MA CEAS - Prospective Students

Study Programs

Concept of the MA CEAS Program

The Master’s in Contemporary East Asian Studies is an English-taught social science-based program with a contemporary and interdisciplinary profile. The program offers research-focused training for highly qualified graduates with a BA or similar in politics, international relations, sociology or economics. Depending on an applicant’s prior education and training, conditional admission may be granted requiring up to 30 ECTS credits in additional courses.

The principal focus of the MA program is the theoretical and problem-centered analysis of societies, politics and economies in East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea) and includes intensive training in an East Asian language.

Its aim is to deepen and enrich the student's skills in assessing contemporary change, the challenges facing the East Asian region and the implications of such developments for Europe.

Career Prospects

Students completing the MA degree are qualified for further studies at the doctoral level, for high-level positions in multinational corporations, in politics (including political consulting), in governmental and non-governmental think tanks and institutions, and in international organizations where intensive knowledge of East Asia and language proficiency is in high demand.

Some of our alumni have gone on to further their academic training by pursuing a PhD degree. Local destinations for research-oriented graduates of our MA programs for example include the IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) or the Alliance for Research on East Asia (AREA) Ruhr (in cooperation with the Faculty of East Asian Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum), supported by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR).

Program Structure

The two-year Master’s Program (MA CEAS) (equivalent to four semesters) offers Chinese, Japanese or Korean language and the choice of a discipline corresponding to the student’s previous degree (sociology, political science or economics). It combines intensive language training with interdisciplinary and discipline-specific modules focusing on Chinese, Japanese and Korean studies. Methodological training is integrated into the Advanced East Asian Studies modules.

Ma Ceas 2016 Studienverlauf

Semester 1: Three compulsory introductory modules help students to familiarise themselves with East Asian studies from different disciplinary perspectives. In addition, students start their training in the language of their choice (Chinese, Japanese or Korean native speakers are not allowed to choose their mother tongue).

Semester 2: There are 18 different modules on Advanced East Asian Studies (AEAS), with ten offered in the winter and eight in the summer term. These modules present problem-oriented and discipline-based perspectives on politics and the society or economy of China, Japan and Korea or the entire East Asian region. Students are expected to select two AEAS and one elective module after which they submit their choice to their advisor for approval.

Semester 3: Students complete their language training and select two additional AEAS and one elective module.

Semester 4: Students concentrate on writing their Master’s thesis. The thesis is an independent piece of research about a cutting-edge topic on contemporary East Asia. It is intended to provide evidence of the student’s newly acquired knowledge, theoretical and methodological skills in East Asian regional studies, and language proficiency.

Further details of the program and all modules and classes can be found in the Examination Regulations and Module Handbook in the Download section.

Application Deadlines

  • July 15 for non-EU citizens
  • September 15 for EU citizens

We accept applications all-year-round. Early submission of your application is strongly recommended!

You are advised to apply as soon as possible and long before the deadlines expire. This is to ensure that you have enough time to obtain a visa (if you are from a non-EU country), take care of all necessary preparations and arrive in time for the start of the program in early October.

We are permanently processing incoming applications, so early applicants will be informed – and successful ones admitted – irrespective of the deadlines.

Important information for non-EU applicants: Please note that we are currently in the process of reforming our university-wide application system for non-EU applicants. Starting from April 1st, 2020, there will be an online application platform available run by our International Office where you need to upload your application documents. If you would like to apply before April 1st, then please follow the steps noted on our homepage here and send in your application documents by E-mail to If you apply after April 1st, please use the application platform by the International Office as indicated above and follow the instructions given there.

Application Procedure

You may send your application via E-mail or regular mail: Application addresses

We are looking for highly qualified international students with excellent skills and motivation to take on the challenges of our demanding study programs.

Successful applicants who meet the requirements receive an invitation for an interview to test their aptitude and motivation for the study program.

Candidates from abroad can be interviewed via video conference.

After the evaluation process, the most promising candidates are offered a place in our Master’s program.

Depending on an applicant’s prior education and training, conditional admission may be granted requiring up to 30 ECTS credits in additional courses. In this case, the student can also be admitted for the summer term. The additional classes are determined individually by the examination board of IN-EAST. We thus strongly recommend applying as early as possible if you are unsure about the sufficiency of your prior training.

Required Documents

The Letter of Recommendation needs to be issued by a university professor. He or she should send the completed form directly to us, preferably via E-mail.

In addition to the application for admission and the letter of recommendation, the following documents should be submitted, either in English or German. Diplomas, degrees, transcript of grades, evidence of language proficiency, certificates etc. need to be verified.

  • proof of English language proficiency, e.g. TOEFL (university code Duisburg-Essen: 1703), IELTS, CET, etc.
  • complete and up-to-date CV showing your professional experience and education and including a color photo
  • copy of high school diploma (for Germans: Zeugnis der Hochschulreife)
  • copy of BA degree certificate, including a transcript of grades showing an average grade of 2.5 or higher, based on the German grading system, and also including a transcript of semesters spent abroad (Please use the so-called Bavarian Formular to calculate your GPA in the German grading system)
  • statement of reasons for applying for this program, including your interest in East Asia (1–2 pages)
  • APS Certificate (= Certificate of the ‘Akademische Prüfstelle’), relevant only for graduates from universities in China, Vietnamand Mongolia.

We strongly recommend electronic applications. Please send all application documents in one single pdf file, except for the letter of recommendation, which should be submitted by the writer. Originals of documents have to be presented at a later stage of the admission process.


Application addresses

Please send your application via E-mail:

or regular mail:

University of Duisburg-Essen
Institute of East Asian Studies
47048 Duisburg  ·  GERMANY


If you have any questions, please contact us:

Data Protection

Your details are covered by the full set of data protection laws that are valid at the time of writing.

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