University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Korean Studies

About the major

The Korean Studies major provides a solid foundation in communication skills, and offers a range of units of study that enable you to better understand the language, culture and society in Korea. The Korean Studies major will not only open the doors to the language but also to the history, society and culture of a dynamic country that stands at the centre of Northeast Asia. Upon completion of a major, you will have developed skills in related research and analytical writing; the intermediate (or advanced) level of Korean language (reading, writing and speaking); the in-depth understanding of historical, social and cultural issues related to traditional, modern and contemporary Korea.

Whether you are a beginner or native speaker, whether you have been swept along by the 'Korean wave', or whether you are intrigued by Korea's strategic position or long cultural accomplishments, a Korean Studies major will be a rewarding experience equipping you with communication skills and broader knowledge about Korean history, culture and society. We train you to function competently in the globalising world, and prepare you for successful careers in Korea-related fields including employment in the public service, business, and academia or to work independently.

Requirements for completion

The Korean Studies major and minor are available via the pathways indicated below.

Students will follow the appropriate pathway specified in the unit of study tables, based on their individual language level*. Students completing any of the pathways below will be awarded a major or minor in Korean Studies.

* Appropriate language units are determined either by language level and grade therein achieved in Higher School Certificate (as listed in the pathways linked above) or International Baccalaureate, and/or by one-on-one interviews prior to commencement. If you are unsure of your language level or which pathway is appropriate for you, please contact the Department for advice.

Please note: A ‘gap’ year after Year 12 does not normally affect placement.

Learning outcomes

No. Learning outcome
1 Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in Korean.
2 Demonstrate in-depth understanding of political, social and cultural issues related to traditional and contemporary Korea.
3 Critically analyse different perspectives on Korean society and cultures, and formulate arguments and hypotheses to offer alternative perspectives.
4 Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and openly in intercultural and interdisciplinary settings to achieve high quality results.
5 Demonstrate the skills to access and evaluate primary and secondary sources to conduct research on Korean culture and society.
6 Apply language skills, sociocultural knowledge and critical thinking skills gained from the study of contemporary Korea to offer solutions to problems encountered in new contexts.

Advanced coursework

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies in SLC prepares students to actively engage in the complex and culturally diverse contemporary world. Students will utilise linguistic and methodological skills developed in their previous studies to develop their knowledge of institutions, practices and ideas that permeate different cultures in the local and global context. They will be offered opportunities to participate in projects on translation, acculturation and self-reflexivity and to examine textual and social real-world problems related to topics which include translation, migration studies, cultural diversity and social integration.

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the Korean Studies advanced coursework units of study page.


Students who achieve results of 70 percent or better in their first year Korean units are encouraged to pursue honours in Korean Studies. Intending honours students should consult with the course coordinator as early as possible.

Honours admission requirements

Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Korean Studies with an average of 70% or above, and must also include ASNS3690 Approaches to Research in Asian Studies.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Korean Studies honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information

More information and current contact details for academic coordinators can be found at: