International Institute of Korean Studies

Korean Studies courses

Korean Studies courses banner

IKSU’s teaching and research is underpinned by formal relationships with academic partners and embedded in global academic and policy networks through the activities and research of IKSU academic staff.

At UCLan students can study Korean and Korean studies at Foundation, Undergraduate, Masters and PhD level. In addition all UCLan students, whatever their major can choose to study Korean language as part of their degree course, or as a separate certificate in Applied Languages that is accredited by the University. Furthermore, all students are entitled to apply for travel bursaries and to use the various language learning media and resources available via the university’s Worldwise Learning Centre.

Korean students study for part of their degrees for up to a year in Preston as part of the various exchange agreements that UCLan has established with Korea’s leading universities. Many more Korean students come to Preston for short courses in the winter and summer vacations to study English language and culture at UCLan’s English Language Academy.

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Undergraduate Study

Research undertaken by the Institute underpins teaching in the three pathways to studying Korean at undergraduate level at UCLan.


3 / 4 years (work placement or period abroad)

The course brings together different fields of expertise, including the Korean language, international business studies and global politics. The programme is designed to build up oral, aural and written competence, combined with a range of modules to give students an all-round knowledge of the language and the country. Students develop language skills, whilst being introduced to the culture and environment of Korea throughout the degree, including in the period abroad. No previous knowledge of Korean is required. Most importantly, the broad knowledge of the Asia Pacific as a whole enhances employment opportunities within and across the region.

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4 years (period abroad)

UCLan is the only UK University to offer the combination of the Korean language and teaching of English – a stimulating and career-enhancing degree option. Students learn Korean, gain classroom teaching experience and achieve an academic and internationally recognised professional qualification, the Trinity Cert TESOL. The course develops confidence, organisational, analytical and people skills along with cultural awareness, and consolidates existing knowledge of grammar and expression.

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3 / 4 years (period abroad)

Korean can be studied alongside a European or non-European language. The UCLan Modern Languages degree is a personally enriching experience and develops understanding the history, contemporary society, culture and economy of Korea as well as another country. Korean can be studied from ab-initio level, where no prior knowledge of the language is required, although the student should have experience in the other chosen language.

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3 / 4 years (period abroad)

In choosing to study a Modern Language alongside English Language you will greatly enhance your communication skills and gain the experience necessary for a successful career in a wide range of exciting professions. Your Modern Language studies will focus on developing excellent verbal and written communication skills in your chosen language while exploring the society and culture of the countries where your language is spoken. You will have the opportunity to spend a period abroad in order to immerse yourself in that language and culture.

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Foundation students

Students study Area Studies at Foundation level, as a precursor to their degree studies in Korean. Foundation students following the Area studies modules have the opportunity to focus their studies on Korean by following the Applied Language Certificate and by working with Korean Studies academics to develop their interest. In August 2015, five UCLan Foundation year students were awarded full fellowships to study at a Summer school at Pusan National University, South Korea.

Students investigate ideas of ‘culture, ‘society, ‘nation’ and ‘civilisation so as to gain deeper understanding of what these labels mean. The Area Studies module investigates how identities can be formed on many levels (you might, for example, consider yourself man, woman, Lancastrian, English, British, European, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Asian, or a combination of any of these or numerous other categories). In the Foundation year, students explore how these identities are formed with particular reference to the idea of ‘othering’ by which a group defines themselves in contrast to an ‘other’ and discuss what implications this process has for the study of areas outside the context of one’s own identity.

These ideas form the context for the Foundation year exploration of Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies and Korean Studies. Students obtain background information about these countries that serves as a building block for those wishing to pursue studies at undergraduate level, including Korean Studies. Acting as a conclusion to the mini-series on East Asian countries, students also explore the concept of East Asia as a place. Building on the knowledge gained, students discuss how relevant it is to consider East Asia as region. What are the commonalties between these China, Japan and the two Koreas? Are they enough to justify studying East Asia as a region?

Applied Korean Language Course

The Applied Korean Language course is provided free to all students studying any subject in the university who wish to study Korean. The course has beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Beginner classes allow the complete novice to learn basic language used in common situations encountered in Korea. Intermediate classes may include more specific topics, such as holiday, hobbies, etc. Advanced classes focus on practical and abstract issues, including cultural awareness, interpersonal relationships, etc. so that students can improve further their language skills. Each class consists of 2 contact hour every week. Communicative teaching methods are involved in all levels. Students’ workloads include in-class practice, portfolio tasks and assessments.

Traditional Korean buildings 

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IKSU is currently revising its postgraduate degree in North Korean Studies. These will provide high-quality teaching provision informed by internationally recognised research excellence.