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    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.

    Applying for this course

    We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.


    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 represents one of the world's most dynamic economic regions, yet has long been explained as different from other economies. This module will introduce students to the history of ideas of East Asian industrialization and capitalism over the past 150 years. Perspectives from scholars both within and outside of East Asia have looked at issues of culture, politics, religion, and values to explain East Asia's differences. By learning the legacies of these perspectives, we will understand how they continue to influence and explain economic policies, business activities, and academic research in East Asia today. Students will learn to read, evaluate, and apply perspectives to contemporary business issues across China, Japan, and South Korea.

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    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. 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.


    School of East Asian Studies

    Our courses are designed to immerse you in the languages and cultures of East Asian countries. They're based on world-leading research and led by experts whose work influences policy and informs public debate.

    You'll be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom-made course material.

    Most of our staff publish in their specialist field and many of them have written books for major publishers such as Oxford University Press, Routledge and Macmillan.

    Yu Yang PGT student

    Sheffield is a very beautiful city with a convenient location and friendly people

    Yu Yang East Asian Business MSc

    After studying her undergraduate degree in China, Yu came to Sheffield for her postgraduate study.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    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.

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


    We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

    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.