KOR4520 – South Korea: History, Society, Politics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on the central topics in the field of South Korean society and politics. It will represent a combination of theoretical understanding and empirical learning, and will prominently feature the problems of industrial development, neo-liberal restructuring, authoritarian and post-authoritarian politics, education, social mobility, social network, gender and family life.

The course is based on the lectures, combined with reading of sources in Korean and English. Training in theory, methodology, essay writing and oral presentation is an organic part of the course.

Learning outcome

You will learn:

  • To read and analyse sources in Korean and English pertinent for the study of contemporary South Korean society and politics.
  • To apply theoretical understanding to the study of concrete empirical issues.
  • To produce academic texts in writing and present their findings and ideas orally


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Please see the admission requirements defined by the programme option East Asian Culture and History.

NB! The teaching presupposes reading mastery of Korean.

Overlapping courses

The course may overlap with discontinued courses and old study units of all types and levels. The student must ensure that the content of the course does not overlap with other study units one has previously obtained credits for.

Contact the department if you have any questions.


The teaching is organized as 10 classes of 2 hours each throughout the semester. Active participation in class is required.

Compulsory activities

  • A preliminary draft of the term paper. The draft should be approximately 3-4 pages long and encompass title, subtitle, chapter titles, brief contents of each chapter, and a literature list. The draft is to be submitted in Canvas within the given deadline (to be announced).
  • Oral presentation of the draft. The oral presentation is to be delivered in the course of the semester.

An approved draft is only valid for one semester.

You must pass all compulsory activities in order to qualify for the exam. You should familiarize yourself with the guidelines for compulsory activities at the Faculty of Humanities.

In the event of illness you must notify the study advisor before the deadline runs out. You must obtain a medical certificate and deliver or send it to the study advisor no later than three business days after the exam.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The exam is a term paper of 10 pages (2300 characters per page, not including spaces) on a subject approved by the teacher. Front page and list of references come in addition. The paper should be partly based on the original Korean sources.

You must pass all compulsory activities in order to qualify for the exam.

Grading guidelines.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Course reports

Facts about this course






Offered on an infrequent basis.


Offered on an infrequent basis.

Teaching language