Studying in the MPAS

The Research Seminar of the MPAS program at CEAS having a session in December 2013.

Master's Programme Studies

The structure and the contents of the Master's Degree Programme in East Asian Studies (MPAS) are described on this page.

In large, the MPAS Programme consists of methodology studies, obligatory and optional subject studies, and languages. The degree requirements, contents of the study modules, and details on individual courses are given in the Study Leaflet (pdf), which is updated during the course of the academic year.

Most of the course teachers use the Moodle online learning environment in their teaching. Course materials and the most up-to-date information about courses are normally available in the Moodle page of each course.

Structure of the Programme

The studies in the MPAS program are divided thematically into seven modules:

  1. Methodology in East Asian Studies
  2. Histories of East Asian Countries
  3. Contemporary Politics, Societies, and Economies of East Asia
  4. East Asia in Regional and Global Context
  5. Research Seminar and Master's Thesis
  6. Other Studies
  7. Language Studies
Courses in these modules are structured into Methodology and Master's Thesis, Obligatory and Optional Subject Studies, and Language Studies as follows:

Master's Degree in Social Sciences (East Asian Studies) (120 credits)

Methodology and Master's Thesis (60 cr)
• Methodology courses (8 cr); Research Seminar taken during four terms (10 cr)
• Master's thesis (40 cr)

Obligatory Subject Studies in Modern and Contemporary East Asia (20 cr)
• Four courses each 5 cr from modules 3 an 4; all obligatory courses are marked with an asterisk (*) in the Study Leaflet

Optional Subject Studies in Modern and Contemporary East Asia (min. 16 cr)
• Freely selected from courses in modules 2, 3, 4, and 6
• Can also include courses in the Minor Programme which are marked (MPAS) in the Study Leaflet

Language Studies (14‒24 cr)
• Academic Writing in English (4cr) and at least 10 cr of an East Asian language (up to 20 cr counts towards the degree)

UTU master's application portal CEAS programme structure PIENI-550.jpg 

The MPAS degree consists of study units which cover the methodology of social sciences and East Asian studies, contemporary history, politics, and societies of East Asia as well as many other topics of special interest. To attain a Master's Degree, studies need to add up to a minimum of 120 credits (1 Finnish credit = 1 ECTS).

In the beginning of the new term, all new MPAS programme students will draft a personal study plan (HOPS in its Finnish abbreviation). The study plan is discussed with and approved by the academic director of MPAS.

Please note that approximately 90% of the teaching in the Master's Programme is contact teaching (lectures and seminars), and there is quite a lot of it. You should therefore only apply to the programme if you know that you can attend lectures on at least three days a week in Turku.

MPAS Programme term by term

The courses in the MPAS program have been designed to be taken in the following succession in two years.


Autumn semester, 1st year

Research Seminar (2 cr)
Understanding East Asia (5 cr)
Transformations of Korean Culture and Society (5 cr)
Contemporary Japanese Politics & Society (5 cr)
Academic Writing in Engish (2cr)
Language studies (5 cr)

Spring term, 1st year

Methodology in East Asian Studies (6 cr)
Methodology Selective Studies (2 cr)
Methodology in East Asian Studies literature exam (2 cr)
Research Seminar (2 cr)
Chinese Politics (5 cr)
Language studies (5 cr)

Autumn term, 2nd year

Research Seminar (3 cr)
Optional Subject Studies (8 cr)
Language studies (5 cr)
Academic Writing in English II (2cr)
(Writing the Master's Thesis)

Spring term, 2nd year

Research Seminar (3 cr)
Language studies (5 cr)
Optional Subject Studies (8 cr)
(Writing the Master's Thesis)

By August of the 2nd year

Master's Thesis finished (40 cr)

Note: in the scheme above, studies in East Asian languages add up to 20 credits. In case the student takes only the minimum of 10 cr of East Asian languages, 10 credits more of Optional Subject Studies needs to be taken.


N.B. Book exams for master's degree students can be substituted by writing an essay on the course topic (to be agreed with the responsible teacher). 

Financial issues

The University of Turku does not charge tuition fees as of the academic year 2016-2017. However, the newly amended Universities Act requires universities to charge tuition fees from citizens outside of the EU and EEA in degree programmes (BA, MA) in foreign languages from the academic year 2017‒2018 onwards. For students liable to pay tuition fees there is a generous scholarship programme.

In general, the university is not able to offer financial assistance (except for the scholarship programme mentioned above) or job opportunities for students. The membership fee of the Student Union of the University of Turku is compulsory for all attending student. In the academic year 2017-2018 the fee is 107 €, including the health care fee.

All international students are expected to finance their own living costs. Affordable housing is available from the Student Village Foundation of Turku. Please apply for a flat as soon as you can.  

You are encouraged to apply for financial support in your home country. Foreign students must be able to demonstrate that they have means to cover their living expenses while studying in Finland. A student coming from outside the EU or EEA must have a deposit before being able to obtain a visa / residence permit.

Also, please note that any non-EU student who submits a residence permit application must attach details of their comprehensive health insurance cover to their application. Comprehensive insurance cover means insurance which includes the types of treatment and costs that are covered by municipal health care services and the health insurance system.

For detailed information on visa applications and residence permits, see the Studying in Finland pages of the Finnish Immigration Service or contact the nearest Finnish Embassy or Consulate. These institutions are completely separate from the University, and you should contact them directly.