University of Oxford
Korean Studies MSt
University of Oxford

Key Course Facts

Course Description

This course aims to build on a basic knowledge of modern Korean and classical Chinese or modern Japanese.

The MSt aims to:

  • build on a basic knowledge of modern Korean and classical Chinese or modern Japanese and ensure that you become capable in using at least modern Korean for research purposes;
  • acquaint you with many of the most important classical texts from all periods of Korean history in modern Korean translation or the original classical Chinese, or to acquaint you with the major concerns and problems of contemporary Korean linguistics and provide training to competency in Old or Middle Korean;
  • enable you to understand and use a range of classical references and historiographical research methods for the treatment of pre-modern primary sources, or to acquaint you with a range of linguistic theories and methodologies that will enable you to begin independent linguistic research in Korean; and
  • allow more specialised study from a wide range of possible options and thereby exercise your new skills.

You should expect to attend up to ten hours per week of tutorials and should expect to spend an additional thirty to forty hours a week, perhaps more, during each full term for preparation. In addition, you should expect to be set a considerable amount of work during the vacations.

Language instruction, the reading of prescribed texts, and bibliographic or methodological exercises are usually conducted in tutorials for which you are expected to prepare thoroughly in advance. Lectures are provided for instruction on general themes of Korean and East Asian history and critical issues in contemporary and classical Korean linguistics. You are advised to take advantage of public lectures offered on China and Japan, since they also supply historical context, comparative linguistic information, regional background, and comparative perspectives for work in tutorials.

Teaching takes place in tutorials. You are required to prepare thoroughly for whatever is required: language exercises, prescribed readings, essays, bibliographic or methodological exercises, and you should be able to present your preparation in finished form. Depending on the task, the finished form may be written language exercises, essays on linguistics, historical, literary, or cultural topics, or translation from Korean (or Chinese or Japanese) into English.

Outstanding students typically view themselves as ‘researchers in training’ and consciously set about building their competence in the body of secondary reference materials available (in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese) as an additional aspect of tutorial preparation.

Further information on the course, and the examination process, can be found in the course handbook via the course webpage on the faculty's website.

Handwriting as a competence standard

Mastering the ability to handwrite in Korean, Japanese and Chinese has been identified as a competence standard for an assessment for an optional component of this course. This means that students will be required to produce handwritten work for assessment and it will not be possible to complete the assessment for that optional component in an alternative format.

If you are interested in this course and your personal circumstances mean that handwriting may present a challenge, please contact the school/faculty for further information using the contact details provided in the Further information and enquires section of this page.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Graduate Degrees
    • 7.0
    • Undergraduate Degrees
    • (no subscore less than 6.0)
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study Korean Studies, MSt, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.


Average student cost of living in the UK

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

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About University of Oxford

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Where is this programme taught

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