Graduate Courses in Korean Studies at Oxford

Palace Guards, Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul

Palace Guards, Gyeongbok
Palace, Seoul

A Master of Studies (M.St.) in Korean Studies was approved in spring 1995 and graduated its first student in the spring of 1996. Since then, a number of students have gained higher degrees in Korean Studies. Among the Master’s students, four have been awarded a Distinction thus far in their examinations. Graduates have gone on for D.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees or found employment in business or government.

The degree is rigorous and time-consuming. It requires a student's full-time attention. The chief qualification for admission is the ability to read modern Korean, so there is little or no time for remedial language training. Nevertheless, we do improve students' Korean language (including an introduction to Middle Korean), add in some Classical Chinese, and possibly Japanese. The languages are key to the text readings and bibliographic training, which follows two separate tracks depending on the student's interest. One track instructs students in the Korean historical and literary tradition through intense study of a classical canon. Another track instructs students in the theory, application, and history of Korean linguistics. All students learn how to find information independently through classical and modern sources, and we aim to create independent researchers. For a list of previous and current post-graduate students, click Examples of Student Research Topics for theses to Sept 2016.docx.

Sources of Funding

Graduate students may apply for several large and small scholarships that specifically support Korean Studies:

Oxford-Wolfson Min Sunshik Graduate Scholarship in Modern Korean Literature

Wolfson College and the International Communication Foundation are offering a fully funded graduate scholarship at the University of Oxford from the beginning of the academic year 2017-2018 for a student undertaking the one-year Master of Studies course in Korean Literature. This scholarship is part-funded by the Oxford Graduate Scholarship Matched Fund.

Applicants proposing to work on pre-modern Korean literature are strongly encouraged to apply. We are seeking scholars who intend to pursue careers dedicated to relating Korean Literature to World Literature through the translation and interpretation of classical Korean Literature. The successful applicant will also be expected to participate in activities of the Life-Writing Research Cluster at Wolfson College working on biography, autobiography, memories, and other media that focus on the life and works of writers.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates who are applying for entry to the Faculty of Oriental Studies for the Master of Studies in Korean Studies with an emphasis on Modern Korean Literature with History or Linguistics in October 2017. The scholarship is only tenable at Wolfson College. The Scholarship is open to any nationality and awarded on the basis of academic merit and potential.

The Scholarship is fully funded for Home/EU candidates: tuition fees, college fees and a living stipend to the equivalent of the UK Research Council rate (£14,057 for 2015-16). The successful scholar will become a member of Wolfson College.

Applicants, whether internal or external, should apply to the University under the standard procedures for graduate degrees for 2017-18. The University’s application procedures are described here. Applications should normally be made online. The final deadline for applications is 22 January 2017.

The Korea Foundation offer Fellowships for graduate study and post-doctoral work at European universities. To find the details, go here. Additionally, The Korea Foundation offers Fellowships for language or research work in Korea for non-Korean nationals. 

Anglo-Korean Society Post-Graduate Bursary
The Anglo-Korean Society, through the Bursary Committee of the British Association for Korean Studies, offers GBP 1,000 bursaries on a competitive basis to post-graduate students. For more details, go here.

Annual meeting of the Chang`am Village Association, South Chŏlla Province
Annual meeting of the Chang`am Village Association, South Chŏlla Province, 7 April 2003, 10.30am. The Association was founded in 1667, and the hall was built in 1760.