The region known as "Pacific Asia" can be defined in various ways, but the "core" countries are China, Japan, Korea and the ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines). Together, they make up one of the most diverse and important regions in the world.
SOAS has more expertise in this part of the world than any other institution in Western Europe; indeed there are very few places anywhere in the world that can boast the same range of expertise.
This degree is a way of bringing together the large number of modules on Pacific Asia currently on offer in SOAS Masters programmes for Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, South East Asian Studies, and Korean Studies.
The modules chosen must cover three of the four regions of China and Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia.
Students take modules to the value of three taught units, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major.
As a Regional Studies programme students will be expected to select their modules from more than one discipline, The two minor units can be taken from the same discipline (but different to that of the major) or two different ones. The modules chosen must cover three of the four regions of China and Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia.
For most modules there is one 2-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.
The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught modules.
- Learning Resources
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.
As a student specialising in Pacific Asia, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of Pacific Asia.
Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.
Six of the academic departments are devoted to teaching and research in the languages, literatures and cultures of Africa, China and Inner Asia, Japan and Korea, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia, with the seventh teaching and conducting research in Linguistics. The Language Centre caters to the needs of non-degree students and governmental and non-governmental organisations. It maintains a huge portfolio of courses, including year-long diploma programmes, weekly evening classes in about 40 different African and Asian languages, and tailored intensive one-to-one courses. The Language Centre also offers courses in French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Their teaching is in three main areas: - language competence acquisition; - textual and cultural studies - both comparative and language-specific, and covering not only 'literature' in a strict sense but also visual media, performance, folklore, translation etc.; - language studies with linguistics at its core - including the prestigious Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.
While SOAS as a whole represents the most substantial concentration in the Western world of expertise dedicated to African, Middle Eastern and Asian studies, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures is heavily committed to teaching and research grounded in a knowledge of the principal languages and cultures of two thirds of humankind.
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