Dual Degree in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe

Over the last few years, IIAS has been intensively engaged with the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and targeted Asian partners in the development of a special master’s (and PhD) track in the field of ‘Critical Heritage Studies’. The uniqueness of this initiative is that the MA in Leiden will be combined with a parallel set of courses at a number of Asian universities, allowing for the students to obtain a double degree at the end of their training.

To date, the Asian partners involved are National Taiwan University in Taiwan and Yonsei University in South Korea, and contacts with other possible Asian partner institutes have been established.

The Dual Degree programme is an initiative of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), which for some years has been promoting the field of critical heritage studies through courses, workshops, conferences, and publications. It also forms part of the wider ambition of IIAS to spread the production of knowledge about Asia by establishing a platform for continuing dialogues between universities located in Asia and beyond.


    Dual Degree

    Students can obtain two MA degrees by studying for one year at Leiden University in the Netherlands and one year at either one of the two partner institutions of National Taiwan University in Taiwan or at Yonsei University in South Korea. Upon successful completion of the whole programme, they will also receive a separate certificate for the Dual Degree in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe, issued by IIAS.

    The programme will prepare them to work in academic research, spatial planning, museum management, tourism industries, and heritage conservation across Europe and Asia. They will study heritage as a means of rethinking relations between Asia and Europe in terms of mutual respect and exchange and explore the creative potential of cultural forms and practices. 

    MA programme Leiden

    At Leiden University, students can opt for a specialisation in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe within the MA Asian Studies track 'History, Arts and Culture'. 

    Inspired and supported by the IIAS Asian Heritages research cluster, the curriculum allows students to explore the contested character of all representations of culture, the plurality of notions of heritage in Asian and European contexts, and the way distinct and conflicting values of indigenous, local communities and official state discourses are negotiated. 

    The MA heritages specialisation is assisted by Prof Michael Herzfeld (Harvard), who is a guest teacher and the Senior Advisor to the Critical Heritage Studies Initiative of IIAS. The programme is supervised by Dr Elena Paskaleva (IIAS/LIAS), also the teacher of the course Critical Approaches to Heritages Studies together with Michael Herzfeld.

    An in-depth description of the curriculum (2020-2021) is available in the University's e-Prospectus. Course descriptions and application information can be found on the University's Master's programmes website.

    NOTE: Students who want to apply for admission for the heritage specialisation are requested to add: “Critical Heritage Studies” on the application form provided on the Master's programmes website. 

    Double Degree
    Leiden Students who opt for the Dual Degree and complete the whole programme will obtain three diplomas in total: the Leiden University MA diploma, the partner university MA diploma (two-year programme, of which the Leiden MA qualifies as one year) and a separate certificate for the Double MA Degree in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe, issued by IIAS.


    Partner Institutions

    Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), in cooperation with the International Institute far Asian Studies (IIAS) 

    National Taiwan University, Taiwan:
    Dept. of Anthropology (College of Liberal Arts)
    Graduate Institute of Building and Planning (College of Engineering)

    Yonsei University, South Korea:
    Graduate School of International Studies


    If you have any questions about the Dual Degree programme, please contact: 

    Dr Elena Paskaleva (IIAS/LIAS)