Master of Arts in Oriental Languages and Cultures (China)

Course content

The Master’s programme is only accessible after having successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree in Oriental Languages and Cultures or after having obtained an intermediate level of the relevant languages and completed a sufficient number of background courses about the area you selected.

The (two-year) Master in Oriental Languages and Cultures offers a combined languages and cultures degree in the academic study of the following regional areas: China, India, Japan and the Middle East. You will be offered intermediate to advanced teaching in two language varieties from the area of your choice, specialist courses on related socio-cultural issues (including on interactions between the different subareas), and training to carry out academic research.

A major difference with the bachelor’s programme is a more integrated approach to language, culture and research: you no longer ‘learn’ a language, but you study language, text and context simultaneously. Within the Master’s programme, you choose four ‘Language, Text and Context’ courses (in line with the specialisation of your Bachelor’s programme):
- China: the courses modern Chinese and traditional language and culture;
- India: the courses Hindi, Sanskrit and Middle Indian;
- Japan: the courses modern Japanese and traditional language and culture;
- Middle East: the courses Middle East Politics and Society/Culture as well as Islam in the past and the present.
The course ‘Culture in Perspective’ engages with the variety of approaches in the academic study of diverse themes.

In the Master’s programme, you can opt for one of the various professionalisation trajectories, as an extension of the minors of the Bachelor’s programme. You will have the opportunity to benefit from a professional work experience by performing an internship in a company, a cultural institution, a government agency or any other relevant organisation of your choice. Internationalisation is an important aspect of the Master’s programme in Oriental Languages and Cultures. You are encouraged to spend one or two semesters abroad, either in a country from the chosen area or in Europe. The internship can also be performed abroad. The programme culminates in your preparation of a master’s dissertation, through which you demonstrate your ability to contribute actively and adequately (including via your language skills) to current academic (and wider) understandings of China, India, Japan or the Middle East and their diverse but interrelated socio-cultural landscapes.

Disregard the warning above the programme is taught both in Dutch and English.

Course structure

During the Master’s programme, you will perfect your linguistic, academic and critical skills. Socio-cultural phenomena are studied in depth, providing you with a wide range of generic and specific competences and opportunities for the future. The Master’s programme has a strong academic orientation and offers various opportunities for wider training in the humanities and social sciences.

The programme consists of the following components:
- Language, text and context (for each language; taught in the language of choice and English): in-depth academic study of particular socio-cultural phenomena, in combination with integrated language training at an intermediate to advanced level;
- Culture in perspective (for each cultural area; taught in English): advanced engagement with the variety of approaches in the academic study of diverse cultural themes related to China, India, Japan or the Middle East;
- Humanities and social sciences module: you can choose between the modules ‘Academic Proficiency’ (English research module), ‘Society and Diversity’, ‘Political and Social Sciences’ and ‘Economics and Business Administration’;
- Internationalisation module: study at an institution of higher education in a country from the chosen area or at another European university. Students who opt to stay at Ghent University, take the module ‘Internationalisation@Home’ with the courses ‘Globalisation’;
- Internship: in the framework of the humanities and social sciences or the internationalisation module, allowing you to acquire a first, very valuable pre-professional work experience. The programme can rely on a wide range of internship partners (companies, public authorities, museums etc.);
- ‘Master’s Dissertation’ and ‘Dissertation Seminar’: in these courses you demonstrate that you are able to contribute actively and adequately (including via your language skills) to current academic (and wider) understandings of China, India, Japan or the Middle East and their diverse but interrelated socio-cultural landscapes.

If you want to combine your master’s degree with a teacher’s degree, then there is the option of following an ‘Educatieve master’ instead of the above described master. The ‘Educatieve master’ however is a Dutch taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.

Career perspectives

The master in Oriental Languages and Cultures provides you with the same future opportunities as any other academic programme in the humanities (Linguistics and Literary Studies, Languages and Cultures). Graduates find employment in the cultural sector (museums, publishers, theatre companies, literary organisations, archives, the press, libraries and cultural centres), as well as at various governmental institutions and internationally oriented companies. They are often asked to welcome and escort trade missions, to manage trade contracts and to assist business leaders in the various countries of Asia.
Students having a keen interest in furthering their acquaintance with research in humanities and social sciences related to China, India, Japan or the Middle East can also consider a career as a researcher.