UCAS code: T210
Duration: 4 years
School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Japanese
This programme has been carefully designed around the goal of making you an expert on Japan. It introduces skills and knowledge step-by-step, and we encourage you to see the connections between language, history, politics, and culture at every stage.
By the end of the programme you will have demonstrated your expertise through your dissertation, which will draw upon four years of rigorous Japanese studies training.
Our research spans a wide range of Japanese studies fields, including pre-modern and modern history, politics, international relations, religion, theatre, cinema, linguistics, and literature. Our range of Japanese studies option courses reflects this diversity, which means you will be able to choose a path through your programme that suits you.
We consistently receive excellent feedback from students in Japanese, and our NSS results are among the highest in Asian Studies nationally.
Our courses are mostly taught in seminars and tutorials, so you will have plenty of opportunity to contribute to class discussion and receive feedback on your progress.
Language classes are active, innovative, inclusive, and always informed by the best practice in the field. Our final year students regularly pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at N2 and N1 level.
You will study Japanese language at beginner, post-beginner or advanced level, depending on your existing language skills. You will also take Modern East Asian History A and Academic Skills for Asian Studies.
You’ll complete your studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered across the University.
You will continue your Japanese language study and deepen your understanding of Japanese society and culture through Researching Japan: Skills, Methods and Critiques.
As in Year 1, you’ll complete your studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered across the University. We also offer the following option courses for Year 1 and Year 2 students:
- Politics and Economy of Japan
- Pre-Modern East Asian History
- Thinking Through Japan
You will spend Year 3 in Japan, where you will develop your language skills and start work on your dissertation.
You will continue to study Japanese language and choose from a range of option courses in Japanese history, politics, religion, culture, film and literature. You will also complete your dissertation.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
The majority of the teaching takes place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, in the University's Central Area. You will have access to the University's libraries, computer facilities and the School's language labs.
You will spend Year 3 at one of our partner institutions in Japan. We have exchange relationships with some of the best universities in Japan, including Waseda, Keio, Ritsumeikan and Hokkaido University.
While abroad you will take intensive language courses, develop your cultural awareness, and start work on your own research project.
The year abroad is a truly transformative experience, and one of the highlights of your programme.
How will I learn?
Most of our courses are taught through lectures and tutorials. Languages are taught in small classes that use computer-assisted learning.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by a combination of exams, class exercises and coursework.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
With more than 128 million native speakers, Japanese is one of the world’s most commonly used languages. A cultural treasure-trove, the country is also a major global power. The skills you’ll develop on our programmes, from speaking to translating the language, analysing key sources and understanding cultural nuances living abroad, will give you the edge in a range of careers, both in Japan and closer to home, where links with East Asia are growing.
Our graduates are now working as translators, interpreters and teachers, in areas such as finance, investment and law, and in sectors as diverse as publishing and management consultancy.
There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with Year 4 in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AAAA - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAAB - AABB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'.)
- A Levels: AAB - ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'.)
- IB: 39 points (grades 666 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '38 (666 at HL) - 34 (655 at HL)'.)
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: a language other than English at grade A and English at grade C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at grade A or 7 and English at grade C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at grade 6 and English at grade 5.
Please note that the Japanese programmes involve beginners language study and are not suitable for native or near-native speakers.
Please note that for degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
SQA National 5 Grade C
SQA Standard Grade 3
SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
GCSE Grade C or 4
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.
You will spend Year 3 in Japan as a compulsory part of your programme. Costs will vary depending on the location. Some scholarship money may be available from external sources, on a competitive basis.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.