Doctoral study in Asian Languages and Cultures

Pursue doctoral study in Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

Why study with us?

We are home to New Zealand’s largest group of specialists on Asia, and offer the opportunity to develop knowledge from a multi-disciplinary perspective through Asian Studies or specialise in a particular culture and language (Chinese, Japanese or Korean).

As a doctoral candidate, you'll benefit from financial support for research expenses through PReSS funding; high-calibre supervision practices; and the networks and expertise of our world-class academic researchers.

Research opportunities

We welcome PhD research proposals in a range of areas, including:

Asian Studies

  • Asian diaspora communities
  • Heritage language education
  • Globalisation and transnationalism in Asia
  • Language, identity and nation-building in Asia
  • Politics and religion in the Asia


  • Chinese films and popular culture, including culture during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976)
  • Chinese language teaching
  • Chinese linguistics and dialects
  • Chinese religion
  • Contemporary Chinese politics (particularly popular resistance and political economy) and foreign policy


  • Contemporary issues in Japanese religion, society and youth identity
  • Expression of subjectivity in discourse in Japanese
  • Japanese and Ryukyuan phonology (including accentuation), linguistics and dialectology
  • Japanese popular culture/media
  • Japanese social and cultural history
  • Teaching Japanese as a foreign language


  • Heritage language education
  • Korean classics concerning the relationship between culture and environment
  • Korean diasporas and identity issues
  • Nation-building, identity and language in Korea
  • Teaching Korean as a second/foreign language

Our people

We bring a variety of different perspectives to our research on Asia and specialise in a range of countries, cultures, and languages.

Past research topics include

  • "City-to-city cooperation in China: Its formation and mechanism | Supervised by Dr Stephen Noakes
  • "Ochikobore seishun shōsetsu: the portrayal of teenage rebellion in Japanese adolescent literature" | Supervised by Dr Hilary Chung and Dr Rumi Sakamoto
  • "Korea's growing role(s) on the world stage – South Korean identity and global foreign policy in the early 21st century" | Supervised by Dr Changzoo Song
  • "Guides for the nourishment of life: Sugita Genpaku and the Yojoron genre" | Supervised by Dr Ellen Nakamura

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your doctoral studies in Asian Languages and Cultures:

Help and advice

If you would like to find out more about doctoral study in Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese or Korean you can contact our PhD Adviser:

Apply for doctoral study