How to apply to and study in the Asian Programme?


The Asian Programme is an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s level study programme which provides students with basic knowledge of Asia. For students whose study or career plans relate to Asia, this programme provides them with a good introduction to the region. The programme is coordinated by the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies.

The Asian Programme is arranged on the Internet using a learning environment such as Moodle. The courses consist of lecture presentations, literature exams, web assignments and essays. The language of instruction of all courses is English. On some courses, written assignments can also be done in Finnish or Swedish. The courses are not recommended for first-year students.

Structure of the Asian Programme:

You can either just take individual courses from the Asian Programme or do the whole Asian Programme as a minor by completing at least 25 credits. If you want to complete  Asian Programme as a minor, you have two options:

1) take all the 5 Asian Programme courses and get 27 credits OR

2) take at least three Asian Programme basic courses and additional advanced Master’s level courses.
In total this should add up to a minimum of 25 ECTS.

You can combine courses from the Asian Programme with Master’s level courses. See the list of possible Master’s level courses.

 If you apply to more than one course, be realistic about the amount of credits you can take during one term.  Completing an online course requires good study skills, self-discipline and active learning.

Asian Programme Bachelor’s level courses – autumn 2019 and spring 2020

Please note, that there are separate application periods for autumn and spring courses (see below for more instructions).

  1. Contemporary East Asia (3 or 6 ECTS) (autumn term 2019)
    The course provides students with basic knowledge on today’s social and political phenomena in East Asia. In addition to addressing recent developments in individual countries, the course also deals with emerging regional forms of cooperation.
  2. Culture in East and Southeast Asia (3 or 5 ECTS) (autumn term 2019)
    The course aims to give insight into East and Southeast Asia through the viewpoint of the central values in the region and cultural encounters. Students can learn more deeply about their preferred area when selecting the literature for the book exam and topic for the essay
  3. Business in East and Southeast Asia (4 or 6 ECTS) (spring term 2020) 
    The course aims to give insight into East and Southeast Asia as a macro region with increasing integration into the global economy. The course focuses on the interplay between the international, national, and sub-national systems in Asia Pacific. Economic and political institutions as well as business environments are discussed leading to an analysis of the region as an operational environment for multinational enterprise
  4. Contemporary South Asia (3 or 5 ECTS) (spring term 2020)
    The course aims to construct a holistic view of the societies and cultures of South Asia with a special focus on globalisation. Other topics include politics, religion, gender, development and urbanisation.
  5. Contemporary Southeast Asia (3 or 5 ECTS) (spring term 2020)
    This course aims to give students an insight into the rapid economic, political and environmental change in contemporary Southeast Asia. Students will study the situational characteristics of the environmental change and state formation processes in the region.

If you cannot fit the Asian Programme into your degree, see our 10 ECTS Mini Minor in Asian Studies. In the Mini Minor you can combine one basic level course with advanced level courses. Read more about the Mini Minor.

How to apply?

The Bachelor level courses have a maximum intake of 100 students. Students are selected in the order of application. The places are divided evenly between the member universities.

Some universities may define quotas on the number of students who can take courses offered by the Asia Network.  Information about the quotas is published before the application periods start.

  1. Students of the Asia Network’s member universities

Students who hold a valid study right at one of the University Network’s member universities can apply to courses and take them for free. This applies to degree students and registered exchange students. You have to be registered as an attending student at the time of application as well as  duration of the studies.

Member universities are:
Aalto University
University of Helsinki
University of Jyväskylä
Tampere University
University of Turku
University of Vaasa
Åbo Akademi University

  1. Other students

Some of the courses are also offered through the Open Universities against payment.  Persons who are not registered students at member universities can apply to those courses using the Open University channel. Please check the availability of this study channel on the webpage of the course that you are interested in. Please note that the Open Universities have their own, separate application process.

Please note that from autumn 2019 onwards it is now longer possible to study Asianet courses as a self-paying UTU non-degree student. If you have recently registered and paid non-degree status at UTU, you can study as long as your paid study right is valid. Please check the study right from UTU Nettiopsu. See instructions on how to activate your UTU Nettiopsu access from our Study Guide under “credit registration and transfer”. In addition, studying with an endorsement from a University of Applied Sciences is no longer possible as of autumn 2019. Students from Universities of Applied Sciences can take the selected courses through the Open University channel (above).

  1. Application periods:

    • For courses provided during the autumn term: August 26 – September 15, 2019.
    • For courses provided during the spring term: November 4-24, 2019.
    • For courses provided during the summer term: March 3 – April 14, 2020.

    Before applying to the courses, students should check if they are able to include these studies in their degree at their home university