Asian Studies

University College Cork

Asian Studies

Course Outline
The M.A. Asian Studies provides a global academic context for understanding the rise of East Asia from within and without, and equips graduates with a unique set of abilities to engage the cultural, historic, economic and political fabric of the region. Bringing together students from across the European Union, Asia and the world, the M.A. Asian Studies provides a collaborative space that appreciates the significance of Asia in our contemporary world.

Placed in Ireland, an outward looking, culturally diverse nation, and the last English-speaking country in the European Union, the programme equips graduates from Asia with the capacity to understand and effectively assess the rise of Asia in a global context. The multidisciplinary approach of the programme equips graduates from Europe and outside Asia with an unparalleled ability to navigate the multi-faceted challenges of the "Asian century".

The combination of content modules together with language training taught by our diverse and international specialists, prepares our graduate students for promising careers in international organizations, think tanks or multinational companies engaged with Asia in a variety of ways.

The M.A. Asian Studies is steeped in the National University of Ireland UCC's tradition of excellence in teaching and learning in higher education. It offers a range of taught modules in Asian Studies across several disciplines - including politics, history, economics, business, culture, religion, literature and linguistics - with further options including up to 20 credits of optional language study (Chinese, Korean, Japanese); up to 10 optional credits of relevant undergraduate modules and an option to spend a further study period in Asia. The course is designed to meet the different needs of a range of graduates with diverse interests in Asian Studies, Cultural Studies and International Relations. This course also serves as a preparatory course for students wishing to undertake a Ph.D. programme in Asian Studies.

The MA in Asian Studies may be taken full time over one year or part-time over two or three years from the date of first registration.

Course objectives:
· To increase understanding of Asia's cultural, economic and political significance in a connected world

· To equip students with an appreciation for East Asian history, philosophical thinking and languages

· To create the ability to engage the diverse social, environmental, class- and gender-related aspects of Asian modernity

· to provide the analytical tools for a successful international career in an Asia-related context

Programme Requirements:
Students are required to take 90 credits; Part 1 comprising 60 credits of taught modules and Part 2 comprising 30 credits (Dissertation).

Full-time (12 months) Students take 60 credits, normally delivered in Teaching Periods 1 and 2 (September to April), and complete the 30-credit dissertation in Research Period 3 (May-September).

Part-time (24 months) In Year 1 students take 25-40 credits in Teaching Periods 1 and/or 2. In Year 2 students take the remaining taught credits required (up to 35 credits in Teaching Periods 1 and/or 2 ). In Year 2 students also undertake the 30 credit dissertation in Teaching Periods 2 and Research Period 3.

Part-time (36 months) In Year 1 students take 15-30 credits in Teaching Periods 1 and/or 2. In Year 2 students take 15-30 credits in Teaching Periods 1 and/or 2. In Year 3 students taken any remaining credits required in taught courses (up to 30 credits) in Teaching Period 1 and/or 2, and complete the 30 credit dissertation over the course of this final year.

Why Choose This Course
East Asia's rich history, vast population and diverse cultures make it a fascinating area of study. Its growing economic power and influence also make it an important pathway to employment.

The M.A. Asian Studies provides a global academic context for understanding the rise of Asia from within and without. It equips graduates from Asia with a capacity to understand

and more effectively engage global, particularly Western reactions to the rise of Asia in international relations and multinational trade. It equips graduates from Europe with an unparalleled ability to navigate international organizations and multinational companies based in Asia and operating globally.

Bringing together students from across the European Union and Asia in Ireland, an outward looking, culturally diverse country, and the last English-speaking European Union nation, this programme provides a special collaborative space for considering the place of Asia in our contemporary world.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a Bachelor's honours degree with at least Second Class Honours, Grade II, or equivalent in one of the following areas: Arts, Humanities, Social Science, History, Business, Science, or Engineering. Applicants may be required to attend an interview prior to selection.

Applicants who do not meet the normal academic or requirements may also be considered following a review of their individual qualifications by the course committee. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

Prospective applicants should contact the School of Asian Studies at UCC for further information.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available at

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, available at

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

Closing Date: Non-EU Closing Date: 15 June

Open for EU applications, check rounds closing dates under
How to Apply - Application Date Weblink below.

How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
• Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
• Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
• You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
• Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.


1 year Full-time;
2 years Part-time; 3 years Part-time.

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours.

Lectures in UCC take place from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm.

Teaching Hours per week vary depending on module choices and language selection.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
What can I do after I graduate with an MA in Asian Studies?

Our graduates go on to careers in diplomacy, the public sector, state-funded and international organizations involved in trade and cross-culture communication, multi-national companies based in Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe dealing with Asian partners, Asia-based companies and organizations dealing with Europe, and a range of non-government organizations.

Occupations associated with an MA in Asian Studies:

An MA in Asian Studies is an excellent qualification to prepare you for a diverse range of professional fields.

Possible careers include:
· Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs
· International Non-Government Organizations
· Policy and Research
· Intercultural communication and consultancies
· Overseas trade offices
· Conference and exhibition managers and organisers
· Public relations professionals
· Teaching and other educational professionals
· Translators
· Journalists
· University researchers -Pursue studies further and register to do a PhD

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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