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BA East Asian Studies with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

East Asian Studies provides students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the East Asian region, with a focus on China and Japan, through studying its cultures, histories, societies, economics and politics. Students will gain a critical appreciation of the complex contemporary realities in East Asian countries as well as the changing position of these countries in an ever-changing international context. Students in the programme will spend a year as exchange students in universities in Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore or universities in other countries offering East Asian Studies courses. For the year abroad, students may be able to spend their time in two different countries (one country in the first semester, another in the second).
  • East Asian Studies is offered as Single Honours. The degree is four years in length.
  • Courses are taught in English, although the degree is open to students who already have proficiency in one or more East Asian languages.
  • Students have the option of studying Chinese, Korean or Japanese language, or Chinese or Japanese Studies as a Minor.
  • First year modules introduce students to key methodologies for studying East Asia as well as core knowledge about Chinese and Japanese geography, history, society, culture, economics and politics.
  • Students can tailor their degree to suit their interests and professional ambitions from the second year on, choosing from a wide range of courses on topics including language, contemporary art, literature, religion and media, popular culture, business, anthropology, history, economics and politics.


This course aims to provide students with the in-depth knowledge and critical tools they need to understand East Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as an appreciation of the major historical events and social movements that have made East Asian countries what they are today. East Asia is studied both as an economically connected region with overlapping histories, languages and cultural identities and as a diverse group of countries and peoples with divergent political systems and contemporary cultures.

By the end of their degree, students will posses the socio-cultural understanding and analytical skills needed to embark upon more long-term professional or academic engagements with the East Asian region, and will have acquired a more international perspective on the world as it stands today and as it has developed over the course of history. In particular, the experience of year abroad will prepare students for citizenship and leadership in diverse, global environments. Students also have the option of learning some Chinese, Japanese or Korean language as part of their studies, although East Asian Studies is not a language-intensive degree programme.

Course unit details

 Course content for year 1
  • Single Honours students study between 80 and 120 credits in East Asian Studies.
  • Compulsory modules consist of Introduction to Chinese Studies, Introduction to Japanese Studies, Empire and Culture in East Asia, Modern Chinese Literature and History and Civilisation of Japan.
  • Students also have the option of studying a 40-credit Minor in another subject within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, including in Chinese or Japanese Studies.

Course content for year 2

  • You can choose from a range of courses on various aspects of East Asia taught across the Faculty of Humanities, including language, politics, business, economics, history, literature, anthropology, society, art and science.
  • Course options include Visual Cultures in China and East Asia, Science and Civilization in East Asia, Modern Chinese Literature, Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics.

Course content for year 3

  • Students spend their 3rd year following an approved full time programme of study at one or two of our partner institutions.

Course content for year 4

  • In your final year students will continue developing their interests and can either continue with a similar range of subjects to their second year or branch out into new disciplines and topics. Third year courses are offered on cutting-edge topics such as Chinese Pop Culture and Media, Buddhism in Japan, The Environment in Chinese Literature and Film and Bodies, Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan.
  • Students are also encouraged to take free choice level 3 course options related to East Asia within History, Sociology, Business, Economics, Religion and Screen Studies.

Disability support

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