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Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

MA ... and Intensive Language (Japanese)

Duration: 2 yr pathway: full time (2 years) or part time (4 years).


Who is this programme for?:

The two-year language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with Japan in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language course would enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

Your chosen discipline will be combined with intensive Japanese language over two years, therefore making this programme unique in Europe.  Languages are available at beginners or intermediate level.  Please check the web pages of the language pathways for further information.

Please come to Room B102 (Brunei Gallery) at 11.00 on Wednesday 24 September for a placement test.


May be combined with

Once you have checked the structure for this programme via the structure tab, please click into the above discipline that you would like to study. You will then see the full list of optional courses available to you.


In the two-year language pathway, students take 2 intensive language units and one discipline unit in their first year.  During the summer, they will participate in a summer school abroad.  Upon their return, they will take one intensive language unit in their second year and two discipline units.  They will also be expected to choose a Major in which to write the dissertation.  In the intensive-language pathway, the same rules apply as for the usual MA.

In the two-year language pathway, the intensive language courses will be assessed by a combination of exams and continuous assessment, involving in-class tests.  The assessment in the summer school is handed over to the partner university but will be counted as one unit.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Learning outcomes will vary depending on the combination of courses chosen by individual students.  Learning outcomes for each course can be found under the information provided on the relevant list of postgraduate courses on the departmental page of the SOAS website.


  • Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s past and present, within the parameters of the courses and disciplines chosen.
  • Students will acquire an advanced understanding of the theoretical and methodological tools of the relevant disciplines.
  • Students who choose to take language will improve their knowledge of and ability to use Japanese in their everyday life and, depending on the level achieved, professional career.

Intellectual (thinking) skills

  • Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically from a variety of sources and how to resolve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations.
  • Students will learn the strengths and disciplines of particular disciplinary and theoretical approaches, cultivating their ability to draw on a variety of such approaches.
  • Students will learn how to design and manage an independent research project, formulating the problem to be addressed, identifying the data to be analyzed, and synthesizing the findings to present well-supported conclusions.

Subject-based practical skills

  • Students will learn how to read critically, to participate effectively in seminar discussions, and to present their work in both oral and written form.
  • More specific skills will depend on the particular courses taken.
  • In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language.

Transferable skills

  • Students will learn how to access and evaluate electronic and other data effectively and efficiently.
  • Students will learn how to solve complex problems, for example concerning economic development, historical causation, literary interpretation, or political decision-making.
  • Students will learn how to communicate effectively in a variety of settings and formats.

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