University of Oxford Korean Studies

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University of Oxford Korean Studies

University of Oxford Korean Studies

Korean language and history are recent additions to the Faculty of Oriental Studies. Some teaching of Korean language was offered intermittently over the years, and a fixed-term University Instructorship in Korean Language was established from January 1994. This was followed by a fixed-term University Lecturership in Korean History from June 1994. Both of these posts were made possible by a generous start-up grant from the Korea Foundation. Over the decade to 2004, a further grant from the Korea Foundation and generous gifts from Dr. Chong Hee Seung and former Minister Lee Yun Taek have supported Korean Studies and kept it alive at Oxford.

A Master of Studies (M.St.) in Korean Studies was approved in spring 1995 and graduated its first student in the spring of 1996. Since then, a good number of students have taken the degree, some with Distinction. Although undergraduate students could prepare for individual examinations in Korean language or Korean history, from 2003, students of Chinese and Japanese can take three ‘papers’ in Korean: Language, Classical Texts, and History and Culture, effectively constituting 30% of their degrees and allowing them to graduate with degrees in ‘Chinese with Korean’ or ‘Japanese with Korean’. Other undergraduate options in Korean also exist. Students of Chinese can read Korean classical texts in Classical Chinese. Students of Chinese and Japanese can write their undergraduate dissertations on an aspect of Korean history or Korean Linguistics.

In June 2005, the University established a permanent post in Korean History, and in July 2006, a generous endowment from the Korea Foundation and the International Communication Foundation established a permanent post with the name ‘Young Bin Min-Korea Foundation Lecturership in Korean Language and Linguistics’. The establishment of a full undergraduate degree in Korean Studies awaits permanent funding for a third post; until then, we can offer Korean subjects only as options within existing undergraduate programmes in Chinese and Japanese. Undergraduate interest in Korean Studies is strong and expanding. For more information about these courses, please follow the links in the left-hand menu.

Oksan sŏwŏn (Oksan Academy), given its name in 1574, Oksan-ri, An’gang-ŭp, Kyŏngju-si, North Kyŏngsang Province.Oksan sŏwŏn (Oksan
Academy), given its name in
1574, Oksan-ri, An’gang-ŭp,
Kyŏngju-si, North
Kyŏngsang Province.