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Course content

If you’re a native speaker or you have substantial training in Chinese, Japanese or Thai, this programme will prepare you for a career in research with an area specialism.

Half of the programme will give you a solid foundation in East Asian studies and research methodologies, equipping you with a range of subject knowledge, consolidating your language skills and preparing you to conduct independent, theory-driven research. In the other half, you’ll apply all of this to your own research project comprising 50% of the MRes, supervised by a member/members of the Faculty.

You’ll study in a stimulating research environment with plenty of opportunities to attend research events and conferences, not just within East Asian Studies but also at School and University level.

Our tutors are conducting world-class research in diverse fields across East Asian Studies, and you’ll benefit from teaching that’s informed by their own work. It’s a great opportunity to prepare for a career in academic or professional research.

By choosing to study East Asian Studies at Leeds you will be joining a leading centre for research in the region, with over 50 years of history. In addition to the academic strengths that we have accrued over this time, we have developed an extensive and active international network of alumni. Leeds is also home to very substantial and world-renowned specialist library collections.

Course content

The programme is divided in half, with 50% advanced research training and 50% independent research on a specialist topic of your choice.

Advanced methodological training will cover the key stages of the research process and equip you to conduct independent research informed by a sound theoretical understanding. You’ll also practice skills such as writing abstracts, papers and proposals as well as verbal presentations and group discussions, preparing you to present and share your research.

The remainder of the programme will be spent working with a supervisor in the faculty on your own research project, focusing on a topic that interests you perhaps laying the foundations for future academic research.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Principles and Practices of Research 30 credits
  • Dissertation 90 credits

Optional modules

  • Chinese Politics 15 credits
  • China's Development 15 credits
  • China and the Developing World 15 credits
  • Japan in the Discourse of International Development 15 credits
  • Japan: Politics and International Relations 15 credits
  • Political Economy of the Pacific Rim 15 credits
  • International Politics of the Asia Pacific Region 15 credits
  • Modern Documentary Chinese: Politics and Law 15 credits
  • Post-Cultural Revolution Chinese Literature 15 credits
  • Contemporary Chinese Literature 15 credits
  • Chinese Literature 1912 - 1949 15 credits
  • Japanese 3A: Written Communication Skills 30 credits
  • Advanced Japanese in Context 1: Politics and International Relations 15 credits
  • Advanced Japanese in Context 4: Literature 15 credits
  • Advanced Japanese in Context 5: Japanese Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in Historical Context 15 credits
  • Advanced Japanese in Context 6: Japanese Religion and Culture in Historical Context 15 credits
  • Advanced Japanese in Context: Culture and Identity 15 credits
  • Specialised Readings 15 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read East Asian Studies MRes in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods such as lectures and seminars. You’ll be expected to participate fully in these by giving presentations and conducting your own research and reading before taught sessions. Of course, independent research is vital to this programme, allowing you to develop your skills and explore your own ideas and interests.


You’ll also experience a range of assessment methods, depending on the taught modules you choose. These may include exams and essays as well as presentations, literature reviews, project work and in-course assessment among others. Language modules may also include different forms of assessment such as translation tests. Your dissertation will be assessed based on the final, submitted piece of work.

Career opportunities

The emphasis on independent research and advanced methodological training on this programme means it offers ideal preparation for PhD study, or professional research roles in government, media, business or the charity and voluntary sectors.

You’ll also gain important skills such as analysis, problem-solving, oral and written communication as well as cultural awareness, all of which are valuable in a wide range of careers in different sectors.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Visit the East Asian Studies MRes page on the University of Leeds website for more details!




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