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MA Asian Studies (research)

Leiden University
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Start dates
September 2019  (English)
September 2020  (English)
September 2021  (English)

Program Description

MA student

Study an MA Asian Studies research program at Leiden University

In Leiden University’s research masters in Asian studies program, you'll focus on a specific region, choosing between China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia.

Alternatively, you may conduct your research with the primary emphasis on a discipline, focusing on such topics as politics, religion, art and material culture, languages, and literature, regionally or cross-regionally. 

Reasons to choose Asian Studies (research) at Leiden University

  • Make use of an inherently comparative Area Studies approach. The programme not only encourages intra-Asian comparisons, but co-operates closely with Middle Eastern Studies (research). This co-operation is institutionalised, for example, through a common introductory course on Area Studies.
  • Focus in your studies either on a discipline, or on a specific region. Both approaches offer the opportunity to work extensively in primary languages, but do not demand this.
  • Take advantage of the renowned expertise of the Leiden teaching faculty, and explore both vibrant, present-day Asia as well as its historical past.
  • Asian Studies scholarship in Leiden has a justly deserved worldwide reputation. Its breadth and depth are not only unparalleled in the Netherlands, but represent the very best of Asia-related research and teaching in Europe and beyond.

Admission requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree, including the General Academic Skills.
  • Affinity with and suitability for academic research, demonstrated by good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.5 (Dutch grading system) for the entire bachelor’s program, and a grade for the bachelor’s thesis of an 8 or higher.
  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of Asian Studies and/or area studies, literary studies, linguistics, history and/or social sciences, that ideally, but not necessarily, includes knowledge and understanding of the regional languages.
  • For some electives on offer within the program, the language level of students working has to be equal to the exit level of the relevant bachelor’s program of Leiden University.
  • Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE); a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 22 is required for each of the four components).
  • Apart from the generally required documents, for this program additional documents are required.
  • Applicants are requested to include in their application a “Research Proposal” of approximately 1,000 words outlining the topic or field of research that interests them most and that they wish to pursue at Leiden University, combined with an annotated bibliography of at least five (5) works.

Degree & diploma

Master of Arts in Asian Studies (research)

Tuition & fees

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With a long and rich history, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Students may choose to study from 7 faculties and 3 campuses, watch this video to learn what Leiden can offer you!

Leiden University

Leiden University

Services & Facilities

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programs. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world.  The university is comprised of...

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Location & accommodation

leiden the Netherlands

Leiden, Netherlands

Leiden, the Netherlands

Life in Leiden is greatly influenced by the relatively large number of students, as most of them both live and study in the historic city of Leiden, which has approxomately 120.000 inhabitants. Leiden University does not have a campus, but the city is it’s campus. You will almost always run into someone you know when you go shopping or when you go out at night. Since Leiden is...

Contact information for Leiden University

Leiden University

Rapenburg 70
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

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