People walking down a busy street in Osaka, Japan.

Japanese Studies BA

School of East Asian Studies

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

japanese language class

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.

Most importantly, 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

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 directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Japanese Studies BA course structure
UCAS code: T210
Years: 2021

In your first year you will begin your language learning by focusing on reading, writing, listening and speaking, working with qualified native-speaker language teachers, using specially designed course material. 

Through our Exploring East Asia module you will be provided with essential knowledge of the East Asia region, its history, politics, geography and culture. This will give you a greater understanding of Japan, what shaped it and how it may develop in the future.

Core modules:

Exploring East Asia

This module introduces students to the study of modern East Asia. Beginning by encouraging consideration of what the subject of East Asian Studies is, it then introduces the following key topics: East Asian Geography and Environment, History, Culture and Media, Economics and Business, and Political Relations. In parallel with this content, the module also introduces core academic skills as follows: independent, lecture and seminar study; reflective practice; critical information, digital and visual literacy; evidence and argument in academic writing, and appropriate examination techniques. These two elements provide a firm foundation of knowledge and abilities for higher level study. 

20 credits
Japanese Language 1A

This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Japanese language. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in grammar, reading, writing and translation both from and into Japanese. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to do something practical in Japanese. Kanji (Chinese characters) as well as Japanese characters (hiragana and katakana) are introduced from the earliest stages. 

20 credits
Japanese Language 1B

This module is focusing on interactive activities in Japanese. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in speaking and listening skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to communicate in Japanese through a variety of daily activities. 

10 credits
Japanese Language 2A

This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Japanese language. This module builds on the achievement of Japanese Language 1A and introduces further grammatical structures of the Japanese language with a view to further developing reading, writing and translation skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to do something practical in Japanese. At the end of this level students should complete the beginner's level which is roughly equivalent to JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N4 or CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) A2. 

20 credits
Japanese Language 2B

This module is focusing on interactive activities in Japanese. This module is built on the achievement of EAS1035 and develop speaking and listening skills further to provide the grounding necessary for intermediate study. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to communicate in Japanese through a variety of activities. At the end of this level students should complete the beginner's level which is roughly equivalent to JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N4 or CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) A2.

10 credits

Approved modules:
You will take one of the following Understanding Japan modules. Each module has a humanities or social sciences focus and will look at a core text, which has played a significant role in developing an intricate, understanding of Japan. The content of these modules change regularly to ensure they are topical and make the best use of our staff expertise.

Understanding Japan 1

This module explores what it means to study Japan at university level, and considers how `area studies' research on Japan fits within a discipline such as political science, international relations or economics. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic. We will consider how politics has been researched, how researchers use conceptual frameworks and types primary evidence to understand Japanese practice; how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deep understanding of our core topic and research, critical and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

20 credits
Understanding Japan 2

This module explores what it means to study Japan at university level, and considers how `area studies' research on Japan fits within a discipline such as history or cultural studies. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic. We will consider how studies of Japan are built, how researchers use primary evidence in text and/or images to understand change; how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deep understanding of our core topic and research, critical and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

20 credits

Guided modules
You will take 20 credits from the following East Asian Studies modules and a list of guided modules available from departments across the university.

Understanding China 1

This module explores what it means to study China at university level, and considers how `area studies' research on China fits within a discipline such as history, political science, or cultural studies. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic - in this year, the history of twentieth-century Shanghai as seen from the grassroots. We will consider how histories of China are built, how researchers use primary evidence in text and/or images to understand social change; how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deep understanding of our core topic and research, critical and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study. 

20 credits
Understanding Korea 1

This module explores what it means to study Korea at university level, and considers how `area studies' research on Korea fits within a discipline such as history or cultural studies. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic in depth. We will consider how research on Korea has changed over time, how researchers use primary evidence in text and/or images to understand change and practice; how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deep understanding of our core topic and research, critical and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

20 credits
Understanding China 2

This module explores what it means to study China at university level, and considers how ‘area studies’ research on China fits within a discipline such as development, migration, and cultural studies.
We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary China, and consider how Chinese society has changed, how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; how to use the different types of work published in the field and evaluate competing arguments in key debates. You will finish this module with a deep understanding of our core topic and research, critical and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

20 credits
Understanding Korea 2

This module explores what it means to study Korea at university level, and considers how ‘area studies’ research on Korea fits within a discipline such as history or cultural studies. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic in depth. We will consider how research on colonial Korea has changed over time, how researchers use primary evidence in text and/or images to understand change and practice; how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deep understanding of our core topic and research, critical and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

20 credits

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You will undertake intensive Japanese language training in small group classes with native speaking tutors and making use of specially designed learning materials. To complement your language learning and ensure you gain a comprehensive understand of the country, you will also learn about Japanese culture and society through, what we call, studies modules.

These modules are taught via lectures, seminars and workshops. You will get the chance to learn about Japanese politics, history, media and popular culture among other topics that complement the current expertise and research interests of our staff.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

The School of East Asian Studies has over 50 years’ experience of researching contemporary East Asia and pioneering new methods for teaching East Asian Languages.

SEAS staff, many of whom are fluent in at least one East Asian language, are internationally-renowned specialists in East Asia, and bring their expertise in various fields such as history, culture and politics, to the wide range of courses on offer at SEAS. Right from the start, you'll be working with expert researchers and native speakers, who will help you to reach your potential

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods during your course. In the language programme you will be given regular homework assignments and take exams at the end of each semester. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Our assessment methods vary across our studies modules and could include taking exams, developing a portfolio, writing essays, taking part in group projects and presentations.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB + B in relevant EPQ BBB + B in relevant EPQ

International Baccalaureate | 33 32

BTEC | DDD in a relevant subject DDM in a relevant subject

Scottish Highers | AAABB AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB B + BB

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits and Merits in 15 Level 3 credits 60 credits overall with Distinctions in 24 Level 3 credits and Merits in 21 Level 3 credits

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

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 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • No prior knowledge of Japanese required (up to A Level Japanese acceptable)

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

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.

The School of East Asian Studies is located in the Jessop West building, right in the heart of campus and close to the Sheffield University tram stop. You will visit the department to meet with your tutors and gain any support you need. Your lectures, seminars and language classes will take place in various locations across the University of Sheffield campus.

Facilities

To enhance your learning, the School of East Asian Studies has a modern virtual language lab, which enables you to learn using visual and audio aids.

School of East Asian Studies

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


School of East Asian Studies

1st for overall student satisfaction in the Russell Group for East Asian Studies

National Student Survey 2020


Graduate careers

School of East Asian Studies

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.

The crest of the University of Sheffield - image

I get to work with some amazing talent and do what I love all day every day

Kelly Harlock Japanese Studies BA(Hons) graduate

Now working producing audio entertainment for Virgin Atlantic and for Classic FM at the weekend, Kelly talks about how the good work ethic Sheffield fostered in her has equipped her with the tools to get herself to where she is today.

Year abroad

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.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

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.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

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.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

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

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022