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East Asian Studies BA

School of East Asian Studies

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    You are viewing this course for 2023-24 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

    Key details

    Course description

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    Studying the culture of China, Japan and Korea gives you a unique perspective on the contemporary development of East Asia - the most dynamic area of the world economy. Sheffield is the only major university outside London with expertise in all three countries.

    Modules cover topics such as history, society, business and literature. There are lectures on specific themes which you will then discuss in seminars and tutorials. In the third year, you will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice, supervised by an academic.

    It isn't compulsory to learn a language on this course. But you have the option to take non-specialist modules in Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

    The course doesn't come with a built-in year abroad, but you'll have the opportunity to visit East Asia in the second year of your studies as part of our East Asian Fieldwork module, which is funded by the department.

    Modules

    A selection of modules are 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.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: East Asian Studies BA course structure
    UCAS code: T300
    Years: 2022, 2023

    In your first year, you will take a core module in Exploring East Asia to enable you to understand the regional context and the links - geographical, historical, cultural, social and political - between the East Asian states; and a choice of modules on the Critical Analysis of texts about East Asia, to enable you to interpret and utilise scholars' writings about East Asia.

    Through optional modules you will aslo be able to explore China, Japan and Korea in more detail or take up an East Asian language module.

    Core module:

    Exploring East Asia

    This module introduces students to the study of modern East Asia. Beginning by encouraging consideration of what the subject of East Asian Studies is, it then introduces the following key topics: East Asian Geography and Environment, History, Culture and Media, Economics and Business, and Political Relations. In parallel with this content, the module also introduces core academic skills as follows: independent, lecture and seminar study; reflective practice; critical information, digital and visual literacy; evidence and argument in academic writing, and appropriate examination techniques. These two elements provide a firm foundation of knowledge and abilities for higher level study. 

    20 credits

    Approved modules:
    You will take 4 understanding China/Japan/Korea modules to suit your individual interests.

    Understanding China 1

    This module explores what it means to study China at university level, and considers how 'area studies' research on China fits within disciplines such as history and cultural studies. We will consider how histories and cultural understandings of China are built with the following in mind: how researchers use primary evidence such as texts, documents and/or images to understand social change; and how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: In 2022-2023 we will explore the history of twentieth-century Shanghai as seen from the grassroots.

    20 credits
    Understanding China 2

    This module explores what it means to study China at university level, and considers how 'area studies' research on China fits within disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary China: including how Chinese society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    20 credits
    Understanding Japan 1

    This module explores what it means to study Japan at university level, and considers how `area studies' research on Japan fits within disciplines such as history, comparative literature and cultural studies. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic. We will consider how studies of Japan are built, how researchers use primary evidence in text and/or images to understand change; how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will explore Japanese literature in the twentieth century as a frame for understanding modern Japanese history.

    20 credits
    Understanding Japan 2

    This module explores what it means to study Japan at university level, and considers how ‘area studies’ research on Japan fits within disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary Japan: including how Japanese society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    20 credits
    Understanding Korea 1

    This module explores what it means to study Korea at university level, and considers how ‘area studies' research on Korea fits within disciplines such as history and cultural studies. We will consider how histories and cultural understandings of Korea are built with the following in mind: how researchers use primary evidence such as texts, documents and/or images to understand social change; and how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will focus on colonial history in the Korean peninsula to understand how the Korean people experienced modernity under Japanese colonial rule.

    20 credits
    Understanding Korea 2

    This module explores what it means to study Korea at university level, and considers how ‘area studies’ research on Korea fits within disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary Korea: including how Korean society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will trace how postwar developments and the division of the Korean Peninsula have shaped contemporary political and social issues.

    20 credits

    Guided Modules
    Through guided modules you will have the option to take a non-specialist East Asian lanaguage module, listed below, or chose from a list of guided moduels from departments across the univeristy

    Japanese for Non-Specialists 1

    This module aims to enable students with no prior knowledge of Japanese to acquire basic practical language skills, in listening, reading, speaking and writing. Japanese scripts will be introduced at the start and used throughout. On successful completion of the module students will; have a vocabulary of about 300 words related to daily life, understand simple sentences and classroom expressions related to daily activities, be able to obtain specific information from written and audio materials, be able to hold simple conversations; and be able to write about the topics covered in class in simple sentences or forms. 

    10 credits
    Chinese for Non-Specialists I

    This module aims to equip students with no prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese to acquire basic practical language skills, in listening, reading, speaking and writing. On successful completion of the module students will; have a vocabulary of about 250 words related to daily life, understand simple sentences and classroom expressions related to daily activities, be able to obtain specific information from written and audio materials, be able to communicate with others (making greetings, introductions and farewells, expressing simple emotions and feelings, enquiring about time, personal attributes and places); and be able to write ca. 140 characters in simple sentences or forms.

