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Doctoral Studies in East and South-East Asian Studies

The Centre started its PhD programme in September 2020. The programme is four-year-long (240 credits) and combines courses (60 credits) with a thesis (180 credits). East and South-East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary subject that focuses on present-day socio-political issues and developments and can include a range of topics concerning phenomena and processes in the region as a whole as well as in individual countries. The subject integrates theoretical and methodological perspectives from area studies with different humanities and social sciences disciplines. 

The PhD programme benefits from the Graduate School in Asian Studies, coordinated by the Centre, that offers workshops, courses, seminars and mobility opportunities

Every doctoral student is assigned a principal supervisor, who is a docent and employed at Lund University, and an assistant supervisor, who is to hold a PhD. The organisation of the individual doctoral student’s studies is detailed in an individual study plan drawn up by the doctoral students and the supervisors at the start of the programme. This individual study plan is to be revised on a continual basis and at least once a year.

For further information please contact the Director of Studies responsible for PhD studies Marina [dot] Svensson [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se (Marina Svensson).

For the general study plan see:
General Study plan in English (PDF, 318 kb, new tab)
General Study plan in Swedish (PDF, 306 kb, new tab)

Contact information

Director of Studies

Prof. Marina Svensson

E-mail: marina [dot] svensson [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se (marina[dot]svensson[at]ace[dot]lu[dot]se)

A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes in East and South-East Asian Studies if he or she

  1. has passed a degree project of at least 15 second-cycle credits in East and South-East Asian Studies or a subject of relevance to the third-cycle programme
  2. has completed at least 60 first-cycle credits in East and South-East Asian Studies or a subject of obvious relevance to East and South-East Asian Studies
  3. has very good proficiency in English and a language of relevance to the thesis project.

At the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology, the following courses are compulsory for all doctoral students.

  • Introductory course, 5 credits
  • Research ethics, 3 credits
  • Higher education teaching, 3 credits

You can read more about these mandatory courses on the faculty website

The Centre currently offers one additional compulsory course, namely Critical Perspectives on East and South-East Asian Studies HÖS006F, 7.5 credits.

In addition, candidates are required to take a 7,5 credit course on methodology.

The remaining courses can be taken elsewhere or designed after discussion with the director of studies, Marina Svensson, and the supervisor.

In addition to the compulsory course offered by the Centre, two other doctoral courses have been established:

Research ethics and fieldwork in an authoritarian context

Ideologies in East and South-East Asia: Legacies and contemporary developments

Carefully read the instructions in the announcement and note all of the materials that your application must include as PDF files:

  • CV/list of qualifications 
  • Cover letter 
  • Documentation of previous studies 
  • Documentation of language skills 
  • Academic papers/degree projects 
  • Any scholarly publications 
  • Project plan

For the specific instructions on how to write these documents, see Instructions for applying for a doctoral student position (PDF, new tab)

It is also recommended that applicants read the description of the research profile at the Centre before applying to the graduate program in order to obtain a broader awareness of the types of research carried out at present. It should, however, be noted that it is up to each applicant to define their own field of future research in the proposal submitted with the application. The topic of East and South-East Asian Studies is broad and can cover both regional and country-focused studies as long as it relates to contemporary issues. It does not include language studies or literature. Please also read the PhD study plan carefully.

You need to submit a personal cover letter (max 1000 words) where you among other things should address the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in applying to a PhD programme in East and South-East Asian Studies? 
  2. Why do you want to pursue such a programme at Lund University?
  3. What is your relevant academic background, formal qualifications, and strengths for this programme? 
  4. Are there any other qualifications you wish to draw to our attention for this PhD programme (such as work experiences, language skills, extracurricular activities, and experience of work/study in any of the countries in East and South-East Asia?
  5. How does your thesis topic fit the field of East and South-East Asian studies? 

In the obligatory research proposal (max 1500 words excluding references) you should clearly define the objective of your PhD research, and explain how it will contribute to the field of study you are interested in and to East and South-East Asian Studies more broadly. You should have a clear research question/problem and relate your research objective to research in your field of interest and indicate the theoretical perspective(s) you anticipate working with. The proposal should also contain a methodological discussion explaining how and what type of material you will work with. This includes reflecting on the feasibility of the study and your own qualifications, as well as possible difficulties and risks and how you propose to deal with them. Please note that the list of literature references that you include with your proposal is not counted as part of the 1500-word limit.

We will not offer any advice or comments on your proposed topics or research proposal, and supervisors are assigned upon acceptance only. The applicants are ranked based on their earlier merits as well as on the quality and relevance of the research proposal for graduate studies. Therefore, in order to be assessed, all the necessary documents (including earlier Bachelor’s and Master’s theses as well as other possible publications) must be attached to the application. We also anticipate interviewing those candidates who have been shortlisted.