2022 start September 

East Asian Business

School of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Our MSc, in East Asian Business combines comparative study of East Asian economic development and East Asian business environments with options focusing individually on China, Japan or Korea.
seas - masters students in lecture

Course description

On this course we focus on business practices and systems in East Asia, namely China, Japan and Korea.

You’ll develop a thorough understanding of the Asian business environment and how it is shaped by domestic and social change, globalisation and political developments. Through optional modules you will have the opportunity to focus on one particular East Asian country or keep your knowledge broad depending on your interests and career goals.

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The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.


The dissertation is designed to assess the research, analytical, writing and (where applicable) language skills developed in the course of the year. It requires that students work independently, with the support of a supervisor, as they formulate a research question, identify the materials necessary to answer it analytically, and produce an appropriately structured, coherently argued, and fully referenced answer to that question, within the scope of the dissertation format.

60 credits

You’ll choose one from the following:

International Business and East Asia

This module will provide students with a sound academic and vocational grounding in the East Asian trading environment and regulatory regimes, to prepare for careers that engage in, manage or regulate trade in East Asia (specifically China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan).It will introduce historical and theoretical perspectives on internal and external barriers to trade and discuss strategies for fostering trade relationships through studies of factors that drive exports; the influence of research and development, the effects of foreign investment, and protectionism. It will include guest lectures by practitioners in Asian business, to share practical information and foster focused discussion. 

15 credits
East Asian Research Methods

Research Methods in East Asian Studies will equip students with the tools required to carry out research in China, Japan, Korea or the wider East Asian region at taught postgraduate level. The module includes training in basic research skills related to East Asia; quantitative methods; qualitative methods; ethical and legal issues; and discursive contexts and reflexivity in East Asian research. 

15 credits

You will also choose one from the following:

Perspectives on East Asian Economy and Business

East Asia, comprising China, Japan, and the two Koreas, represents one of the most dynamic economic regions in the world. This module will introduce you to diverse perspectives to explain economic behaviour and development in East Asia, from both Western and Eastern schools of thought. These perspectives will provide you with a firm basis for understanding the complex economic changes seen across the region over the past two-hundred years and to understand business challenges of tomorrow. You will develop your own perspective to address business issues facing East Asia in the future

15 credits
Work and Organisation in East Asia

The dynamics of change in East Asia are increasingly important for understanding the development of global society. This module will describe and analyse 'work and organization' in East Asia and consider whether its cultures and practices are shaped by national models. Adopting multi-disciplinary perspectives, we will examine the historical and cultural embeddedness of Japanese models and their contemporary socio-economic construction. We will consider structures such as the family and education system that prepare people for workforce entry and look a contrasting working contexts from the participants' perspectives. We will then compare Japanese work contexts with China, Taiwan and South Korea. 

15 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


1 year full-time


There are lectures and small-group seminars. 


You'll be assessed on a variety of Module Level Assessment pieces (MLA) and one Programme Level Assessment (PLA) each semester, which takes the form of a 3000 word essay. You'll also be assessed on a year-long Graduate Project, under the supervision of specialist staff.

Your career

Graduates of the East Asian Business programme have gone on to work in a wide variety of occupations. In business, former students are advising European organisations on the development of links in East Asia and working on the Asia desks of Europe's multinationals. In academia, graduates are undertaking doctoral and post-doctoral research in UK, Japan and Europe or working in university administrations to foster international academic exchange.

Entry requirements

You will need a good first degree in any subject. This will normally mean a 2:1 from a university in the UK.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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