Asian Studies

University College Cork

Asian Studies

Course Outline
Our Asian Studies MA at University College Cork provides a global academic context for understanding the rise of East Asia. On this programme we will equip you with a unique set of abilities to engage with the cultural, historic, economic, and political fabric of Asia.

This MA programme is offered by the School of Asian Studies at UCC and brings students together from all parts of the world, providing them with a collaborative space to consider the significance of Asia in our contemporary world. Our School takes a multidisciplinary approach and this equips our graduates, from Europe and outside Asia, with an unparalleled ability to navigate the multi-faceted challenges of the ‘Asian Century’.

MA Asian Studies is designed to meet the different needs of a range of graduates with diverse interests in Asian Studies, Cultural Studies and International Relations. We offer a range of taught modules in Asian Studies across several disciplines – including politics, history, economics, business, culture, religion, literature, and linguistics including the option to spend a further study period in Asia.

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.

Programme Details
The MA programme may be taken full-time over one year or part-time over two or three years from the date of first registration.

Course Objectives of MA Asian Studies
- 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 Content
Students take 90 credits total including 60 credits of taught modules in Part I and 30 credits in Part II (Dissertation).

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

- 1 Year: 12 months full-time
Students take 60 credits, normally delivered in Semesters 1 and 2 (September to April), and complete the 30-credit dissertation in Semester 3 (May-September).

- 2 Years: 24 months part-time
In Year 1 students take 25-40 credits in Semesters 1 and/or 2. In Year 2 students take the remaining taught credits required (up to 35 credits in Semesters 1 and/or 2). In Year 2 students also undertake the 30-credit dissertation in Semesters 2 and 3.

- 3 Years: 36 months part-time
In Year 1 students take 15-30 credits in Semesters 1 and/or 2. In Year 2 students take 15-30 credits in Semesters 1 and/or 2. In Year 3 students take any remaining credits required in taught courses (up to 30 credits) in Semesters 1 and/or 2 and complete the 30-credit dissertation over the course of this final year.

Subjects taught

Part I
Students take 60 credits in Part I, combining their credits from the options listed below:
AS6000 Transcultural Asia: Past, Present, and Future (10 credits)
AS6009 Intellectual History of Korea: From Mountain Gods to Sages (10 credits)
AS6215 Translation in Contemporary Japanese Culture and Current Affairs (10 credits)
AS6300 Film and the Study of Japanese Culture (10 Credits)
AS6400 Translation in Contemporary Korean Culture and Current Affairs (10 credits)
CH6032 Business, Innovation and Globalisation in China (10 credits)
CH6207 The Sinosphere: China in Transnational Asian Politics, Culture and Trade (10 credits)
CH6334 Ethnicity, Class and Gender in China (10 credits)
GV6010 Contemporary Global Politics (5 credits)
GV6012 Global Economic Policies and Institutions (5 credits)

Undergraduate Modules (Optional to the value of 10 credits - subject to approval.)
AS2002 Korea’s Modern History and Economy (10 credits)
AS2010 History of Japanese Culture (10 credits)
CH2010 Wars and Revolutions - China in the 19th and 20th Century (10 credits)
CH2020 State-Society Relations and Economic Reform in China (5 credits)
LC1101 English for Academic Study (10 credits)

Language Modules (Optional to the value of 20 credits)
In addition to the above, students may opt to take up to 20 credits in language modules at a level appropriate to the student's proficiency which will be determined by the relevant language tutor. Students may not take two modules in the same language at the same proficiency level. Applicants cannot study their own native Asian language (ie Korean, Japanese, Chinese). Students will be assessed on entry and directed to the appropriate class.

CH1001 Chinese Language (Mandarin) Level 1 (10 credits)
CH2103 Modern Chinese Business Language - Level 2 (10 credits)
CH2107 Chinese Language (Mandarin) Level 2 (10 credits)
CH3021 Chinese Language (Mandarin) Level 2.5 (10 credits)
CH3017 Chinese Language (Mandarin) Level 3 (15 credits)
CH3011 Modern Chinese Business Language - Level 3 (15 credits)
CH3020 Chinese Language (Mandarin) Level 2.5 (5 credits)

AS1501 Japanese Language Level 1 (10 credits)
AS1502 Japanese Language Level 2 (10 credits)
AS1503 Japanese Language Level 3 (10 credits)
AS1504 Japanese Language Level 4 (10 credits)

AS1601 Korean Language Level 1 (10 credits)
AS1602 Korean Language Level 2 (10 credits)
AS1603 Korean Language Level 3 (10 credits)
AS1604 Korean Language Level 4 (10 credits)

Part II
AS6100 Dissertation in Asian Studies (30 credits)
Note: Not all modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8), 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 under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 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 for further information.

Application dates

Closing Date: Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; 3 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 9th September 2024.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
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.

This is an excellent qualification to prepare you for a diverse range of professional fields and possible careers include: conference and exhibition managers and organisers; diplomacy and foreign affairs; intercultural communication and consultancies; international non-government organizations; journalists; overseas trade offices; policy and research; public relations professionals; teaching and other educational professionals; translators; and university research.

This course also serves as a preparatory course for students wishing to undertake a PhD programme in Asian Studies.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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