MSc East Asian Business

Course overview

Entry requirements: 2:1 undergraduate degree from a UK university or equivalent
Duration: 12 months full time
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Information about our Pre-Masters course

MSc 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.

You will study the contemporary economic development and the business environments and cultures of East Asia;

Units will address such questions as:

  • How important is technical progress to East Asian economic growth?
  • Why do Chinese firms invest abroad?
  • What makes the Japanese market interesting for foreign firms?
  • How has rising affluence affected working life in Japan?

You may also choose from units on East Asian politics, economy and society, on management studies, or undertakes some language study.

Diploma (9 months) and Certificate (4 months) options are also available for this programme – please contact us for further details.

Studying an East Asian Language
If you wish to study an East Asian language, we offer a flexible, innovative and highly-rated language programme in Chinese, Japanese and Korean at a variety of levels for non-native speakers.

Your future
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.


How does our MSc East Asian Business differ from a typical MBA programme?

A typical MBA programme offered by business schools is structured around a number of disciplinary subjects such as finance, accounting, marketing, human resource management, etc. These subjects are often taught based on business paradigms of Anglo-Saxon countries. The typical textbooks tend to reflect the business approaches of Anglo-Saxon countries like the United States or the United Kingdom. Many MBA programmes will also require you to have taken an undergraduate course in a business-related subject and expect that you will have already gained some working experience.

Our MSc East Asian Business takes a different approach:

  • We focus on business practices and systems in East Asia, namely China, Japan and Korea. Many of the business practices and systems in these countries differ substantially from those in Western countries. Compared to a typical MBA programme, we offer thus more specialized insights to prepare you for a business career with or in East Asia.
  • Our programme allows you to take optional language modules in Chinese, Japanese or Korean to enhance your understanding of and working ability within these East Asian business cultures.
  • While you have to take a number of core comparative modules on investing, trading, as well as work and organization in East Asia, you can choose from a wide variety of courses on China, Japan or Korea. It is thus your choice whether and where you want to develop a more specialized country expertise.
  • We do not require our students to have studied business related subjects at the undergraduate level, nor do we require prior work experience. You can thus join our programme directly after finishing an undergraduate degree in pretty much any other subject.
  • You can also choose modules from the University of Sheffield’s Management School that offer a more generic disciplinary training, such as ‘International Human Resource Studies’, ‘International Management’, ‘International Business Strategy’ or ‘Negotiation and Intercultural Communication’. Our degree allows you thus to gain a specialized knowledge of East Asian business practices and systems, but also to develop disciplinary expertise which is part of a typical MBA programme.
Core modules

All students are required to undertake a dissertation as part of their degree. The dissertation will give you the opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of a topic of your choice and you will be supervised by a member of staff whose research interests are relevant to your dissertation topic.

Along with the dissertation, students must take two of the following modules. 

International Business and East Asia
This module focuses on the competitive positioning of East Asian economies (specifically China, Japan and Korea) and their multinational enterprises (MNEs). We discuss both the external international business environment and the internal nature of the firm, its structure and strategy. It provides you with an overall understanding of the role of East Asian countries in global economy in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade.

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.

Negotiation and Intercultural Communication
This module will discuss theory, scientific research, practical examples and business cases of negotiations in order to improve students' negotiation and intercultural communication skills.
This module is taught by Sheffield University Management School

Optional modules

Along with your core modules, you will be able to take 90 credits of optional modules including East Asian Studies modules, language modules and a selection of modules from the Sheffield University Management School
(these modules are subject to change and the list below is given as a sample only)
See the programme regulations for full details

Semester 1

  • Japanese Language I
  • Lower Intermediate Japanese Language I
  • Lower-Intermediate Japanese Language III
  • Chinese Cities in Transition
  • Media, Culture and Society in East Asia
  • Postwar Japanese Politics
  • Foundation in Korean Language I
  • Chinese Language I
  • Chinese Language III
  • Contemporary Chinese Business and Management
  • Global Governance and Japan
  • East Asian Research Methods

Semester 2

  • Japanese Language II
  • Lower-Intermediate Japanese Language I.
  • Lower-Intermediate Japanese Language II
  • Lower-Intermediate Japanese Language IV
  • The Political Economy of China
  • Media and Public Communication in Japan
  • Media and Public Communication in Japan
  • Politics and Governance in Contemporary China SPR SEM
  • International Politics in East Asia
  • Business and Economy of Japan SPR SEM
  • Business and the Economy of Japan
  • Foundation in Korean Language II
  • Chinese Language II
  • Chinese Language IV
  • Contemporary Chinese Society and Media
  • Media, State and Society in China
  • State and Economy in Contemporary China
  • International Business Strategy
  • International Human Resource Studies
  • International Management

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.