Asian Studies (research)

In Leiden University’s Research Master’s in Asian Studies, you may focus on a specific region, choosing between China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia. Alternatively, you may conduct your research with the primary emphasis on a discipline, focusing on such topics as politics, religion, art and material culture, languages, and literature, regionally or cross-regionally.

Reasons to choose Asian Studies (research) at Leiden University

  • Make use of an inherently comparative Area Studies approach. The programme not only encourages intra-Asian comparisons, but co-operates closely with Middle Eastern Studies (research). This co-operation is institutionalised, for example, through a common introductory course on Area Studies.
  • Focus in your studies either on a discipline, or on a specific region. Both approaches offer the opportunity to work extensively in primary languages, but do not demand this.
  • Take advantage of the renowned expertise of the Leiden teaching faculty, and explore both vibrant, present-day Asia as well as its historical past.
  • Asian Studies scholarship in Leiden has a justly deserved worldwide reputation. Its breadth and depth are not only unparalleled in the Netherlands, but represent the very best of Asia-related research and teaching in Europe and beyond.

Check out the programme in Asian Studies (research).

Master details

  • Graad Master of Arts in Asian Studies (research)
  • Onderwijsvorm Full-time
  • Duur 2 years
  • Start September, February
  • Taal English
  • Vestigingsplaats Leiden
  • Croho/isatcode 60841

A word from student Deirdre

Deirdre Sneep

“After my BA in Japanese Studies I heard about the Research Master’s in Asian Studies and I checked the courses they offered online. This research master’s focuses on doing research and also gives you a lot of freedom to follow the courses that you are interested in. I thought it looked challenging and I liked the fact that I could pick and choose my own track, so I applied.”

“During my years studying for the Research Master’s in Asian Studies (where my focus was on Japanese studies) I had the chance to develop my research skills and to interact with students from other areas and disciplines. During the course of the programme, I learned how to approach a topic from more than one perspective. At the end of my master’s, I applied for several PhD positions. Finding a position that suits you after your master’s degree can be a real trial, I can tell you that. After a lot of help from my professor at Leiden, I ended up in Germany, where I am now doing research that fits seamlessly with my master’s thesis. I was really lucky to be able to find a position like that!

My work as a PhD candidate is not so different from what I did as a master’s student in Leiden when it comes to the research. You need to be able to write decent research proposals, and you have to know your theoretical framework, etc., most of which I learned during my master’s. The Institute where I am now working also emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to research in East Asia, so it helped a lot that I was already used to working in an interdisciplinary classroom at Leiden. I always hoped to end up working in an academic environment, and I am glad I chose a research master’s to help me get where I am now.”

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