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Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

BA Japanese and ...

Duration: 4 years

Overview

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2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: AAB
  • A Level language preferred
  • IB: 35 (6/6/5)
  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Minimum Entry Requirements: No preliminary knowledge of the language is required but a foreign language at A-level or equivalent is preferred.

Subjects Preferred: A foreign language at A level, or equivalent, is preferred

Interview Policy: In principle all mature students, and all Japanese nationals and all students one of whose parents is Japanese are invited for interview.

The joint degree in Japanese aims to provide the student with the highest level of competence in all aspects of the written and spoken language, and with high level of competence in their second subject. Japanese can be combined with a range of disciplines.

All students spend Year Three in Japan at one of the following universities: Hokkaido University of Education (Hokkaido), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Keio University, Waseda University, Sophia University, Ochanomizu University (all Tokyo), Nagoya University, Nanzan University (both Nagoya), Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Osaka University (both Osaka), Doshisha University (Kyoto), Kansai University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kyushu University, Kobe University, Ritsumeikan University, and Hiroshima University (Hiroshima). Please bear in mind that the Year Abroad is compulsory, and that no teaching is available at SOAS for 3rd year students.

Key Information Set Data

The information for BA, BSc, or LLB programmes refer to data taken from the single subject degrees offered at SOAS; however, due to the unique nature of our programmes many subjects have a separate set of data when they are studied alongside another discipline.  In order to get a full picture of their chosen subject(s) applicants are advised to look at both sets of information where these occur.

Combinations

May be combined with

** Taught at King’s College London

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Students must take a total of four units each year.

Year 1

The programme accommodates absolute beginners as well as those with some knowledge of Japanese. Absolute beginners are placed in J1- Elementary Japanese (2 units), and students who know some Japanese may be allocated, after a placement test, to J-1 Accelerated Elementary Japanese (1.5 units).

Accelerated Elementary Japanese (1.5 units) students will also take an additional half-unit from any of the following: Aspects of Japanese Culture 1 or 2, Introduction to the Study of Language Learning 1 or 2, or Issues in post-war Japanese society 1.

Two subject degree students choose at least one unit from their other subject.

There also exists the possibility, again after a placement test, for entry directly into Year 2 (A grade in Japanese A-level is the benchmark for entry to Year 2). Please note that Year 2 entry is only possible on joint degrees with: Chinese Studies, Korean, Music, Social Anthropology, and Study of Religions.

Year 2

Students take two units of Japanese language, and the remaining units from their other subject.

Year 3

This is a compulsory year spent in Japan for both single and two-subject degree students, and there is no tuition offered by the department. Students are expected to take the equivalent of 4 units in this year at a Japanese university.

A three-year BA Japanese Studies which does not include a period of study abroad will be on offer from 2009/10. Please check the website for updates.

Year 4

Two-subject degree students have no compulsory units in Year 4 (they may take any 4th year unit from the list shown in the table below) but are encouraged to undertake an Extended Essay (EE: 5,000 words-essay on an approved topic) or an Independent Study Project (ISP: 10,000-word essay on an approved topic).

Notes on degree progression for students entering in and after September 2009

Students in Year 1 of BA Japanese (single or joint subject) must meet all three of the following conditions to be eligible to progress to the second year of their degree:

  1. They must pass in all core courses prescribed for Year 1 of their degree.
  2. They must pass in courses to the minimum value of three course units.
  3. In the core Japanese course (J1Elementary Japanese 15 590 1195 or J1 Accelerated elementary Japanese 15 590 1196) they must obtain a minimum mark of 50% following the May/June examination.
*Notes to the regulation:

A. These progression requirements do not apply to BA Japanese Studies (single and joint subject).

B. Students who obtain 50% or more in J1Elementary Japanese or J1 Accelerated elementary Japanese following a September resit examination will not meet the progression requirement. Students who obtain 20% to 39% in J1 following the May/June examination may enter to take a September resit examination, but only with the aim of applying to transfer to another degree (see Note C below).

C. Students who meet conditions 1 and 2 above and either pass J1 with a mark of 40% to 49% following the May/June examination or who pass J1 with any mark from 40% upwards following a September resit examination may apply to transfer to another degree (such as Year 2 of BA Japanese Studies). Applications for transfer must be made by means of the degree transfer application form, obtainable from any Faculty Office.

