MA/Certificate/Diploma Contemporary Japan

School of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

Our courses focus on language, political economy, society and business in China, Japan and Korea. Your masters will prepare you for an international career.

East Asia’s rich history, vast population and diverse cultures make it a fascinating area of study. Its growing economic power and influence also make it an important pathway to employment. Study China, Japan or Korea and you’ll start to open up these avenues.

Sheffield is one of Europe's leading centres for the study of China, Japan and Korea.

About the course

This is a highly flexible course. You choose the modules according to your interests. We teach language modules at all levels: beginners, intermediate and upperintermediate.

You choose the modules according to your interests.

There are lectures and small-group seminars. You're assessed on your essays, exams, presentations and an extended project.


Choose from a range of modules which include:

  • Media and Public Communication in Japan
  • Global Governance and Japan
  • Work and Organisation in East Asia
  • Investing in East Asia
  • International Business and East Asia
  • Postwar Japanese Politics
  • Business and the Economy of Japan
  • Japanese language modules (of the appropriate level)
  • Project (core)


  • Small group seminars
  • Lectures


  • Essays
  • Examinations
  • Presentations
  • Extended project


You can study a shorter course for a Postgraduate Certificate (4 months, 60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (9 months, 120 credits). You'll need 180 credits to get a masters degree, including 60 credits from your extended project.

Apply now

Josephine Soei, Student in the Department of East Asian Studies

What I like most about my course is the small size of the class so everything is more personal. I also have some great professors who have totally expanded my perspective.

Josephine Soei, postgraduate student in the School of East Asian Studies

Key facts

Course duration

  • MA – 1 year full-time
  • Postgraduate Certificate – 4 months (60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma – 9 months (120 credits)

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree in any subject. You don't need prior knowledge of an East Asian language.

Native speakers of Japanese are welcome to apply but you won't be able to take the optional language modules.

English language requirement

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, 6.5 in Writing, 5.5 in Listening and 5.5 in Speaking, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Your career

Our graduates hold influential positions in business, government, the arts and academia. Some of them are journalists, television producers, interpreters and translators. Others are city brokers and analysts. They work for organisations such as the BBC World Service, BNP Paribas, British Council, British Museum, Deloitte, HarperCollins, Jaguar Land Rover, Lloyds Banking Group, Nintendo, Siemens, Sony, Toyota and the World Food Programme.

Develop your skills

You can take language modules in Chinese, Japanese or Korean. You'll learn how to research and analyse, manage projects, write reports and give effective presentations. Your in-depth knowledge of East Asian countries and your understanding of the region will give you an edge in the careers market.

Specialist resources

Our postgrads have their own study space and IT facilities at the Sir Sze-yuen Chung Resource Centre. The University’s libraries have an extensive selection of texts and online resources in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Our expertise

We are one of Europe's leading centres for the study of China, Japan and Korea. We have links with partner universities in East Asia that support our dynamic research culture. Our academics bring theories, methods and findings from their research to their teaching.

All four of our interdisciplinary research clusters inform what we teach. They are: Social Change and Transition in East Asia; Regionalisation and Globalisation; East Asian Identities and Cultures; Business, Political Economy and Development.

We collaborate with the University of Leeds, through the White Rose East Asia Centre, to deliver world-class research and research training in Japanese and Chinese studies. The Sheffield Confucius Institute, which is supported by the Chinese government, explores Chinese language and culture.

Professor Hugo Dobson

I’m currently looking into the transition from G7 to G20. I’m interested in the global rebalancing of power with the rise of countries like China and India. In particular, I’m interested in understanding how Japan as a ‘risen’ power is managing this process in a forum like the G20.

Professor Hugo Dobson, Tutor Global Governance and Japan, plus Japanese language

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 8423