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 2022-23 entry. 2023-24 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

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

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

    Title: Japanese Studies BA course structure
    UCAS code: T210
    Years: 2022, 2023

    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 disciplines such as history, comparative literature and 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 deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will explore Japanese literature in the twentieth century as a frame for understanding modern Japanese history.

    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 disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary Japan: including how Japanese society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, 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 deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research 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 disciplines such as history and cultural studies. We will consider how histories and cultural understandings of China are built with the following in mind: how researchers use primary evidence such as texts, documents and/or images to understand social change; and how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: In 2022-2023 we will explore the history of twentieth-century Shanghai as seen from the grassroots.

    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 disciplines such as history and cultural studies. We will consider how histories and cultural understandings of Korea are built with the following in mind: how researchers use primary evidence such as texts, documents and/or images to understand social change; and how to navigate key debates in a field and evaluate competing arguments. You will finish this module with a deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will focus on colonial history in the Korean peninsula to understand how the Korean people experienced modernity under Japanese colonial rule.

    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 disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary China: including how Chinese society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, 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 deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research 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 disciplines such as political economy, international relations, anthropology, sociology and geography. We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore core topics in contemporary Korea: including how Korean society has changed; how researchers use different conceptual frameworks and types of primary evidence to understand change and its wider impact; and, 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 deeper understanding of our core topic and the disciplinary approaches that frame it, and a foundation in critical research and writing skills that you can apply and develop in further study.

    We will work on a combination of new and established research to explore one core topic: in 2022-2023 we will trace how postwar developments and the division of the Korean Peninsula have shaped contemporary political and social issues.

    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

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB

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

    International Baccalaureate 33

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AAABB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit

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

    • Evidence of interest in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) demonstrated through a personal statement is also required

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB

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

    International Baccalaureate 32

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AABBB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit

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

    • Evidence of interest in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) demonstrated through a personal statement is also required

    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 qualifications | UK and EU/international

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    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.

    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'll 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.

    School of East Asian Studies

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    School of East Asian Studies

    Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction

    National Student Survey 2021

    50+ years' experience

    in teaching and researching East Asia


    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.

    Additional funding

    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

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

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

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    2022-2023