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Dragon parade Asia
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Department of Asian Studies

Equipping you for the next century
Understanding the Asian region is vital to the future. We offer insights into the traditions, modern cultures and contemporary societies of Asia.

Australia today is more deeply connected with Asia than ever before – through immigration, tourism, culture, commerce and trade, and strategic alliances. As our lives are increasingly influenced by the economies and cultures of Asia, it is important to develop cultural and social understanding of this emerging global leader.

Our wide-ranging research and teaching focuses on traditional cultures, philosophies, religion and the full span of Asian History, as well as issues in modern and contemporary Asian societies. We cover the social, political and cultural developments and trends with expertise from the Departments of Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Chinese and Indian Subcontinental 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 offering

In the Asian Century, the task of understanding this region is of 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.


*Available as a major and minor within the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies  degrees.  


Our research

Our strengths in research cover the following areas:

  • Mass media
  • Religion
  • Ancient philosophy
  • State and society
  • Asian languages
  • Literature
  • History


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 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.

NOTE: Some of our events are transitioning to online delivery and will be advertised accordingly. Let us know what event you're interested in via our online form, and we'll update you as the situation changes. Learn more about the University’s COVID-19 advice.

Department Chair

Headshot of Professor Adrian Vickers


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

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