    10 credits
    Korean for Non-Specialists 1

    This module aims to allow students with no prior knowledge of Korean to acquire basic practical language skills, in listening, reading, speaking and writing. On successful completion of the module students will; have a vocabulary of about 250 words related to daily life, understand simple sentences and classroom expressions related to daily activities, be able to obtain specific information from written and audio materials, be able to communicate with others (making greetings, giving and asking personal information and holding simple conversations); and be able to write in simple sentences or forms.

    10 credits
    Japanese for Non-Specialists 2

    This module aims to enable students with some elementary knowledge of Japanese to acquire further practical language skills, in listening, reading, speaking and writing. On successful completion of the module students will; have a further vocabulary of about 400 words related to daily life; understand and use the written forms of all the introduced core grammar patterns; and understand selected simple spoken and written structures and be able to use them as spoken and written communication. . 

    10 credits
    Chinese for Non-Specialists II

    This module aims to equip students with some prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese (ca. 250 Chinese characters) with further practical language skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing. On successful completion of the unit, students will have mastered around 270 new words related to daily life; understand longer sentences and classroom expressions related to daily activities; be able to obtain specific information from written and audio materials; be able to communicate in making phone calls, asking directions, taking public transport, shopping, ordering food, describing things; be able to write around 160 new characters in simple sentences or forms.

    10 credits
    Korean for Non-Specialists 2

    This module aims to allow students with some elementary knowledge of Korean to acquire further practical language skills, in listening, reading, speaking and writing. On successful completion of the module students will; have a vocabulary of about 400 words related to daily life, understand and use the written forms of all the introduced core grammar patterns;
    and understand selected simple spoken and written structures and be able to use them as spoken and written communication.

    10 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.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    You'll study modules covering East Asian history, society, business, literature and culture. Your lectures will focus on specific themes. which you will then discuss in seminars and tutorials.

    You'll also have the option to take non-specialist language modules in Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    The School of East Asian Studies has over 50 years’ experience of researching contemporary East Asia and pioneering new methods for teaching East Asian Languages.

    SEAS staff, many of whom are fluent in at least one East Asian language, are internationally-renowned specialists in East Asia, and bring their expertise in various fields such as history, culture and politics, to the wide range of courses on offer at SEAS.

    Right from the start, you'll be working with expert researchers and native speakers, who will help you to reach your potential

    Assessment

    You will be assessed through a combination of coursework such as writing essays, developing a portfolio, taking part in group projects and presentations, and formal examinations.

    If you are learning a language you will be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom made course material. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 33

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject

    BTEC Diploma DD + B at A Level

    Scottish Highers AAABB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • Evidence of interest in East Asia demonstrated through the personal statement is required

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 32

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM in a relevant subject

    BTEC Diploma DD + B at A Level

    Scottish Highers AABBB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction and 21 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • Evidence of interest in East Asia demonstrated through the personal statement is required

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    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 an International Foundation Year 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.

    School of East Asian Studies

    Our courses are designed to immerse you in the languages and cultures of East Asian countries. You will be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom-made course material.

    Our courses are based on world-leading research and taught by experts whose work influences policy and informs public debate. 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.

    The School of East Asian Studies is located in the Jessop West building, right in the heart of campus and close to the Sheffield University tram stop. You'll visit the department to meet with your tutors and gain any support you need. Your lectures, seminars and language classes will take place in various locations across the University of Sheffield campus.

    School of East Asian Studies

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    School of East Asian Studies

    Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction

    National Student Survey 2021

    50+ years' experience

    in teaching and researching East Asia


    Graduate careers

    School of East Asian Studies

    Studying China, Japan or Korea prepares you for a career in the world's most dynamic region. There are also many opportunities across Europe for people with skills in Asian languages and cultures.

    Our graduates work in government and diplomacy, media and the arts, non-government organisations and international business - in professions as diverse as management consultancy, accountancy, marketing, research, language teaching and translation.

    Field trips and studying abroad

    Field trip

    The East Asian field trip gives you the chance to spend up to two weeks in East Asia undertaking a country-based research project in the second year of your degree.

    This is an exciting opportunity for you to spend time in one of the countries you are studying as part of your degree. You'll travel to East Asia as a group along with academic staff.

    During your stay you'll be able to immerse yourself in local culture, explore your host city and conduct in-country research that will enhance your understanding of East Asia and contribute to your overall degree.

    This trip will help you develop a better understanding of the region and improve your research skills, and your ability to learn independently and manage projects effectively.

    Funding your East Asian field trip

    The East Asian field trip is funded by the School of East Asian Studies, with students only needing to pay visa costs and living expenses while abroad such as food, drinks and social activities.

    Study abroad

    You have the opportunity to apply for a year of studying abroad as part of the Global Opportunities Year Abroad Programme. The programme has exchange agreements with institutions in Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia and New Zealand or the USA. You can apply to the programme once you are studying here.

    Find out more about studying abroad

    See which destinations are available to East Asian Studies Students

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Additional funding

    Visit us

    University open days

    There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Taster days

    At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Applicant days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Book your place on a campus tour

    Apply for this course

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    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

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    2023-2024