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COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The research master's in Asian Studies gives you access to Leiden University's leading expertise in the countries of Asia from their politics and literature to their languages.

Why study Asian Studies (research) in Leiden University?

Designed for high-achieving students, Leiden University's research MA Asia Studies offers access to unique resources and expertise. Asian Studies at Leiden University has a reputation for excellence that is unmatched in Europe. You can choose subjects from a curriculum that spans virtually the entire Asian region both in geography and time.

Flexibility to construct your own programme

You will be able to focus your studies on a region, such as China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia, or on a discipline, such as politics, religion, art and material culture, languages and literature, with the option to work with a primary language. A comparative, area studies approach to learning encourages a broader, contextual understanding of the issues at hand. The programme not only encourages intra-Asian comparisons, but cooperates closely with the Middle Eastern Studies (Research) programme. This cooperation is institutionalised, for example, through a common introductory course on Area Studies.

Field research in the Asia

An important focus of this programme is developing your ability to conduct high-quality scientific research. You also have the opportunity to conduct field research in a country of your choice in Asia.

Asian Studies (research) degree

Asian Studies (research) at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a research 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

The master in Asian Studies (Research) prepares you for a wide range of careers in which knowledge of Asia and advanced conceptual, analytical and interpretative skills are essential. Our graduates have pursued successful careers in academia and in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Experience and knowledge of Asia combined with advanced analytical skills are also in demand in careers in publishing, international trade, public relations, education, development aid, or in government, international organisations and NGOs. Leiden University Asian Studies graduates often find employment in Asia itself.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Freelance writer at a magazine and online platform Focusing on China
  • Teacher at Leiden University
  • Researcher and teaching staff member at Leiden University
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University
  • PhD candidate at a university in Asia
  • Junior underwriter at an insurance company
  • Area Manager Asia at the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion
  • Consular Officer at the Dutch Embassy
  • Coordinator, International Relations at Mima City Hall

Your qualifications

A research master from Leiden University is a qualification that is respected by organisations worldwide. You will be equipped to pursue a position conducting independent research at a high academic level, such as that of a junior academic researcher or a doctoral student on a PhD programme.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (14,47,386) per year
Application deadline

Expected April 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,

LEIDEN,

Zuid-Holland,

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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