D. September resit examinations are available only in respect of courses failed with a mark in the range 20% to 39%. Students who have passed a course (40%+) may not attempt a September resit examination with the aim of improving their mark.

1st year Elementary Japanese
Core Course

Core courses must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study.

2 Other Units

Two subject degree students choose at least one unit from their other subject. Depending on the requirements of the other subject (whether 1 or 2 units are required), optional units avaliable in this department can be found in the list at the bottom of this page. Entry to optional units is subject to language level.

1st year Accelerated Japanese
Core Course

Core courses must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study.

Choose one of the following
2 Other Units

Two subject degree students choose at least one unit from their other subject. Depending on the requirements of the other subject (whether 1 or 2 units are required), optional units avaliable in this department can be found in the list at the bottom of this page. Entry to optional units is subject to language level.

2nd Year
Core Course

Core courses must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study.

2 Other Units

Two subject degree students choose at least one unit from their other subject. Depending on the requirements of the other subject (whether 1 or 2 units are required), optional units avaliable in this department can be found in the list at the bottom of this page. Entry to optional units is subject to language level.

3rd Year: Year Abroad

Please see more information on the year abroad in Japan under the Teaching & Learning tab.

4th Year- For students who enrolled in 2010/11 or earlier

Two-subject degree students (who enrolled in 10/11 or earlier) have no compulsory units in Year 4. However, students are encouraged to undertake one of the following.

Other Units

Students take the remaining units in the other subject or as Open Options, depending on the requirements of the other subject.

4th Year- For students who enrolled in 2011/12 or later
Compulsory Japanese language use course

Student must take one unit from the list of Japanese language use courses below. Students may take two Japanese courses if the syllabus of their other subject allows this.

Other Units

Students take the remaining units in the other subject or as Open Options, depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Optional units from the Japanese section

Entry to optional units is subject to language level.

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

All students spend year three in Japan at one of the Japanese universities listed below. Please bear in mind that the Year Abroad is compulsory, and that no teaching is available at SOAS for 3rd year students.

Tokyo

  • Hitotsubashi
  • International Christian University
  • Keio
  • Ochanomizu (women only)
  • Sophia
  • Tokyo U. of Foreign Studies
  • Waseda

Nagoya

  • Nagoya
  • Nanzan

Kyoto

  • Doshisha
  • Kyoto U. of Foreign Studies
  • Ritsumeikan

Osaka

  • Kansai
  • Osaka U., School of Economics
  • Osaka U., School of Foreign Studies

Kobe

  • Kobe
  • Kwansei Gakuin

Fukuoka

  • Kyushu

Hokkaido

  • Hokkaido U. of Education

Teaching & Learning

Language teaching is mostly in small tutorial groups; tapes and language laboratory facilities are available for formal teaching and self-study. Non-language units are taught by lecture and seminar.

Students are assessed by a combination of written examination (and oral for language units) and coursework, including essays and translations.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Pre Entry Reading

  • R. Bowring & P Kornicki (eds), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan 1996
  • D. Keene, Anthology of Japanese Literature, 1980
  • A. Gordon, A modern history of Japan, 1996
  • H Paul Varley, Japanese Culture (4th edition) 1998

Destinations

Students who specialise in Japan and the Japanese language at SOAS will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. You will have developed a familiarity with the region through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the Japan, or to make comparative study with other areas. Japanese may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Arrow Group
Barclays Capital
Bloomberg
BNP Paribas Investment Partners
Bonhams
Disney Interactive Studios
Korea University
London News Bureau of Japan's Public Broadcaster
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
Osaka International University
Price Waterhouse Coopers
Standard Chartered Bank
The Japan Foundation
Tomorrow's Youth Organisation
Nihon Shokken
Altia Central
British Government

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Product Development
Financial Analyst
Head of Fund Management
Localisation Producer - Asia
Project Officer
Senior Associate
FX Trader
Outreach Project Officer
Field Representative
Teaching Assistant
Trainee News Cameraman
Researcher

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

It’s a melting pot of languages and cultures where your eyes open to new things you might have never heard about on a daily basis.

Antoni Slodkowski