Korean Studies in Australia: An Overview of Undergraduate Offerings

Are you looking to incorporate Korean Studies as part of your university education in Australia? This guide will give you a brief overview of the Australian universities with Korean Studies offerings.

Australia has seven universities across five states/territories with established Korean Studies programs. These programs often combine study of the Korean language with study of culture, history and society. All of these universities have a number of partner institutions in Korea, allowing students to undertake exchange programs as part of their degree.

Scroll below or use the links here to read about the programs on offer:

Disclaimer: While Asia Options strives to be as accurate as possible in the information we provide on study options, we cannot act as an official education consultant and study offerings may be subject to frequent changes. We recommend you check the latest information available on each university’s official website and get in touch with them if you require any further clarification.

Australian Capital Territory

Australian National University

The Australian National University’s Korea Institute aims to foster a closer relationship between Australia and Korea through education, research and dialogue. Classes are located at the university’s Acton campus.

Study Options

Korean Language Major

The Korean Language major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Asian Studies or Bachelor of Languages degree. It requires the completion of 48 units, the equivalent of eight standard courses over the duration of the degree. Students who have previous experience with the Korean language are required to take a placement test to determine the most appropriate enrolment level.

Korean Studies Major

The Korean Studies major is a non-language major which can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Asian Studies degree. It is designed to complement the Korean Language major, but knowledge of the Korean language is not required. It requires the completion of 48 units, the equivalent of eight standard courses over the duration of the degree.

Korean Language Minor

The Korean Language minor can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Asian Studies, Bachelor of Development Studies, Bachelor of International Relations or Bachelor of Languages degree. It requires the completion of 24 units, the equivalent of four standard courses over the duration of the degree. A placement test is also required for students who have previous experience with the Korean language.

Korean Studies Minor

The Korean Studies minor is a non-language minor which can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Asian Studies degree. It is designed to complement the Korean Language major, but knowledge of the Korean language is not required. It requires the completion of 24 units, the equivalent of eight standard courses over the duration of the degree.

Diploma of Languages

The Diploma of Languages in Korean Language looks identical to the Korean Language major, except that it is taken separately and concurrently with another degree at the university, rather than as part of a bachelor’s degree. This option allows students to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any field, while also studying the equivalent of a Korean Language major at the same time.

Honours

The Australian National University has a wide range of options for high performing students to take a fourth year of honours study. Honours is available to students who have completed a Korean Language major or Korean Studies major. A WAM of 70 or higher is required to be eligible for honours.

Extracurricular Activities

ANU Korean Pop Culture Club

The ANU Korean Pop Culture Club aims to promote an interest in Korean music, television, film, fashion, beauty and food. The club runs regular programs to keep students engaged, including dance classes, language classes, Netflix parties and game nights.

International Opportunities

The Australian National University allows students to undertake exchange programs at a number of partner institutions in Korea:

  • Ewha Womans University
  • Hongik University, College of Fine Arts and Design (School of Art students only)
  • Korea University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sogang University
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Yonsei University

New South Wales

University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales’ Korean Studies program covers the study of the Korean language and the study of the social, cultural and historical aspects associated with the language. Classes are located at the university’s Kensington campus.

Study Options

Korean Studies Major

The Korean Studies major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Business, Bachelor of Business (Co-op) or Bachelor of Commerce (International) degree. It requires the completion of 60 units of credit, the equivalent of ten courses over the duration of the degree. An online placement test will be used to determine the appropriate level of entry.

Advanced Korean Studies Major

The Advanced Korean Studies major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Business, Bachelor of Business (Co-op) or Bachelor of Commerce (International) degree. It requires the completion of 60 units of credit, the equivalent of ten courses over the duration of the degree. An online placement test will be used to determine the appropriate level of entry. This major is available only to students commencing at an advanced entry level.

Korean Studies Minor

The Korean Studies minor can be completed as part of a number of different bachelor’s degrees. It requires the completion of 24 units of credit, the equivalent of four courses over the duration of the degree. An online placement test will be used to determine the appropriate level of entry.

Korean Studies Extended Minor

The Korean Studies extended minor can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (International) degree. It requires the completion of 36 units of credit, the equivalent of six courses over the duration of the degree. An online placement test will be used to determine the appropriate level of entry.

Diploma in Language Studies

The Diploma in Language Studies in Korean Studies is taken separately and concurrently with another degree at the university, rather than as part of a bachelor’s degree. This option allows students to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any field, while also undertaking in-depth studies in the field of Korean Studies. It requires the completion of 48 units of credit, the equivalent of eight courses.

Honours

Honours is available as a fourth year of study for students who have completed a Korean Studies major. A WAM of 70 or higher is required to be eligible for honours.

Extracurricular Activities

UNSW Korean Students Association (UNSW KSA)

UNSW KSA is a network of Korean students aiming to promote Korean culture and facilitate cultural exchanges. The club holds a number of regular events, including cooking classes, dinners and music shows.

