How to apply to and study in the Asian Programme?

  • FAQ
  • Study Guide
  • Next round of applications is August 24 – September 13, 2020.


 Bachelor level online courses

The interdisciplinary Bachelor’s level online courses provide students with basic knowledge about Asia. For students whose study or career plans relate to Asia, the courses offer a good introduction to the region. The courses are arranged on the Internet using the Moodle learning environment. The courses consist of various materials and assignments, such as online lecture, reading materials, learning diaries, exams, group discussions, writing assignments and essays.

You can apply to one or several 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 much self-discipline and active learning.

Students can take individual courses or complete the “Mini Minor in Asian Studies” (10-16 ECTS), or the “Asian Programme” (at least 25 ECTS).

Check the exact times and contents of each course, and the study guidelines at

The Asian Programme (25 ECTS)  

To complete the Asian Programme as a minor, students need to take all five basic courses (at least 25 ECTS) of the Asian Programme OR at least three of the basic courses with full credits and additional Master’s level courses offered by the Asia Network. Please note, that students u need to take the full version of each basic course (5 or 6 credits) in order to complete the Programme. In total the courses should add up to a minimum of 25 ECTS.

Courses of the Asian Programme:

  1. Contemporary East Asia (4 or 6 ECTS) (autumn term)
    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)
    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) 
    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)
    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)
    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.

Mini Minor in Asian Studies (10-16 ECTS)

In the Mini Minor you can combine one of the courses in the Asian Programme with Master’s level courses offered by the Asia Network. Read more about the Mini Minor from here.

Who can apply?

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.

Until the end of the year 2020 member universities are:
Aalto University
University of Helsinki
University of Jyväskylä
Tampere University
University of Turku
University of Vaasa
Åbo Akademi University

Starting from 2021:
Will be confirmed latest in the end of August 2020.

2. 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.

How to apply?

Read carefully the instructions in the Study Guide at

Fill in the application form at during the application period.

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.

Application periods:

  • For courses provided during the autumn term 2020: August 24 – September 13, 2020.
  • For courses provided during the spring term 2021: November 2 – 22, 2020.
  • Asian Programme courses are not available in the summer term.

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