BA Japanese Studies

Year of entry: 2018
UCAS Code:
Entry Requirements: ABB at A level (or equivelent)
Duration: 4 years (including a year in Japan)

Course overview

Japanese Studies began at the University of Sheffield in 1963. Over the past half century, the Centre for Japanese Studies has developed into one of the world's leading teaching and research centres for the subject. Through the expertise and experience of the Japanese Studies staff, we offer a wide range of modules in Japanese language and Japanese Studies. Members of staff contribute to both the language classes and studies modules, as well as pursuing their own research interests.

Through this intensive four-year degree, you are given the opportunity to reach an advanced level of Japanese language ability. Final year students regularly take, and achieve, the highest level (N1) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Every year, at least two or three of our graduates pass a competitive application process to work as Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) in Japan.

Developing your individual interests
At most levels of your Japanese Studies degree, you will also have the opportunity to take modules which are of interest to you but which do not relate to Japan. These are known as ‘unrestricted’ modules, and are important in that they allow you to tailor your degree to include areas of study that you see as important but which are not ‘core’ to your studies.

Our BA Japanese Studies course scored 95% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016

Year 1

You will take core modules in Japanese language during both semesters, spending around 8-9 hours each week in Japanese-language classes, covering grammar, writing, speaking and other skills.

To compliment your language training in your first year, you will also take core modules in: East Asian Studies, to establish Japan in its regional context and clarify its geographical, historical, cultural, social and political links with other East Asian states; and in Critical Text Analysis, to enable you to learn how to interpret and utilise scholars' writings about Japan.

Year 2

You will begin to apply your language skills in practical situations and deal with real Japanese texts written for native speakers, not students, learning how to read, interpret and translate them. Your spoken and written skills will be developed with an emphasis on preparing you for your year studying in Japan.

In the Studies programme, you will be able to choose from a range of modules with a focus on the disciplinary study of Japan, to enable you to appreciate the different paths to understanding the country taken by historians, political scientists, and sociologists, among others.

Your year in Japan

You will spend the third year of your degree at one of our partner universities in Japan. This is a core requirement of your degree. In Japan, you will continue to take intensive courses in Japanese language, building on the skills you learnt during your first two years in Sheffield, and also have the opportunity to take a range of Japanese Studies modules. Prior to leaving for Japan, the School will hold a number of workshops to help you prepare for your Year Abroad and advise you on all relevant issues, from visa applications to student life in Japan.
Find out more about your year in Japan

Year 4

Back in Sheffield, language will continue to form an important part of your studies, focusing on the most likely uses for your language skills post-graduation, such as rapidly absorbing the content of Japanese texts, summarisation skills and unseen translation under time constraints, and formal oral communication - interviews and presentations.

In the Studies programme, you will be able to choose from a wide range of specialised research seminar modules to enable you to join your lecturers in the most up-to-date study of Japan. This will support an important component of your degree in this final year will be a dissertation on a topic relating to Japan. You will work on the dissertation over the course of the year with a supervisor from the department, and will use both your Japanese language skills as well as the analytical skills you have gained through your studies modules in earlier years, to produce a high-quality piece of research relating to any aspect of Japan.

Examples of past dissertation topics

  • Modern day Samurai
  • Japanese popular culture and the tourist industry
  • Religion and prejudice in Japan

Matthew BiebaMatthew Bieda
BA Japanese Studies

"Sheffield has a great reputation as a Russell Group institution, but particularly with regards to East Asia, SEAS is a world-leading research centre and the language courses have been refined over several decades."

Read more about Matthew's experiences

 Japanese Studies degrees

Title UCAS code Duration
BA Japanese Studies T210 Four years
BA Management and Japanese Studies NT22 Four years
BA Japanese Studies with German T2R2 Four years
BA Japanese Studies with Russian T2R7 Four years
BA Japanese Studies with Spanish T2R4 Four years
BA Linguistics and Japanese Studies QT12 Four years
BA Japanese Studies and History TV21 Four years
BA Germanic Studies with Japanese R2T2 Four years
BA French with Japanese R1T2 Four years
BA Hispanic Studies with Japanese R4T2 Four years
BA Russian with Japanese R7T2 Four years

Courses for 2018 entry
We are currently conducting a review of our undergraduate teaching to ensure we provide the best possible experience and learning environment for our students. This is a normal process carried out every few years to enable the department to improve the content and structure of its teaching in the light of new staff expertise, new developments in our areas of study, and new developments in assessment and feedback. The new curriculum is not finalised yet, but is due to be introduced in academic year 2018-19. Module information will be updated on individual course pages as soon as possible.