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Thai Studies BA (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    Thailand has undergone a radical economic, political and social transformation in the past few decades. This degree will allow you to develop Thai language skills while discovering the cultural, political and historical context of this unique country.

    You’ll be introduced to Thai culture in core modules, which will also build your spoken and written language skills. We teach Thai from beginners’ level, but if you have some prior knowledge we can usually accommodate your needs.

    A wide variety of optional modules will also give you the chance to explore the topics that interest you – covering more elements of Thai culture, or exploring other topics across South East Asia and the Asia Pacific region as a whole. You’ll even spend a year at a university in the country so you can get a real sense of life in Thailand.

    Leeds is one of Europe’s biggest centres for East Asian Studies, so we can offer flexible degrees that give you a genuine insight into the communities of this fascinating region.

    Specialist facilities

    Leeds has state-of-the-art facilities to support language students, in addition to our library resources. Our fully equipped Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

    If you think you might consider a career in interpreting, you can get a taste of this in our Interpreter Training Suites, while our Electronic Resource Information Centre offers specialised computing facilities if you’re interested in translation studies.

  • Course content

    We introduce you to Thai language and culture from beginners’ level through core modules in your first year, while your choice of optional modules will give you the chance to focus on the areas of life in Thailand and the Asia Pacific that interest you. This will form the foundation for the following year, where you’ll build your language skills and immerse yourself in Thai culture to get a sense of life in the country.

    When you return to Leeds, you’ll study advanced language modules to refine your spoken and written Thai. But you’ll also look at the emergence of the Thai nation, how Buddhism has shaped society and Thailand’s distinctive media. Further optional modules will allow you to explore East Asian history, religions, politics, political economy and culture in greater depth.

    In your final year, you’ll even get to apply the critical and research skills you’ve developed to produce an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Basic Thai Language and Culture 1 20 credits
    • Basic Thai Language and Culture 2 20 credits
    • IT for LCS Students 5 credits

    Optional modules

    • History and Culture of Imperial China 20 credits
    • Chinese Culture in the Twentieth Century 10 credits
    • Japan in War and Peace 10 credits
    • Japan: History and International Politics 10 credits
    • Introduction to Religious and Philosophical Texts of East Asia 20 credits
    • Introduction to East Asian Religions 20 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Year Abroad in Thailand 120 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • The Making of Modern Thailand 20 credits
    • Intermediate Thai Language and Culture 1 20 credits
    • Intermediate Thai Language and Culture 2 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • China Since 1979 20 credits
    • Japan's International Relations 20 credits
    • Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan 20 credits
    • Japanese Development Assistance in a Globalising World 20 credits

    Year 4

    Compulsory modules

    • Buddhism: A Lived Tradition 20 credits
    • Advanced Thai Language and Culture I 20 credits
    • Advanced Thai language and Culture II 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Religion in China 20 credits
    • East Asia's Regional Political Economy 20 credits
    • South East Asia in the Global Context 20 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Thai Studies BA in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    We use a number of different teaching and learning styles, allowing you to benefit from the expertise of your tutors. Lectures, seminars and tutorials are the main methods we use, along with workshops in some cases.

    Independent study is an important part of your degree– it allows you to develop your research skills to find relevant information, and encourages you to think critically about what you find. Leeds has excellent library resources to help you, and the University Library runs training programmes to help you use them effectively.


    Different types of assessment are also used, including exams and essays. However, in some modules you may also be assessed on group work or oral presentations. We do provide support to help you handle assessments – throughout your time at Leeds you’ll be able to attend extra classes on issues such as exam technique, public speaking and structuring essays.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: ABB

    • Access to HE Diploma

      Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.

    • BTEC

      BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      M1, M1, M1

    • International Baccalaureate

      34 points overall including 16 at Higher Level

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or AABBBB in Highers

    • Welsh Baccalaureate

      The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

    • Other Qualifications

      European Baccalaureate: 77%.

    Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

    We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

    Alternative entry

    We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

    Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

    Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

    Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Admissions policy

    School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £17,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    A degree in Thai Studies equips you with strong language skills in a country that is growing in importance within an influential region of the world. It also gives you the chance to develop cultural awareness of both the country and the issues facing the region as a whole.

    These qualities will open doors to a range of careers, but you will also gain transferable skills such as presentation, teamwork, research, advanced communication, critical and analytical skills. These are always in demand from employers.

    Graduates of East Asian Studies have gone into a wide range of careers, including tourism, broadcasting, PR, diplomacy, journalism, government, law, finance and language-based roles such as translation and interpreting.

    Careers support

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    Residency abroad

    After your first year, you’ll spend a year at Chiang Mai University in Thailand to benefit from expert teaching in Thai language and culture. It’s a fantastic way to develop your knowledge and language skills. But between classes, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel and explore the country, getting a real insight into life in Thailand.

    Read more about Residence Abroad in East Asian Studies

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