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About the Master's Programme in Asian Studies

This interdisciplinary programme aims to provide you with an advanced understanding of contemporary issues in East and South-East Asia so that you will have the knowledge and concrete skills necessary to understand and assess social, cultural, economic and political developments in the region.

You read courses that are general and deal with cross-regional issues but you also get the opportunity during the second semester to take an interdisciplinary course on a country or region in East and South-East Asia that you want to focus on. The curriculum enables you to specialise based on your regional, thematic, and disciplinary focus and to critically examine and discuss issues within the field of East and South-East Asia. During the fourth semester, you will have the possibility to travel to Asia to carry out fieldwork and collect material for your master's thesis.

In the programme, you will meet teachers who are engaged in both teaching and research and have broad experience in the region. We focus on the development of different countries but also study the region's importance in international politics.

As a student in this programme, you will:

  • Learn to analyse complex issues related to social, cultural, political and economic developments in East and South-East Asia.
  • Critically, independently, and creatively be able to identify and formulate questions and use appropriate research methods.
  • Gain the ability to work in an interdisciplinary setting and a multicultural international environment.
  • Gain the skills required for work in research, government agencies, international organisations or employment in some other qualified capacity.

When you graduate you will receive a Master of Science in Asian Studies degree.

Programme modules/courses

The programme progresses and the courses become more specialised over time, requiring higher levels of critical and analytical skills. Thus the courses are studied in the following order:

First semester

  • Introduction to Asian Studies (6 credits)
  • The Economic Transformation of East and South-East Asia (12 credits)
  • Political Systems, Governance, and Democratization in East and South-East Asia (12 credits)

Second semester

  • Region-specific course, choose between China, Japan/Korea, or Southeast Asia (15 credits)
  • International Relations of East and South-East Asia (7.5 credits)
  • Methodology in Theory (7.5 credits)

Third semester

  • Elective course 1 (7.5 credits) 
  • Elective course 2 (7.5 credits) 
  • Elective course 3 (7.5 credits) 
  • Methodology in Practice (7.5 credits)

Fourth semester

Master’s Thesis (30 credits)

For more detailed information on the courses please have a look at the Outline of the Programme page

Fieldwork in Asia

During the fourth semester, you have the possibility to travel to Asia to carry out fieldwork and collect material for your master's thesis. You can choose to do the fieldwork on your own or to be affiliated with one of the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies’ academic partners in Asia, currently Fudan University, China, Waseda University, Japan, and Thammasat University, Thailand 

Career Prospects for MSc Programme in Asian Studies Graduates

Graduates of the MSc Programme in Asian Studies have a number of career opportunities available to them. Many graduates continue to doctoral studies at universities throughout Europe and beyond. Some of our students work in government administration, for example, foreign ministries, embassies and various European Union and United Nations agencies. Others obtain employment in civil society organisations worldwide, for example, the Asia Foundation, the Red Cross and Oxfam. In the private sector, our graduates are employed as business analysts, consultants, project leaders, project coordinators, business developers, brand managers, company directors, freelance journalists and newspaper editors.

Programme syllabus

Download the programme syllabus in English (PDF, 177 kB, new tab)

Download the programme syllabus in Swedish (PDF, 177 kB, new tab)