UNSW Kpop Society

The UNSW Kpop Society welcomes all students with an interest in Korean popular culture. The club holds a number of regular events, including dance classes, film screenings and trivia nights.

UNSW Language Exchange Program

The UNSW Language Exchange Program allows students to be matched with up to three partners who speak a language of their choice. It is a great opportunity to both practice Korean and make some new friends.

International Opportunities

The University of New South Wales allows students to undertake exchange programs at a number of partner institutions in Korea:

  • Ewha Womans University
  • Hanyang University
  • KAIST
  • Korea University
  • Kyung Hee University
  • Pusan National University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Yonsei University

University of Sydney

The University of Sydney’s Department of Korean Studies aims to provide students with a broad foundation in Korean Studies, encompassing language, history, linguistics, culture and society, translation and interpretation, and media and communications. Classes are located at the university’s main Camperdown/Darlington campus.

Study Options

Major

The Korean Studies major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. It requires the completion of 48 credit points, the equivalent of eight standard units over the duration of the degree. There are four different starting points, for introductory, intermediate, advanced and heritage speakers of Korean.

Minor

The Korean Studies minor can also be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. It requires the completion of 36 credit points, the equivalent of six standard units over the duration of the degree. The minor also has four different starting points, for introductory, intermediate, advanced and heritage speakers of Korean.

Diploma of Language Studies

The Diploma of Language Studies in Korean Studies looks identical to the major, except that it is taken separately and concurrently with another degree at the university, rather than as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. This option allows students to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any field, while also studying the equivalent of a Korean Studies major at the same time.

Honours

Honours in Korean Studies is available as a fourth year of study for students who have completed a Korean Studies major. Students who achieve results of 70% or higher in their first year Korean units are encouraged to pursue honours.

Extracurricular Activities

USU Language Exchange

The University of Sydney Union (USU) runs a free language exchange program in which students are paired with a buddy who is a native speaker of the language of their choice. It is a great opportunity to both practice Korean and make a new friend.

International Opportunities

The University of Sydney allows students to undertake exchange programs at three partner institutions in Korea:

  • Korea University
  • Seoul National University
  • Yonsei University

Queensland

University of Queensland

The University of Queensland’s Korean Studies program, found within the School of Languages and Cultures, covers the fundamentals of the language and culture, as well as business communication and translation and interpretation. Classes are located at the university’s St Lucia campus.

Study Options

Single Major

The Korean single major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of International Studies degree. It requires the completion of 16 units, the equivalent of eight standard courses over the duration of the degree. There are three different starting points, for beginner, intermediate and advanced speakers of Korean.

Extended Major

The Korean extended major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. It requires the completion of 24 units, the equivalent of 12 standard courses over the duration of the degree. There are two different starting points, for beginner and intermediate speakers of Korean.

Minor

To complete a Korean minor as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree, a student must complete between six and ten units from the Korean major, the equivalent of between three and five standard courses over the duration of the degree.

Diploma in Languages

The Diploma in Languages in Korean looks identical to the Korean single major, except that it is taken separately and concurrently with another degree at the university, rather than as part of a bachelor’s degree. This option allows students to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any field, while also studying the equivalent of a Korean major at the same time.

Honours

Honours is available as a fourth year of study for students who have completed a Korean major as part of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of International Studies degree. A GPA of 5.0 or higher is required to be eligible for honours.

Extracurricular Activities

UQ Korean International Students’ Society (UQKISS)

Despite the name of the club, UQKISS welcomes both Korean international students and all students with an interest in Korean culture. The club holds a number of regular events, including language classes, talent shows and beauty classes.

[email protected] Language Exchange Program

UQ Student Services arranges a regular language exchange program. Students will be matched with a native speaker of the language of their choice. It is a great opportunity to both practice Korean and make a new friend.

International Opportunities

The University of Queensland allows students to undertake exchange programs at a number of partner institutions in Korea:

  • Ewha Womans University
  • KAIST
  • Korea University
  • Pusan National University
  • Seoul National University
  • Yonsei University

Victoria

Monash University

Monash University provides the most comprehensive Korean Studies program in Victoria. With classes located at the university’s Clayton campus, the program is designed to introduce students to Korean culture and society, in addition to supporting the acquisition of Korean language skills.

Study Options

Major

The Korean Studies major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. It requires the completion of 48 points, the equivalent of eight standard units over the duration of the degree. These units may be a combination of language, cornerstone, capstone and elective units, depending on the student’s entry point (i.e. introductory, intermediate, proficient or advanced).

Minor

The Korean Studies minor can also be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. It requires the completion of 24 points, the equivalent of four standard units over the duration of the degree. The minor involves taking two fixed non-language units and two sequential language units.

Diploma of Languages

The Diploma of Languages in Korean Studies looks identical to the major, except that it is taken separately and concurrently with another degree at the university, rather than as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. This option allows students to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any field, while also studying the equivalent of a Korean Studies major at the same time.

