Postgraduate study

East Asian Relations

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: East Asian Relations

With two of the world’s leading economic powers situated in East Asia, and a huge potential for both regional conflict and cooperation, studying East Asian Relations is as relevant and critical now as it has been at any time since the end of World War II.

Our one-year taught Masters programme will help you critically engage with East Asian relations by providing training in Chinese/Japanese/Korean Studies, facilitating exploration of how social, political, historical, economic and cultural factors have made the region what it is today.

You’ll be part of an international community of learners, each with their own perspective, taking core and option courses that draw on unparalleled staff expertise across the region and across disciplines.

We’ll give you the tools to analyse and understand the complexities of East Asian relations in a global context, with skills relevant to professional sectors such as diplomacy, international relations, negotiation, and journalism.

You’ll be based in a thriving Asian Studies department, with expertise in Japanese, Chinese and Korean Studies, and a great programme of cultural events, including its own seminar series. We’re also home to The Confucius Institute for Scotland.

You’ll study in a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment at the heart of the University of Edinburgh alongside learners from the Schools of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and Social and Political Science.

Combining core courses with optional courses, our programme is carefully designed to introduce skills and knowledge in a way that is clear, coherent and interconnected, supporting your academic development and research training towards your dissertation.

You will benefit from the resources of a leading cultural capital city, from the University of Edinburgh Library (some two million borrowable volumes) to the National Library of Scotland. A compact, green and historic city, with excellent restaurants, cinemas and theatres, it’s a great place to live and study.

You can take the MSc in East Asian Relations over one year, full-time, or two years, part-time.

Over the duration of the programme, you’ll take three core courses, one in East Asian International Relations, and two in Research Skills and Methods for Asian Studies. Each is worth 20 credits.

You’ll also choose three optional courses, each worth 20 credits, from a wide range relating to specialised regional and disciplinary knowledge.

The final element of the programme is your dissertation, a piece of independent research - 15,000 words (worth 60 credits) - written with the advice and support of a designated supervisor.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEast Asian Relations1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScEast Asian Relations2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

The unique combination expertise across the regions and across disciplines in Asian Studies enables both in depth and diversified knowledge about the interrelatedness of political, cultural and economic factors shaping international relations in the area and across the globe.

On completion of the programme, you will have:

  • achieved a good understanding of historical and contemporary events, processes and actors involved in creating the dynamics of the East Asian region
  • obtained a thorough understanding of different academic approaches to East Asian Studies
  • acquired tools to analyse and understand the complexities of East Asian relations in a global context
  • received strong training in both social sciences and cultural studies

East Asia is widely perceived to be the focus of future global politics, with tensions between North Korea and the US, for example, dominating headlines worldwide.

Giving you a thorough grasp of historical and contemporary factors, our programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge to critically engage with these developments, whether your background is in area studies, or international relations.

You’ll acquire the tools to analyse and understand the complexities of East Asian relations in a global context, and present your views in a way conducive to careers in, for example, diplomacy, negotiation, international relations and journalism.

You may also choose to continue your research journey by progressing to a doctoral degree.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 31 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH