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International Institute of Korean Studies

About The International Institute of Korean Studies



  • IKSU is a hub of research, teaching and public policy on the two Koreas. IKSU is home to teaching from undergraduate degrees through to doctoral work and provides innovative research and insight from the fields of Humanities and social science.

    UCLan's International Institute of Korean Studies - Skyline

In 2012, building on over twenty years of and research in East Asian Studies, especially in Japanese and Chinese studies, UCLan made a strategic decision to substantially invest, from its own resources, in Korean Studies. In 2012/2013, the university launched three undergraduate degrees, in which the Korean language is studied as a core language: Asia-Pacific Studies, Modern languages and Teaching English as a Second Language. Student interest was high from the inception of the degrees and numbers have grown along with the numbers of staff employed by the university to teach Korean language and Korean Studies.

The International Institute of Korean Studies –UCLan (IKSU) was formally launched in 2014 to bring together the wide range of Korea-related activities with which UCLan is engaged, across the university, in research, teaching and public policy. The intellectual focus of IKSU is the two Koreas. The emphasis is on investigating post-division international relations, politics, society and culture in both the Republic of Korea (the ROK or South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the DPRK or North Korea) – what is idiosyncratic to each and what are the commonalities between the two states and societies after seventy years of political division.

Many of our students are interested in and excited by the contemporary culture of South Korea – from KPop to movies to fashion to gastronomy to sport. Our degrees explore Korean culture as a global phenomenon. UCLan students have been financially supported by the university to visit South Korea and IKSU maintains active exchange partnerships with universities in South Korea for the benefit of our students. Students have taken short courses in South Korea and have study for a year in a Korean university as part of their degrees.

Professor Hazel Smith and Dr. Ryu Kil-Jae

Professor Hazel Smith and Dr. Ryoo Kihl Jae, Minister of Unification, Republic of Korea (2013-2015)

Meet the team

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Xi Chen

Xi Chen

Xi Chen is the associate lecturer in Korean. She has been teaching Korean and Chinese for over five years. Xi is currently completing her doctoral studies at School of Oriental and African Studies. Her research interests include pragmatics, applied linguistics and linguistics in East Asian languages. Please view Xi Chen's full biography.

Dr. Ed Griffith

Ed Griffith

Ed joined UCLan in September 2014 as course leader for the rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific Studies. He is continuing to work on research into the Sino-Japanese relationship and different perspectives on East Asian international relations more generally. He holds: a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of Leeds, an M.A. in Japanese Studies, also from the University of Leeds, another M.A. in Chinese Studies from SOAS and a B.A. (Hons.) in International Relations & Global Politics from Nottingham Trent University, 2007. Ed Griffith’s research interests are mainly focussed on the international relations of East Asia, in particular the Sino-Japanese relationship and China’s approach to its own changing role in the region. He is interested in exploring how established IR theories can be adapted to deepen our understanding of China’s behaviour in developing its relationships with neighbouring countries.

Professor John Horne

John Horne

John Horne is Professor of Sport and Sociology in the School of Sport and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire. His books include Sport and Social Movements (2014), Understanding Sport (2013), Understanding the Olympics (2012), Sport in Consumer Culture (2006), Football Goes East (2004) and Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup (2002). He was appointed as a member of the sub panel (26) for ‘Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism’ in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), elected as an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) in 2012, and is convenor of the British Sociological Association ‘Sport Study Group’. Please view John Horne's full biography and publications.

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon 

Dr Hae-Sung Jeon

Dr. Hae-Sung Jeon was awarded a Ph.D. from the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge in 2012. Dr. Jeon was Research Associate at the Phonetics Laboratory, University of Cambridge, prior to joining UCLan in September 2012. Her area of expertise is experimental phonetics and phonology and her research focus has been on production and perception of rhythm, intonation and phonetic variations related to communicative functions. As Subject Leader in Korean, she has developed undergraduate curriculum and she has been teaching introduction to Korean Studies, Korean linguistics and language. She also teaches phonetics for students in English language and linguistics at UCLan. Please view Hae-Sung's full biography and publications.

