Asian Studies (60 EC): History, Arts and Culture of Asia, 2013-2014

Students of Asian Studies track History, Arts and Culture, can opt for a focus on “Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe” per September this year.

More information: click on the tab ‘Critical Heritage Studies’ below.

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).


Welcome meeting
All Master Asian Studies students are cordially invited to attend the welcome meeting on Wednesday 4 September from 10.00-12.00 hrs in the Lipsius building, room 028.
Classes start Monday 9 September.

Critical Heritage Studies

MA courses on Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe as part of MA Asian Studies: History, Arts and Culture

Students with an interest in Asian Studies at MA level, can opt for a focus on “Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe” per September this year. The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), in collaboration with the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), has taken the initiative to develop a special concentration of MA level courses on this subject within the specialisation History, Arts and Culture of Asia. The heritage concentration is inspired and supported by the IIAS Asian Heritages research cluster, which explores the contested character of all representations of culture, the plurality of notions of heritage in Asian and European contexts, and the way distinct and conflicting values of indigenous, local communities and official state discourses are negotiated in terms of historical, ethnic, religious, social, economic, and political values.

The curriculum leads to an MA degree in Asian Studies at Leiden University. It includes special courses in “Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies”, and “Heritage: A World of Policy Making”, a number of electives that focus on heritage management, specific subjects and/or regions of Asia, and/or the study of Asian languages. The curriculum is concluded with the writing of an MA thesis. The concentration of courses is supervised by Dr. Adele Esposito (IIAS and LIAS). Guest teacher for one of the courses is Prof. Michael Herzfeld of Harvard University. The successful completion of the curriculum may give access to a second one-year MA study in heritage studies at an Asian University (including Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia, the National Taiwan University, or Yonsei University in South Korea). After completion of both programmes, students will receive a special certificate for the Double Degree Programme in Critical Heritage Studies, issued by IIAS and the Asian partner institute.

Details about the heritage curriculum will be added in the course of the summer. Students who want to apply for admission are requested to add: “Critical Heritage Studies” on the application form.

Critical Heritage Studies (IIAS and LIAS)
For more information, please contact Dr. Adele Esposito or Dr. Willem Vogelsang

Information Master Asian Studies: History, Arts and Culture:
For information about the specialisation History, Arts and Culture of Asia contact Dr. Margarita Winkel

Meer info

1-year Master Asian Studies : 2013-2014


In the one-year Master’s program in Asian Studies you will be able to deepen and broaden your knowledge of Asia as a whole or one of the regions within Asia. The different specialisations offered within this program cater for students both with and without prior proficiency in one or more Asian languages. In Asian Studies, you may focus on a specific region, choosing between China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia. Alternatively, you may opt for an interregional, disciplinary emphasis, focusing on History, Arts, and Culture topics in the HAC specialisation, or on issues in Politics, Society and Economy in the PSE specialisation. The MA also has a special track Critical Heritage Studies as part of its History, Arts and Culture specialisation. The rich collections of the University Libraries in Asian Studies incorporate both the long textual tradition of Leiden University and the most up-to-date theories and approaches of history, literature, linguistics and the social sciences. Museums and other long-standing institutions in Leiden related to Asia provide much material for study. The 0ne-year Master Asian Studies specifically encourages in-situ internships as part of the curriculum.

Programme Structure

The master’s program in the one-year Asian Studies Master is divided into two semesters (each subdivided into two periods for some courses). Each semester consists of 30 EC. Students starting in September follow two compulsory courses in the first (fall) semester: Introduction to Asian Studies (sem. 1, period I), and the Thesis Class (sem. 1 period II). Each counts for 5 EC, 10 EC in total. In addition to these common courses, students take one or two courses that are specific to their specialisation – Core Electives. In addition and to a maximum of 10 EC students are permitted to choose one of the electives outside their own specialisation but within the Asian Studies Master. In the second (spring) semester students take one or two Core Electives for a minimum of 15 EC, or fulfill this partially by an internship, and write their MA-Thesis (15 EC).
For students who start in the Spring Semester the programme has slightly been adapted. They take their Thesis Class (5 EC) in their first (spring) semester and the Introduction to Asian Studies (5 EC) together with the other students in their second (the fall) semester, and also write their MA-thesis (15 EC) in the fall semester. In the spring semester they take 25 EC Core Courses and Electives and one 10 EC Core Course in the fall semester.

For students outside the East Asia tracks, a maximum of 15 EC beginner’s language course credits can be applied toward degree requirements. MA East Asia Students can only count the Advanced Language credits that are a compulsory part of their program toward graduation.

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed the 60 EC programme, including the MA thesis. The thesis is 15 EC, written in English and up to 10,000 words in length, including footnotes and bibliography. The Department assigns a thesis supervisor with expertise appropriate to the thesis topic. More details on the procedures regarding the MA-Thesis can be found in the course description.


The 1-year MA programme in Asian Studies offers the following specialisations:
History Arts and Culture , with an option Critical Heritage Studies
Politics, Society and Economy
East Asian Studies , subdivided into Japan, China and Korea tracks
South Asian Studies
Southeast Asian Studies