Japan has a rich traditional culture dating back more than 1,500 years and a modern period distinguished for its vigour and variety. Traditional and modern culture are studied through Japanese language sources and academic works written in English.

You do not need to have any prior experience of Japanese in order to apply to study this language at undergraduate level.

Mastering the ability to handwrite in Japanese is a core requirement for all students on which they will receive teaching and be examined. If you have any concerns about your ability to satisfy this requirement please contact the department at [email protected].

BA Japanese

BA Japanese is a four-year course. The course is comprehensive and demanding, comprising intensive work on the written and spoken language through all four years. It also comprises both general and specialised study of Japanese culture, civilisation and society.

The first year is dedicated to intensive work on the Japanese languages and general study of the history and culture of Japan, and East Asia in general. All students spend their second year at Kobe University in Japan for continued extensive language study, combined with some study of civilisation, culture and history.

In the third and fourth years the regular language work continues, now including detailed study of the classical Japanese language.

Students will also do specialised work, much of it based to some extent on Japanese language material within subject areas chosen from a wide array of available options. These subject areas include both classical and modern literature, linguistics, pre-modern and modern history, anthropology, politics, economics, and art.

Japanese with a subsidiary language

It is possible to take Chinese, Korean or Tibetan studies as a subsidiary language for the BA Japanese degree, which will give you the opportunity to study the subsidiary language to intermediate level.

This will lead to a degree which combines the two, eg BA Japanese with Korean.

Visit the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies course page for more information.

Japanese as a subsidiary language

Japanese may also be studied as a subsidiary language (ie as a second subject) alongside Chinese as the main subject.
This study of Japanese will lead to a BA in Chinese with Japanese.