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School of East Asian Studies PhD Opportunities

Faculty of Social Sciences

About the Programme

The University is rated in the top 100 by the QS World University Rankings, priding itself on research-led critical thinking that aims to make an impact in the world. With our academics producing world class and internationally recognised research, The University of Sheffield has developed a reputation for research quality. Central to this is our large body of postgraduate research students, over 2000 across our departments and over 600 in the Faculty of Social Sciences. By supporting and engaging with our postgraduate research community, we encourage a friendly, productive and inclusive atmosphere.

Study your PhD in the Faculty of Social Sciences and you will have access to world class training alongside your doctoral study. Our Social Sciences Doctoral Training programme is tailored to your individual needs to ensure you have the right skills you need to develop your research.

Our training programme is designed to exceed current UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) training and development guidelines, and gives all our social science PhD students access to ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership cohort activities, regardless of your source of funding.

School of East Asian Studies.

Consistently rated as a leading department in the field, the School of East Asian Studies is a centre of research excellence regarding Greater China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula. The department is a respected and established research institute with over 50 years experience and is able to supervise a variety of specialisms and research topics.

The research of our academics covers a range of key areas that outline the supervision on offer, these include; Business, political economy and development – particularly growth and institutional dynamics across the region; East Asian identities and culture – covering areas including regional cultural inter-relationships and migrations; Socio-economic change and transition – such as changing labour markets and middle classes in Japan and China; and finally the impact and effects of regionalisation and globalisation. Further research specialisms include applied linguistics, teaching Chinese as a foreign language and Japanese language training. There is also support for urban studies and developing urbanisation. Supervision is also on offer for international relations, including US-Korean relations, pan-regional security and stability, as well as contemporary Japanese foreign policy. Our academics also have interests beyond these specialisms, and will be willing to consider supervising research students with interesting proposals outside of these areas.

Take a look at our Supervision page to find a supervisor which researchers your area of interest 


We have a number of scholarships available for students looking to start their studies with us in Sept 2020 including

  • ESRC and Doctoral Academy Scholarships for students looking to study East Asia from a social sciences perspective
  • he White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) Doctoral Training Partnership scholarships for those interestedin a Arts or Humanities discipline related to East Asia
  • The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation's Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship, specifically for students interested in researching Japan

Find out more about our Scholarships

The School of East Asian Studies has a close knit research community. This means that thanks to a large number of academics in the department there is an excellent staff/student ratio, resulting in greater opportunities for support and focus from staff. Alongside this the department is often successful in securing funding for PhD scholarships; these are competitive and subject to availability.

Please visit the website for further details and information on applying:

Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.

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