East Asian Studies

The University of Edinburgh

Ph.D. On Campus
36 months
20100 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


First established in The University of Edinburgh over fifty years ago (Chinese Studies in 1965 and Japanese Studies in 1976), East Asian Studies enables both in-depth and diversified knowledge about the inter-relatedness of political, cultural and economic factors shaping international relations in the East Asian region and, comparatively, across the globe.


We cover a broad area of expertise, from regional to comparative Asian studies, classical and contemporary, including ancient philosophy and religion, the comparative politics of Asia, classical and modern literature, East Asian media and films, imperialism, colonial rule and decolonisation, political and economic transformation. We are a multi-disciplinary unit, where disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research are equally welcome and encouraged.

East Asian Studies at The University of Edinburgh has close links with the Scottish Centre for Chinese Studies, and the Confucius Institute. Our internationally respected academic staff, excellent facilities and academic, professional and cultural links with the East Asian community and East Asian organisations reinforce the world-leading nature of our research, and the prestige of our postgraduate opportunities. Covering a wide spectrum of interests, it also allows for joint supervision, should your research goals be interdisciplinary.

Career opportunities

You will acquire an interdisciplinary understanding of the major issues in East Asian society, politics, culture, economy, international relations, and history and will be able to relate those to broader social, political and economic trends in the East Asian region and globally. During the programme you will also be familiarised with opportunities about further job opportunities in the public and private sector, in the UK, East Asia and beyond.

You will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to analyse, compare and assess competing claims and make informed judgements about them. You will additionally gain transferable skills, including analysis presentation, communication, the use of new technologies in a learning environment, and team work. Such knowledge and skills will be valuable assets on the job market.

Having acquired the tools to analyse and understand East Asian relations in a global context, you could apply your skills in professional areas, such as diplomacy, national and international organisations, and research institutions.

Programme Structure

  • This PhD programme combines work on your individual thesis project with systematic training in research skills.
  • 1st Year PhD students may be required to audit courses in substantive and/or methodologies selected from the MSc by Research programme under the direction of your supervisor. Satisfactory performance in coursework and an end-of-year panel is required for you to progress further in the programme.
  • In the 2nd and 3rd year of the programme, your progress is subject to satisfactory performance in the annual review with the department’s postgraduate research committee.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months
  • Part-time
    • 72 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).
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Other requirements

General requirements

  • A UK postgraduate taught degree or its international equivalent in an appropriate subject.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    20100 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 20100 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.

Home/EU fees have still to be agreed.

PhD PT fees

  • International - £10,050


  • We will make prospective applicants and enrolled students aware of funding opportunities that are available for this programme.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Due for update

Updated over a year ago

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

East Asian Studies
The University of Edinburgh


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