Jungmin Lee

Jungmin Lee

Jungmin Lee is an associate lecturer in Korean language and culture. She has ten years of experience teaching Korean as a second language to university students. Prior to joining UCLan, Jungmin taught at Kyoungin Women’s University and Yongin University and has worked to develop and modernise Korean language curricula. Her main interests include bilingual education, student motivation in foreign languages and textbook design. Jungmin holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Korean as a Second Language, Seoul National University, an MA in International Area Studies from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and a BA in Political Science and Diplomacy from Sogang University. Her publications include Park, Miroung, Lee, Jungmin & Cha, Haekyoung 2012 My Korean Friend 1, Seoul, Hankook Munhwasa. (In Korean); and Moon, Sunhee, Burg, Damon & Lee, Jungmin 2011 Conversations in the Fashion Industry, Seoul, Sidaegosi, (In Korean).

Dr. Sungju Park-Kang

Sungju Park-Kang

Sungju is Lecturer in Korean Studies. He is the author of Fictional International Relations: Gender, Pain and Truth (Routledge 2014). His work has also appeared in, among others, Review of International Studies and Millennium: Journal of International Studies. Before joining UCLan, Sungju taught at Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Paul Rowe

Paul Rowe

Paul Rowe works as the Director for International and Academic Business Development for the School of Language, Literature and International Studies (SoLLIS) at UCLan, promoting the School’s portfolio of programmes and maintaining and developing its numerous international partnerships. Following a period of nine years in Japan and Spain teaching and training in language schools and multi-national corporations, Paul has managed and taught on large English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), English for Academic Purposes programmes (EAP) and teacher training programmes in both Further and Higher Education contexts in the U.K.

Professor Hazel Smith

Professor Hazel Smith

Professor Smith is the Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies. Prior to joining UCLan, Hazel was Professor of International Security at Cranfield University and Professor of International Relations at the University of Warwick. She has been awarded a number of prestigious international fellowships including visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC, 2012/2013; the POSCO fellowship at the East-West Centre, Honolulu, 2008; Jennings Randolph Visiting Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC, 2001/2002; Fulbright scholar and visiting fellow at Stanford University, 1994/1995. Professor Smith was seconded to the United Nations University in Tokyo from April 2002 to August 2004 and worked for the United Nations World Food Programme and UNICEF in North Korea between 1998 and 2001. Please view Hazel's full biography and publications.

Dr. Yu Tao

Yu Tao

Dr. Yu Tao (DPhil, MPhil, dual BAs) is Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). He teaches Area Studies and Development Studies, supervises MA and PhD students, and acts as personal tutor for undergraduate students. Trained as a political sociologist and China specialist in Oxford, Cambridge, and Peking University, his research mainly focuses on the role of religious groups in secular social movements and contentious politics in authoritarian settings. Yu's publication has appeared in reputable academic journals in English and in Chinese. He is a winner of the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad. Before passing his viva with no correct at Oxford, he was a former Dahrendorf Scholar at St. Antony's College and a former China Oxford Scholar at Merton College. He is also one of the first members of Zhengjian/CNPolitics.org, an influential online initiative that aims to promote social scientific research among the general public in the Chinese-speaking world. View Yu Tao's personal website.

Professor Keyuan Zou

Professor Keyuan Zou

Professor Keyuan Zou is Harris Professor of International Law at the Lancashire Law School of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), United Kingdom. He specializes in international law, in particular law of the sea and international environmental law. Before joining UCLan, he worked at Dalhousie University (Canada), Peking University (China), University of Hannover (Germany) and National University of Singapore. He has published over 60 refereed English papers in 30 international journals. His publications include: International Law in East Asia (Ashgate, 2011), and Securing the Safety of Navigation in East Asia (Oxford: Chandos, 2013). He is member of Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (Martinus Nijhoff), Ocean Development and International Law (Taylor & Francis), and the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy (Taylor & Francis), among others. Please view Professor Keyuan Zou's full biography and publications.