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International Institute of Korean Studies

The International Institute of Korean Studies UCLan (IKSU) is UCLan's multidisciplinary hub of research, teaching and public policy, leading the way in the study of the two Koreas.

About us

IKSU was established in 2014 as a multidisciplinary hub of research, teaching and public policy in the study of contemporary Korea. IKSU is based in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan, bringing together university wide research expertise on global Korea in the context of language, development, political economy, society and culture, anthropological discourse, and international relations surrounding both Koreas. UCLan IKSU has become an official Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) test venue since 2019, and launched the only Korea Corner, funded by Korea Foundation in the UK in April 2019.

IKSU is nestled under the Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific (ISAP) which serves as the umbrella institute for Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Central Lancashire.



North Korean Studies, MA

Learn about the society, economy, politics and international relations of North Korea with our MA in North Korean Studies.

For inquiries about PhD programme in Korean Studies, contact Dr Sojin Lim

View course

Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK)

UCLan is an official TOPIK test venue. In the UK, you can take TOPIK tests twice a year (April and November) in London or Preston (UCLan). For more information, visit the TOPIK website. For inquiries, please contact Ms Hyojin An.

Korea Corner

Korea Corner is a Korean cultural space, which has over 4,000 books and DVDs on both South and North Koreas, in English and Korean, along with some Korean artefacts. The space is funded by the Korea Foundation, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the United Kingdom.

Korea Corner is open for browsing by members of the public with a valid ID within the UCLan Library. Public access is not available between the hours of 11am and 3pm, Monday to Friday inclusive.

For more details, please contact Rowann Fitzpatrick, or see the Library website for more access information.

Korean Literature Night

The Korea Cultural Centre has long held regular ‘Korean Literature Night’ events as a part of the K-Wave in London, and is now running similar events in the North West, at the UCLan IKSU Korea Corner, on the second floor of the UCLan Library.

Details about what the ‘Korean Literature Night’ is can be found on the Korean Cultural Centre's website.

Korean Literature nights open to all UCLan staff and students.

Previous events:

  • First Korean Literature Night, 12 February 2020, 5–7pm

Buddy programme

We buddy up our Korean pathway students with exchange students from Korea so that students can enjoy language and cultural exchange exercise.

Application period:

  • April – May for Semester 1
  • October – November for Semester 2

For inquiries, please contact Rowann Fitzpatrick.

"Overall it was a great experience that improved my University life, and I look forward to meeting those friends again when I go to Korea as part of the study abroad programme."

Adam Gareth Rowe, IKSU Buddy


We offer several different scholarships at postgraduate level for both taught courses, and research degrees. For more details, see our scholarship listings:

For more details, please contact Dr Sojin Lim.

Honorary professors

Dr Michael J. Seth is a Professor of History at James Madison University. There he teaches East Asian and World history. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii, his M.A. and B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Seth is the author of Education Fever: Society, Politics and the Pursuit of Schooling in South Korea (2002), A Concise History of Korea (second edition, 2016), North Korea: A History (2018), and editor of The Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History (2016).

Professor Eun Mee Kim is Dean of The Graduate School, Professor in the Graduate School of International Studies, Director of the Institute for Development and Human Security and Director of the Ewha Global Health Institute for Girls at Ewha Womans University. She served as President of the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (2011, 2012). She has served as a member on the Committee for International Development Cooperation under the Prime Minister’s Office, the Policy Advisory Committee in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Policy Advisory Committee in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. In 2012, she received the Service Merit Medal from the Republic of Korea for her contributions to the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. In 2013, she received the first research grant to a university in South Korea from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on her research project entitled, “Advocacy for Korean Engagement in Global Health and Development.” In 2016, she received a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a project entitled, “Korea Global Health Strategy.” In December 2016 she was appointed by the UN as one of 15 scientists in the world to work on the Global Sustainable Development Report 2019.

Dr Seon Jung Kim is Dean of International Office and Professor of the Department of Korean Studies at Keimyung University in Korea. She is also President of the Korean Language and Culture Education Society. She has published various of Korean text books in countries like United States, France and in Korea.

PhD students

Priscilla Kim is researching the Track II diplomatic efforts between the United States and North Korea during the second North Korea nuclear crisis (2002-2008). Her focus on Track II diplomacy stems from her interest in official - or Track I diplomacy - that has occurred between the two states. Her research focuses on the New York Philharmonic's visit to North Korea, the efforts by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP), and science diplomacy conducted by academics of Stanford University and the Nautilus Institute. Priscilla received her B.A. and M.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Our partners

IKSU and UCLan have established a network of cooperation with strategic partner institutions in South Korea. International partnerships allow IKSU students to make the most of their studies, experiencing life and culture in South Korea. At the same time, Korean students are welcome in the UK, to spend a semester or summer abroad. Additionally, the IKSU Buddy Programme was launched in 2018–19 academic year for Korean subject students at UCLan and exchange students coming into UCLan from Korea. IKSU Buddy recruitment process happens twice a year, at the beginning of each semester.

Annual conference


Exploring Landscape of K-Culture and Changes in Society: Past, Present and Future
University of Central Lancashire, UK, 26–27 April 2021

From K-Pop, K-dramas, and K-films to political activism, K-culture is no longer limited to entertainment. Recently, the power of K-Pop fans and social media have impacted the political scene in the US. With this in mind, the past, present and future of K-culture and its influence in society will be discussed at the 2021 IKSU Annual International Conference. The main aims of the conference are to provide a venue to explore the landscape of K-Culture and its influence in society, and to publish an edited volume.

Papers from various disciplines are invited. PhD candidate participation is also encouraged.

While the first day of the conference will be held at the main campus of the University of Central Lancashire, which is located in north of England, the second day of the event will be held at the Samlesbury Hall (14th century manor house and gardens), one of the stunning stately homes of Lancashire.

Activities and events


IKSU Book Essay Contest

We’ve launched a Book Essay Contest to introduce Korean novels that are translated in English to overseas readers.

There will be Awards for five places. Award ceremony is expected to be held in late October 2020. Assessment panel will consist of academics in Korean Studies and professionals in Korean literature.

  • First place (one place): a book voucher, value of £500
  • Second place (one place): a book voucher, value of £300
  • Third place (three places): a book voucher, value of £100 each

Read one of the three books and send an essay about the book to the email address below. Book to read (choose one): you can find following books at the online bookstores or Amazon.

Essay: 2,000 words in MS word file (in English).

You must include your full name, a short bio, and your email address in your essay.

Deadline: 28 August 2020

Where to submit:

The result will be announced through the IKSU website in October 2020 and the winners will be contacted by email individually.

The Book Essay Contest is funded by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea), which is an affiliate organization to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and the IKSU.

While it is open to public, for UCLan students and staff, there will be free books available (10 for each book) on a first-come, first-served basis, funded by Prof Niki Alsford. For more information, email with (1) your full name, (2) name of the book you want to write an essay about, and (3) your address where the book can be posted.


The International Institute of Korean Studies
Adelphi Building 149
University of Central Lancashire

Tel: +44 (0)1772 89 4511