Festive image of Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of wisdom and learning

Asian Studies

Investigating Asia at the centre of the world stage
Understand the Asian region to negotiate a complex world. We offer insights into the contemporary societies, modern cultures and traditions of Asia.

Australia today is more deeply connected with Asia than ever before – through commerce and trade, strategic alliances, immigration and tourism. As the economies and cultures of Asia become even more influential, it is important to develop cultural and social understanding of this global leader.

Our wide-ranging research and teaching focuses on traditional cultures, philosophies, religion and history, Tibetan culture and language, as well as issues in modern and contemporary Asian societies. We cover the social, political and cultural developments and trends with expertise from Japanese, Indonesian, Korean and Chinese Studies.

We examine ethnicity and the movement of peoples; religions and belief systems; and the economic and political relationships between Asia and other parts of the world. We also look at key movements and effects of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as nationalism, revolution, military rule, democracy and popular culture including manga and K-Pop.

Our study offerings

As the social, political and economic presence of Asia advances, the task of understanding this region is of increasingly vital importance. Asian Studies will help you develop a critical insight into the world of Asia by exploring the most important cultural, historical, social and political trends and issues in relation to China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and South Asia.


We also offer electives in Tibetan language and cultures:

*Available in the shared pool of majors and minors


Through the study of Sanskrit language, the most important classical language of the Indian subcontinent, you can explore the various intellectual, literary and artistic traditions that have shaped South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan), Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Tibet and played a profound role in forming Asia as a whole.  


*Available in the shared pool of majors and minors

Our research

Our strengths in research cover the following areas:

  • Asian philosophy
  • Buddhist Studies
  • History
  • Mass media and popular culture
  • Material culture and art
  • State and society
  • Tibetan language and culture

Learn more: Languages and cultures research


Our students can also apply to study for a semester overseas at one of several universities that have exchange agreements with Sydney, with credit points gained at these universities counting towards their degree. The University of Sydney holds several agreements with universities in India, Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Learn more: Study abroad and student exchange

Our people


See our school's calendar for a full listing of upcoming events.



  • School of Languages and Cultures, Room 506, Brennan MacCallum Building A18, The University of Sydney NSW 2006

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