Asian Studies

Asian Studies at UNE will introduce you to the societies, cultures, economies, polities and histories of Asia.  We focus on the social forces at work shaping contemporary East, Southeast and South Asia.

Many of our graduates have continued on to Honours and postgraduate degrees with us, while others have gained employment in both the government and private sectors.

Asian Studies can be combined with other majors such as Indonesian, Japanese or Chinese, Political and International Studies, History or Economics.


Asian Studies units are available in a wide variety of undergraduate degrees at UNE. Most undergraduate students taking Asian Studies do so in the Bachelor of Arts, combined Bachelor of Arts degrees, the Bachelor of International Studies and the Bachelor of Languages.

400-level Asian Studies units may be included in a number of postgraduate coursework awards in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Students wishing to extend their undergraduate degree in Asian Studies, or wishing to undertake postgraduate research in Asian Studies in the future, would normally complete an Honours program.

Students wishing to undertake advanced research in Asian Studies may do so in postgraduate research degrees.

Undergraduate Degrees

Advanced Diploma in Arts
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of International Studies
Bachelor of International and Language Studies

Postgraduate Coursework

Graduate Certificate in Arts
Master of Arts

Units in Asian Studies

Asian Studies units are available at undergraduate and postgraduate coursework levels, and at Honours level.

Information on postgraduate research in Political and International Studies can be found on the Courses section of this page.

Undergraduate Units

The units offered in Asian Studies draw upon a range of disciplines including history, economics and political and international studies. Students are encouraged to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of Asia and its diversity.

CHIN211 Chinese Calligraphy
CHIN325 Contemporary Chinese Culture
CIJ210 Cultural Expression in Modern Asia
ECON345 Economy and Business in Modern Asia
HIST195 Asian Pasts
HIST343 Islam in the Modern World
INDN315 Contemporary Indonesian Culture
ISLM344 Islam and the West: the Clash of Civilisations?
ISLM363 Women in Islam
JAPN325 Japanese Culture through Anime, Manga and Music
LING380 The Languages of Asia
MUSI330 Asian musical Traditions
PAIS113 Power, Conflict and the Making of Modern Asia
PAIS318 Australia's Relations with Asia
PAIS352 International Human Rights
PAIS361 Sex, Crime and Corruption in Asia
PAIS363 Family, Women and the State in Asia
PAIS380 Dragon in Chains?: Contemporary Chinese Politics
RELS381 Chinese and Japanese Religion: A History
RELS386 Buddhism: A History
RELS392 Meditation in Eastern Religions
SOCY319 Globalisation, Development and Social Change

Postgraduate Coursework Units

The following Asian Studies units are available in postgraduate coursework awards.

CHIN425 Contemporary Chinese Culture
JAPN425 Japanese Culture through Anime, Manga and Music
LING580 The Languages of Asia
PAIS518 Australia's Relations with Asia
PAIS552 International Human Rights
PAIS561 Sex, Crime and Corruption in Asia
PAIS563 Family, Women and the State in Asia
PAIS580 Dragon in Chains?: Contemporary Chinese Politics
PAIS590 Politics in the Developing World
RELS581 Chinese and Japanese Religion: A History
RELS586 Buddhism: A History
SOCY519 Globalisation, Development and Social Change

Honours Units

Honours in Asian Studies consists of 50 per cent course work and 50 per cent thesis.

ASST401H Asian Studies Hons Coursework

The coursework component, ASST 401H, is based on a series of essays. These enable the student to explore and master key theoretical perspectives, specific concepts and important empirical trends pertaining to Asian Studies.

ASST402H Asian Studies Hons Dissertation

This unit is based on a dissertation. Students are required to research and write a dissertation on an Asian Studies topic relating to their own interests. The topic is to be developed in consultation with their supervisor. This unit allows the student to explore and analyse a significant theory, policy or trend in Asian societies in considerable depth.

For specific information on the Asian Studies Honours units contact Dr Tim Battin on +61 2 6773 3155.

Honours Program

Honours programs available in Asian Studies include the Bachelor of Arts with Honours and the Bachelor of International Studies with Honours.

Honours in Asian Studies within the Bachelor of Arts is designed to serve as an advanced level of study for students wishing to extend their degree or establish a pathway to postgraduate studies. The program, of one year's full-time or two year's part-time study, consists of 50 per cent course work and 50 per cent thesis. A wide choice of thesis topics is available across the many areas of Asian Studies, such as:

  • Australia-Asia relations
  • the history of Asia
  • contemporary Asian societies and cultures
  • Asian politics
  • the political economy of Asia
  • Asian economies
  • issues of development in Asia
  • labour movements in Asia
  • Asian religions

For information on the Asian Studies program in the Bachelor of Arts with Honours, contact Dr Tim Battin on +61 2 6773 3155.

For information on the Bachelor of international Studies with honours contact Dr Karin von Strokirch on +61 2 6773 3132.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Bachelor of International Studies with Honours

Postgraduate Research

The Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy are postgraduate research degrees in which students work under the supervision of one or more academic staff on a specific research topic. The academics chosen as supervisors will be members of the Asian Studies staff with the highest levels of competence and expertise in the field in which you intend to undertake research. Postgraduate research is stimulating, but challenging. Asian Studies staff aim is to make progress through these degrees as smooth and successful as possible, and have a proven track record in doing so.

For further information on postgraduate research in Asian Studies contact Dr Paul Healy on +61 2 6773 3514.

Master of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy


Australia's physical proximity of Asia and growing ties to the region, both politically and economically, make this an interesting and exciting time, especially for those with cross-cultural communication skills. Knowledge of Asian politics, economies and societies is an essential skill in a number of career paths in the public service, business and teaching. Graduates who are 'Asia-literate' have good employment prospects. Opportunities exist both in Australian and internationally in a variety of fields including:

  • teaching
  • administration
  • diplomacy
  • policing
  • business and trade
  • journalism
  • marketing
  • management
  • defence
  • strategic analysis
  • policy development
  • immigration
  • tourism
  • aid agencies
  • non-governmental organisations
  • international agencies
  • community and social work.



Staff involved in Asian Studies are experienced researchers with good records of scholarly publication, successful research grants and consultancies. Academic staff have played a leading role in the research and writing of South Asian history in Australia, including responsibility for the scholarly journal South Asia from 1984 to 2001, and management of the South Asian Studies Association from 1984 to 2004. Staff have served on the editorial boards of internationally recognised journals, and are active members of various professional associations. Value adding to the research strengths in the field of Asian Studies generally is the UNE Asia Pacific Centre, a vehicle for bringing together Asian experts within the university.

The areas of research excellence and productivity cover a wide range including Asian history and economic history, the contemporary Asia-Pacific, Asian religions, child and female labour in Asia, and Asian politics.

Information on the specific research interests and expertise of Asian Studies staff is available on their individual staff web pages.

Information on postgraduate research is provided in the courses section below.

Recent graduates have been employed in all of these areas.


For further information about Asian Studies at UNE please contact Dr Tim Battin on + 61 2 6773 3155