Japanese Studies BA

Year of entry: 2020
UCAS Code:
Entry Requirements: ABB at A level (or equivalent)
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.

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.

Core Modules

Japanese Language IA
Japanese Language IB
Japanese Language 2A
Japanese Language 2B
Exploring East Asia - Find out more about this module on our Studies Modules info page

Optional Modules

You will take one of the following modules

Unrestricted modules up to the value of 20 credits

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.

Core Modules

  • Japanese language 3A
  • Japanese language 3B
  • Japanese language 4A
  • Japanese language 4B

Optional Modules

You will take two of the following modules

Unrestricted modules up to the value of 20 credits

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

Final Year

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.

Core Modules

  • Japanese Language 5
  • Japanese Language 6
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

You will take one of the following modules.

Plus one Research project module

Unrestricted modules up to the value of 20 credits

Matthew BiebaMatthew Bieda
Japanese Studies BA

"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 for 2020 entry

Title UCAS code Duration
Japanese Studies BA T210 Four years
Business Management and Japanese Studies BA NT22 Four years
Linguistics and Japanese Studies BA QT12 Four years
Japanese Studies and History BA TV21 Four years

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.