gender art history, ecocriticism and environmental art history,

    Other supervision areas: socially engaged artistic practices; gender art history (images of women in early modern and modern printed culture), and art historiography (art theory, exhibiting practices), multimodality and text-image relationships in premodern Japanese culture.

    Irmy Schweiger, Professor

    Topics: modern & contemporary literature & culture of China and Taiwan

    Approaches: memory, gender, urban studies; social history, inter- and transcultural studies

    Other supervision areas: Sino-European studies, historiography, film and theater, world literature, exile

  • Contact

    Do you have questions about the Master's programme in Asian Studies?

    Director of Studies (Japanese and Korean Languages and Cultures)
    Director of Studies (Chinese Language and Culture)