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MA in Asian Studies - Korean Studies



What will I learn?

The Master’s in Korean Studies at Leiden University offers specialised, in-depth study of the cultural and societal issues of pre-modern and modern Korea.

Why study Korean Studies at Leiden University?

Leiden University opened the first centre dedicated to Korean studies in Western Europe in 1947. This centre has since gone from strength-to-strength, with academics participating in high-profile research projects around the world. The Korean Studies master’s, a specialisation of the MA Asian Studies, capitalises on this expertise in every way, bringing you a master's programme that is on par with the world's very best.

Explore Korea from a broad range of perspectives

This master's offers students an expansive curriculum from which to choose and subsequently customise their learning. Study South Korea from diverse disciplinary perspectives – at times using original source materials – from its religion and popular culture to its modern and contemporary history. Enrich your learning with access to the world-class resources of the Leiden University Library and its famous collection of Asian artifacts.

Study in South Korea

Two semesters of your degree will be spent studying at one of our partner universities in South Korea, such as the Seoul National University, Sungkyunkwan University, or Yonsei University. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in South Korean culture, language, and society, while developing a host of new skills that will prepare you for real-world success after your master's degree.

Learn from acclaimed researchers

Expertise on Asia at Leiden University is internationally renowned. This means that you will learn from scholars at the leading edge of research on pre-modern and modern Korea. Small classes allow for direct contact with these lecturers and the opportunity to share and debate your ideas with classmates. At Leiden, every individual counts, which is why all students receive one-on-one support and mentoring from lecturers throughout their studies.

Korean Studies degree

Korean Studies at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a master’s degree in Asian Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Career prospects

Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.

What our graduates do

Our alumni can be found working within multinationals such as banks, insurance companies, and government bodies. Others have followed paths into consultancy, management, journalism, PR and marketing, tourism, and education.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Secretary at an Embassy
  • Policy Officer at a ministry
  • Communications adviser
  • Coordinator of an Asia desk
  • Coordinator of a Korean trade mission
  • Export consultant on Korea
  • Junior policy officer, political and international relations
  • Manager of a translation and interpreting agency
  • Marketing Officer
  • Travel consultant on Korea
  • Sales manager Korea
  • Interpreter of Korean
  • Translator of Korean

Your qualifications

As a graduate of the MA in Korean Studies at Leiden University, you are qualified for careers that require a high level of fluency in Korean as well as highly developed analytical and information-handling skills.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (15,81,786) per year
Application deadline

Expected April 2024

More details

Start date

4 September 2023


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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