University of Oxford Graduate Programs in Asian Studies

The Graduate Admissions Office
PO Box 738
University of Oxford
Wellington Square
United Kingdom
Tel: (+44) 01865 270059


Japanese specialists in the Oriental Studies Faculty and the Nissan Institute combine their resources to offer a programme of courses about modern Japan and the Japanese language that make up either a one year MSc or a two year MPhil. Options are available in the disciplines of: Political Science, Economics, Literature, Sociology, Anthropology, Linguistics and History.

MSc in Modern Japanese Studies

Course Code | 003680

Native speakers of Japanese take three courses about Japan, the research methods course and write a 10,000 word dissertation. Non-native speakers take two courses about Japan, the language course, the research methods course and write a dissertation.

·         Length of programme: Twelve months

MPhil in Modern Japanese Studies

Course Code | 003690

Students who continue into the second year for the MPhil programme either take two more courses, a further research methods course and write a 30,000 word dissertation or, continue with the language course, do one more course about Japan, a research methods course and the dissertation.

The aim of the two-year programme is to prepare students with area knowledge about Japan, an appreciation of research methods and the language skills that are needed to conduct doctoral level work.

·          Length of programme: Twenty-four months

MSc in Modern Chinese Studies

Course Code | 003980

Oxford has acquired a reputation as one of the leading centres for the study of China in Europe through its undergraduate and graduate programmes and the academic output of members of the Oriental Institute and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. The MSc in Modern Chinese Studies aims to broaden and deepen each individual student’s understanding of modern China and raise appreciation of the value of various research methods now used in the field of China studies. No previous knowledge of Chinese is necessary.

·         Length of programme: Nine months

Core and optional courses:

Core courses in Research Methods for Asian Studies and in Modern Chinese Politics and Society

Students select two option courses from the following disciplines: anthropology, sociology, economics, history, international relations, politics and environment. One of the options selected can be either the Basic Chinese Language Course (for students who have no training in Chinese language) or the Upper Intermediate Language Course (for students who have two or three years training in Chinese language). Details of the option courses are available online at the departmental website.

·         Students are required to submit a 10,000-word dissertation

·         Programme specification: see the departmental website


The Institute for Chinese Studies Library and the New Bodleian Library hold one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing collections on China, as well as extensive journal collections and Chinese language electronic resources. Some colleges also have relevant holdings on modern China. Collections of Chinese artifacts are in the Ashmolean Museum, the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Museum of the History of Science. The Bodleian Japanese Library was opened to readers in 1993 and is located within the same building that also houses the Nissan Institute. It comprises books in Japanese and about Japan that have been acquired over the last century. It has a particularly extensive collection of Japanese language social science monographs, probably the most extensive in Europe, plus a comprehensive collection of English language monographs and journals about Japan.

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