School of Social Sciences

Asian Studies

Asian Studies, as a field of critical enquiry, has a long history of critiquing and interrogating Western theories of social, economic, political and cultural development.


Students undertaking our majors will typically take six or seven units of language study and one or two country-specific units taught in English.


Honours offers opportunities for students to undertake a speciality in Asian Studies, with the opportunity to specialise in any Asian country.

The standard Honours program is over two semesters, and students undertake a selection of coursework units designed to enhance their theoretical and research skills, and also work on a research dissertation on a topic they are interested in.


In the same time zone as our research areas in Asia, UWA is an ideal base for a postgrad degree.

Career Opportunities

Asian Studies graduates are increasingly sought after in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector, in positions where language and cultural expertise is required. Graduates are also employed by state and federal government departments (including Defence, Immigration and Citizenship, Foreign Affairs and Trade), commercial enterprises investing in Asia, public sector and cultural organisations, NGOs and the media industry. Graduates can also pursue a career in academia, teaching, translation and interpretation.

Research Areas

  • Social Change, Identity and Gender
  • Culture, Media and Politics
  • Australia in the Context of Asia
  • Asian Languages
  • Modern History
  • Environmental Issues

Seminar Series

Looking to learn more about Asian Studies or find out what our staff and students are up? Head down to our seminar series and expand your knowledge.

Find out More

Our Staff

Dr David Bourchier

Research Expertise:

Indonesian politics, history, and ideology; comparative political thought; democracy and authoritarianism

Dr Laura Dales

Research Expertise:

sexuality and gender in contemporary Japan; singlehood, friendship and marriage in Asia

Dr Stephen Dobbs

Research Expertise:

labour history and migration in Singapore

Dr Jo Elfving-Hwang

Research Expertise:

Sociology of the body in Korea; Asian popular culture; cultural gerontology in Asia; Korean literature and cinema

Dr Nicola Fraschini

Research Expertise:

Korean language; foreign languages pedagogy

Dr Kyoko Kawasaki


Japanese language

Prof Lyn Parker

Research Expertise:

gender relations; environmental issues; development; education

Dr Xianlin Song

Director of Confucius Institute Research Expertise:

Chinese language; Chinese women’s literature; cultural transition and gender issues in contemporary China; international higher education mobility

Huilin Sun


Chinese Language

Dr Yu Tao

Research Expertise:

political sociology; contemporary China

Liyong Wang


Chinese Language

Our Current Postgrads

Pin-Pin (Debbie) Chan

literary and visual culture in interwar Japan

Kieran Golby

Sino-Japanese citizens' environmmentalism

Caleb Kelso-Marsh

Japanese and Korean cinema

Yawen Xu

heritage craft production in China

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