Honours

Honours in Korean Studies is available as a fourth year of study for students who have completed a Korean Studies major as part of the Bachelor of Arts degree, including a minimum of 24 points at the third year level.

Special Units

Korean Research Project

This special unit is aimed at proficient and heritage learners of the Korean language. Students will work individually or collaboratively under the supervision of a Monash Korean Studies staff member. The aim is for the research project to ultimately result in a publication for the supervisor and students. The unit is new in 2020, with the first iteration consisting of a major literary translation from Korean into English. The unit is worth six credit points, the equivalent of one standard unit.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Internship

This special unit is the result of a collaboration between Monash Korean Studies and the Monash University Library. Students will engage in projects at the library to support high-level research on Korea and Korea-related areas. The aim of the collaboration is to improve the learning experience and employability of Monash Korean Studies students. The unit is worth six credit points, the equivalent of one standard unit.

Extracurricular Activities

Korean Appreciation Student Association (KASA)

KASA is a club at Monash University which aims to promote both traditional and contemporary Korean culture. Annual membership is free for members of the Monash Student Association, or $5.00 for others. In conjunction with Monash Korean Studies, KASA runs a number of regular events to keep students engaged with all things Korea. Previous events have included taekwondo workshops, kimchi preparation lessons and film screenings. KASA also organises regular Korean conversation circles to allow students to develop and practice their Korean language skills.

Language Exchange with Jeonbuk National University

Each semester, Monash Korean Studies arranges an online language exchange program in conjunction with Jeonbuk National University in Jeonju, Korea. Students enrolled in any of Monash University’s Korean language classes will be able to register their interest in the program. Selected students will then be partnered with a student from the Department of English Education at Jeonbuk National University. It will be up to the students to decide how to maintain communication and schedule their language exchange sessions.

Monash Korean Studies Seminar Series

Monash Korean Studies runs regular seminars throughout the semester. The seminars feature academics or other experts presenting on topics related to Korea. These events are a great opportunity for students to gain insight into the more academic side of Korean Studies.

International Opportunities

Monash University allows students to undertake exchange programs at a number of partner institutions in Korea:

  • KAIST
  • Korea University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sungkyunkwan University (Bachelor of International Business students only)
  • Yonsei University

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne hosts Australia’s newest Korean Studies program, which currently consists of a small selection of introductory language and non-language subjects. Classes are located at the university’s Parkville campus.

Study Options

Korean Studies subjects can currently be studied through the Asian Studies major or minor as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree, or as a breadth option as part of a non-Arts degree.

Honours

Honours in Korean Studies is available as a fourth year of study through the Asian Studies major as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. A WAM of 70 or higher is required to be eligible for honours.

Extracurricular Activities

Unimelb Kpop Club

The Unimelb Kpop Club welcomes students interested in Korean pop music. The club holds a number of regular events, including dance classes, singing classes and bingo nights.

Language Exchange Club

The Language Exchange Club arranges weekly sessions for a number of languages, including Korean. There are three separate sessions, for beginner, intermediate and advanced speakers.

International Opportunities

The University of Melbourne allows students to undertake exchange programs at a number of partner institutions in Korea:

  • KAIST
  • Korea University
  • POSTECH
  • Seoul National University
  • Sungkyunkwan University

Western Australia

University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia’s Korean Studies program aims to combine study of the Korean language with Korea-related subjects in various disciplines. Classes are located at the university’s Crawley campus.

Study Options

Degree-specific Major

The Korean Studies degree-specific major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. It requires the completion of 48 credit points, the equivalent of eight standard units over the duration of the degree.

Second major

The Korean Studies second major can be completed as part of a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design or Bachelor of Science degree. It requires the completion of 48 credit points, the equivalent of eight standard units over the duration of the degree.

Diploma in Modern Languages

The Diploma in Modern Languages in Korean Studies looks identical to the major, except that it is taken separately and concurrently with another degree at the university, rather than as part of a bachelor’s degree. This option allows students to take an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any field, while also studying the equivalent of a Korean Studies major at the same time.

Honours

Honours in Asian Studies is available as a fourth year of study for students who have completed a Korean Studies major as part of the Bachelor of Arts degree, including a minimum WAM of 70 in the level three units of the relevant major.

Extracurricular Activities

Korean Cultural Club (KCC)

The KCC aims to promote understanding and awareness of Korean culture by bringing together students with like-minded interests. The club holds a number of regular events, including BBQs, dance performances, film nights and quiz nights.

International Opportunities

The University of Western Australia allows students to undertake exchange programs at a number of partner institutions in Korea:

  • Korea University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sogang University
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Yonsei University
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Jake Black

Jake is a graduate student at the University of Melbourne and a Social Media Intern at the Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria. He has studied in Korea as an exchange student twice, in 2017 and 2019.

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