• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Non Language Asian Studies, History, Political Sciences, Sociology
  • Major code ASIA-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Academic Contact Dr Eva Nisa

The Asian Studies Major trains students in the analytical skills and place -based knowledges that will enable them to contribute positively to the political, social, economic and environmental needs of the Asia-Pacific region in diverse careers and over the long term. Asian Studies students develop links with the cultures and societies of the Asian region through the study of the historical, cultural, social and political structures that have shaped the region. With low student-teacher ratios, high rates of student satisfaction, and an emphasis on critical and reflective thinking, the Major is aligned with the ANU's goal of 'delivering a student experience equal to the world best' and our National Mission to engage Asia, Asian populations, and Asian perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the process by which knowledge about Asia is produced, circulated, and applied.
  2. Develop and apply critical thinking skills to analyse major trends in Asia within regional and global comparative frameworks.
  3. Understand theoretical frameworks and research techniques in humanities and social sciences relevant to the study of Asia, emphasising the importance of theoretically engaged critical area studies in challenging conservative trends in academia. 
  4. Evaluate ideas and develop creative solutions to problems, including through independent pursuit of knowledge and making connections between different disciplinary approaches and methods.
  5. Continuously engage in learning about Asia, drawing knowledge from and with Asia to foster ongoing understanding of the region

Other Information

Note that this Major is not available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Asian Studies.

Back to the top


The Asian Studies Major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

24 units from the following compulsory courses:

ASIA1025 Asia and the Pacific: power, diversity and change 

ASIA1030 Asia and the Pacific in motion

ASIA1999 The Origins of Political Order in Asia

ASIA3029 Reconciliation and the Memory of Conflict in Asia

A minimum of 6 units from the following area-focused courses:

ASIA3030 History of the State System in SEA

ASIA3033 Rethinking Northeast Asia

A maximum of 12 units of the following contextual courses:

ASIA2001 Language in Asia and the Pacific

ASIA2009 The Making of Modern Japan: From Samurai to Economic Superpower and Beyond 

ASIA2017 History of International Relations in Northeast Asia 

ASIA2040 The Making of Modern Korea 

ASIA2041 Mainland Southeast Asia: Colonial and Postcolonial Predicaments 

ASIA2065 Asian Politics: From Concepts to Causes 

ASIA2067 Asian Economies

ASIA2037 History of Modern China

ASIA2103 Language in Asia and the Pacific (L) 

ASIA2118 Pollution in past societies: the science and history that shaped the modern world

ASIA2120 Colonialism and the Rule of Law 

ASIA2222 Taiwanese Society and Politics

ASIA2271 The Making of South Asia 

ASIA2301 Human Migration and Expansion in the Rise of the Asia-Pacific 

ASIA2302 Culture and Modernity in Asia: Anthropological Perspectives 

ASIA2304 What is Literature? Asian Perspectives 

ASIA2307 History of Empire in Asia 

ASIA2311 Gender and Cultural Studies in Asia and the Pacific 

ASIA2516 Indonesia: Politics, Society and Development 

INTR2010 International Relations in the Asia-Pacific 

STST2001 Security Concepts in the Asia-Pacific

A minimum of 6 units from the following advanced courses

ASIA3011 Samurai Society and Social Control in Japan

ASIA3021 Engaging Asia: Australia and the Asian Century

ASIA3023 Asia Pacific Week Internship

ASIA3027 Issues in Japanese Policy in their Global Context

ASIA3031 Cultures in Korean Society

ASIA3032 Digital Asia: Technology and Society

ASIA3034 The Contemporary Chinese World: From Mao to Now

ASIA3040 Literary and Cultural Discourse in Modern Japan

ASIA3272 Truth and Falsity in Indian Politics and History

INTR3002 Global Governance in the Asia Pacific

Back to the top

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions