Asian Studies

Welcome to one of the UK's most highly rated university departments for Asian Studies, ranked fourth in The Complete University Guide - Subject League Table 2022.

We teach undergraduate programmes in Chinese and Japanese, and offer a range of taught and research-led postgraduate programmes in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and East Asian relations.

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Choose from a range of four-year MA (Master of Arts) honours degrees in:

  • Chinese
  • Japanese

Single and joint honours combinations are available, with the opportunity to study abroad. 

Take a taught or research programme, with degrees ranging from a one-year masters in East Asian Relations to PhDs in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and East Asian Studies.

Beginners Asian languages for everyone

Open Language courses in Chinese, Business Chinese, Japanese and Korean are free to all University of Edinburgh students. You can take one at any stage of your undergraduate or postgraduate programme.

Each course lasts one semester and can be taken for 20 credits or for extra credit, depending on your other study commitments. Classes are suitable for complete beginners.

Find out more about Open Language courses

Scholarships in Korean Studies

For entry in January 2023 and September 2023, we are offering one incoming PhD student paying home (Scotland/UK) rates a scholarship covering full tuition fees for three years of study.

There are also scholarships for up to four students (PhD and MSc) covering £3,000 of tuition fees in the first year of study – home and international/EU rates.

These scholarships have been made possible by the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) which has funded us as the Scottish Centre for Korean Studies from June 2019 until May 2027.

You do not need to apply for a scholarship – all eligible candidates who apply for the programme will be considered for them and contacted if successful.

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QS World Rankings by Subject 2022

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages.

We are also 3rd in the UK in the broad subject area of Arts & Humanities.

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Arts & Humanities (9) and Modern Languages (10).

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are based on the results of major global surveys of employers and academics, along with research citations.

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Browse the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 on Top Universities

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The University of Edinburgh is ranked Top 5 in the UK for research in Modern Languages.

As reported in Times Higher Education, the rankings are based on the quality and breadth of our research in Modern Languages.

They come from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) – the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

In addition to Modern Languages, research in Asian Studies was submitted to REF 2021 in the categories of Politics, Sociology, History and Theology.

Explore research in Asian Studies

Read more about LLC's performance in REF 2021