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MA Korean Literature

Course Description

The MA in Korean Literature aims to:

- provide extensive, critical knowledge of pre-modern and modern Korean literary traditions;

- develop advanced competency in reading and understanding literary works in Korean, and literary translation skills into English;

- develop advanced skills in research, analysis, and critical method in the study of Korean literature, with consideration to socio-historical context and comparative approaches;

- serve as a foundation for students who wish to pursue further research or work in the fields of literary translation, writing and publishing.

The programme suits anyone interested in the literary cultures of Korea, as well as students of literature with no prior knowledge of Korean literature who are looking for new areas of inquiry.

Incoming students will be expected to have completed at least the equivalent of two years of undergraduate Korean language study. Students with knowledge of classical Chinese (hanja) will be encouraged to read pre-modern texts in the original classical Chinese.

The programme will benefit anyone wishing to pursue a research degree (MPhil/PhD) afterwards. It also provides a solid basis for anyone wishing to pursue a career in literary translation or publishing.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/japankorea/programmes/makorlit/


Students are required to take three taught units and to write a dissertation of 10,000 words. Two of the taught units are compulsory; the third is selected from the list of optional units below. Students with no prior background in literary studies are strongly advised to select the first optional unit, Theories and Techniques of Comparative Literature. The Directed Readings course [as directed by the supervisor] must not cover the same subject matter as one of the compulsory courses.

In very exceptional cases (and if the student has sufficient background in literary studies AND an advanced knowledge of Korean), students may be permitted to take a course from other East Asian (Korean, Chinese, or Japanese) programmes as a minor provided that the course is directly relevant to the candidate’s dissertation

Programme Specification

MA Korean Literature- Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 30kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/japankorea/programmes/makorlit/file80728.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The taught part of the course consists of core lectures introducing basic concepts, theory and methodology; and additional seminars that extend the core material into other areas. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

A 10,000-word dissertation written over the summer offers students the opportunity to develop original research in an area of special interest. The course is formulated within two tracks:

- 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.


A postgraduate degree in MA Korean Literature from SOAS provides students with 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, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates of this programme will develop their ability to engage with and explore relationships between indigenous aesthetics of the region and contemporary literary theories. Some graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems that contemporary societies now face.

Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including 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. A postgraduate degree in Korean Literature is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Visit the MA Korean Literature page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

Student Profiles

AKS Postgraduate Bursaries - 3 Awards

Candidate Assessment:
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel consisting of three academic members from the Centre of Korean StudiesScholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 3 May 2016.- New applicants only (new admissions, starting in September 2016): You must ALSO submit a complete online application to your programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.- Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Open to UK/EU and overseas applicants
- Applicants must have an offer of admission to the degree programme by the scholarship application deadline.
- Applicants must meet the English language condition of their offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2016. If your offer is conditional on English, please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible.

Application Procedure

See the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/aks-postgraduate-bursary.html

Further Information



Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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