Course details

A Levels ABB Other entry requirements
UCAS code TV21
Duration 4 years
Fees and additional costs Home students Overseas students Fee status help
Related subjects Japanese Studies East Asian Studies History

Any questions?

The Admissions Secretary
School of East Asian Studies
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 8400

Course description

Complex, unique, endlessly fascinating, Japan embraces modernity and technology while maintaining its rich traditional culture. To truly understand Japan, you have to experience it. You have to immerse yourself in it.

We teach Japanese intensively, from scratch. You will study the phonetic scripts (kana) from the outset, picking up the 2000 Sino-Japanese characters (kanji) over the course of your degree.

The history side of your course covers past societies from the Roman to the Modern period. Outside the seminar room, you'll work on projects that bring history to life, like our student-run New Histories blog and WikiAmerica.

You will spend your third year studying at one of our partner universities in Japan. More than just a chance to put what you've learned into practice, this year is an experience you won't forget.

Energised and inspired, you'll return to Sheffield for your final year. The language training continues, now at a more advanced level. Supervised by an academic, you'll research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Modules: what you study and when

About dual honours and major/minor degrees

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels ABB, typically including History or Classical Civilisation
A Levels + additional qualifications BBB, typically including History or Classical Civilisation + B in relevant EPQ
International Baccalaureate 33, typically with 5 in Higher Level History
BTEC DDM in a relevant subject, typically in combination with B in A Level History
Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AABBB, typically + B in History
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB, typically including History
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • No prior knowledge of Japanese required (up to A Level Japanese acceptable)
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

School of East Asian Studies website

Course information on Department of History website

First year

Core modules:

History Workshop
Japanese Language 1A
Japanese Language 2A
Japanese Language 1B
Japanese Language 2B

Optional modules:

Empire: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages
Land of Liberty? Rights in the USA, 1776-2016
Paths from Antiquity to Modernity
The 'Disenchantment' of Early Modern Europe, c. 1570-1770
The Making of the Twentieth Century

Second year

Core modules:

Historians and History
Japanese Language 3A
Japanese Language 4A
Japanese Language 3B
Japanese Language 4B

Optional modules:

A Protestant Nation? Religion, Politics and Culture in England 1560-1640
Asian Britain: Travel, Migration, Diaspora
Barcelona and the 'Tragic Week'
Decolonisation: The End of Empire & the Future of the World
From World War to Cold War: Europe 1945-1968
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Britain, 1850 to Present
Gender in Britain in the Long Eighteenth-Century
Holy Russia, Soviet Empire: Nation, Religion, and Identity in the 20th Century
Imperial Germany, 1871-1918
Life Worth Living
Modern Japanese History
Murder in the cathedral: the Becket Affair
Shell-Shock to Prozac: Mental Health in Britain
Tenochtitlan, City of Blood and Flowers: Aztec society in the early sixteenth century
The Ancient Greek Economy
The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
The Battle for China's Future, 1839-1949
The Celtic West: from the fall of Rome to the Viking Age
The Easter Rising: Living, Fighting and Dying in 1916
The Export of England: Seventeenth Century Trade and Empire
The Family in Late Antiquity: Romans, Barbarians and Christians
The History of American Foreign Relations
The Medieval Inquisition
The Northern Ireland 'Troubles' and Peace Process
Trumpism: An American Biography
Writing History

Third year

Core modules:

Japanese Year Abroad

Fourth year

Core modules:

Japanese Language 5
Japanese Language 6

Optional modules:

Anarchy in the UK? Radicals, Democrats and Revolutionaries 1830-1886
Breaking up (in) the Carolingian Empire
Cannibals and Christians: Mexico and Spain, c.1492-1600
Capitalism and Identity in 19th-century Britain
Contested Visions: Imagining an Empire in mid-nineteenth century Britain
Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Britain, 1923-1945
Humanitarianism, Internationalism and the British Empire, 1900-2000
Permissive Britain? Social and Cultural Change 1956-74
Popes, Caliphs, Emperors, 1095-1229
Slavery in the American South, 1789-
The English People and the English Revolution, 1640-1651
The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry
The United States and the Cold War, 1945-1975
The World of Intoxicants in Early Modern England
Tools of Empire? Medicine, Science and Colonialism, 1800-1950
A Comparative History of Revolution
Conflict, Cultures and (De)Colonisation
Short Dissertation
The Family
The Uses of History

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Learning and assessment

Our undergraduate courses are based on world-leading research and taught by experts in a variety of settings, from lectures to smaller group seminars. You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and formal examinations. If you are learning a language you will be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom made course material. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 25%
Independent study 75%
Placement 0%

Exams/tests 42%
Coursework 48%
Practical 10%

School of East Asian Studies

Our courses are designed to immerse you in the languages and cultures of East Asian countries. You will be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom made course material. To enhance your learning, we also have a modern virtual language lab, which enables you to learn using visual and audio aids.

Our courses are based on world-leading research and taught by experts whose work influences policy and informs public debate. Most of our staff publish in their specialist field and many of them have written books for major publishers such as Oxford University Press, Routledge and Macmillan.

Take one of our Chinese, Japanese or Korean studies degrees and spend a year studying at a leading university in your chosen country. Our partners are Nanjing University in China, six high ranking universities in South Korea including Yonsei University in Seoul and more than 25 Japanese universities including Tokyo, Kyoto and Waseda University.

School of East Asian Studies website

Department of History

As a History student at Sheffield, you'll develop your understanding of the past in a friendly and supportive environment.

Our internationally renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents - allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the ancient period to the modern day and across the globe.

You can tailor your course to suit you, discovering the areas of History that most inspire you most while preparing for the future you want with opportunities like studying abroad, work placements and volunteering.

Department of History website

What our graduates do

Studying China, Japan or Korea prepares you for a career in the world's most dynamic region. There are also many opportunities across Europe for people with skills in Asian languages and cultures.

Our graduates work in government and diplomacy, media and the arts, non-government organisations and international business - in professions as diverse as management consultancy, accountancy, marketing, research, language teaching and translation.

Student profile

"What I enjoy most is the variety; you can be moving from doing economy in China, cinema in Korea to business in Japan in the space of a single semester, so you can tailor it to your own interests."

Frankie Gurdon
School of East Asian Studies

As part of this degree you'll spend a year studying in Japan at one of our partner institutions located across the breadth of the country, from Hokkaido in the snowy north to Okinawa in the tropical south. There are over twenty possible destinations, including elite public and private universities, as well as prominent regional institutions.

During your year in Japan you'll immerse yourself in this fascinating country. You'll continue to take intensive Japanese language courses as well as choosing from a range of other modules taught in English or Japanese.

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply:

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Contact us

The Admissions Secretary
School of East Asian Studies
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 8400

Department website >

Visit us

University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

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Applicant days
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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