Skip to main content

Area Studies Courses

What is area studies?

Area studies is an interdisciplinary field of research into a particular geographical area. Disciplines include social sciences, the humanities, political science, international affairs, and even language studies. Students can also explore regional studies specific to smaller areas and cultural groups. 

This type of interdisciplinary study became more common in higher education after World War II. The field rose in acclaim in response to perceived threats from China and the Soviet Union in the Cold War era and expanded to regions like the South Asian region, Middle Eastern Studies, and the African diaspora. Area studies and regional development programs have applications in the foreign service, international relations, and public policy debates.

Explore area studies 

The edX platform offers courses designed in partnership with leaders and innovators in this interdisciplinary field. Students learn with a global cohort of other learners and gain access to respected institutions right from their homes.

Many courses are free for personal development, but edX also offers official credit for a fee. The platform provides single courses, professional series options, certificates, and full degrees. Students can also choose micro-degrees for prompt career changes and foundational skills.

Area studies courses and certificates

edX offers courses exploring many different regions and special issues. EPFLx offers a course called Conservation and Protected Areas Management, where students can learn about the cultural influences on environment management and sustainable development. Another choice is WasedaX's Culture and Law: The East Asian Perspective. It explores the impact factors of eastern culture and its influence on law.

MITx offers a course called Visualizing the Birth of Modern Tokyo. This Japanese studies course introduces the elements of what will make Tokyo a great city as well as the history that shaped it.

In addition to courses like these, edX provides a path for students to explore multiple regions like South Asia, the Slavic region, and Chinese studies. The options for international and area studies are numerous, and learners can also explore gender studies, urban and regional studies, and accessibility.

Become an area specialist with edX

Whether it's European studies, African studies, the middle east, or Latin America, edX offers courses covering the regions and offering glimpses into their history and culture. Area studies is a vast interdisciplinary field, and the platform can open doors for students to explore lifelong learning or make career moves.

With the right education, participants can foster a love of lifelong learning. The platform offers many opportunities no matter what a learner's goals are and, in return, opens doors for both career and personal growth.