SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

BA Japanese (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The BA Japanese programme provides students with the highest level of competence in all aspects of the written and spoken language, as well as an introduction to both classical and modern Japanese culture. From the study of contemporary Japanese society, film and popular culture, to pre-modern literature and history, the BA Japanese is suitable for both absolute beginners as well as those with some knowledge of the Japanese language.

Students will spend the third year of study in Japan furthering language proficiency and understanding of Japanese society and culture.

See Japan and Korea Department

Why study Japanese at SOAS

  • UK Top 10 in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Modern Languages
  • we are home to the largest concentration of Japan specialists outside of Japan
  • you will not only learn the essential language skills but also an in depth understanding of the region’s culture covering subjects from literature, history, cinema, and politics
  • you will spend your third year in Japan furthering language and cultural proficiency
  • you will be able to flexibly structure your programme using our central options modules to take advantage of the expertise of our other departments
  • Your command of a language will set you apart from graduates of other universities

Explore

Programme Code: T210 BA/J

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Email: eastasia@soas.ac.uk

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 GCSE or A-level, or equivalent, is preferred
  • Interview Policy: Mature students, candidates with non-standard qualifications, Japanese nationals and heritage speakers (ie, Japanese raised abroad) who meet the academic requirements may be invited for interview.
A Levels:
AAB - ABB
A Level language preferred
IB:
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements

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

Featured events

duration:
4 years

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Students take 120 credits per year composed of core and guided modules.

  • Year 1: students will Japanese language intensely and take history/culture modules and 15 credits of academic writing.
  • Year 2: students will take modules of Japanese language and history/culture. 
  • Year 3: students will spend the year aborad at one of the Japanese Univerisites with which we have a exchange partnership. 

In the final year students will continue their study of Japanese language, write an Independent Study Project and study further modules on history/culture. 

Programme

Year 1
Core Module

This module must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study

Module Code Credits Term
J100: Elementary Japanese 155901195 60 Full Year

*Lifeboat Option: If a student is struggling with J100, they will move to Japanese 1B (155906027) in the 2nd term & write an extended essay (155901421), then move to the BA East Asian Studies Programme.

Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
Reading and Writing East Asian Studies 155901439 15 Term 1
Cool Japan: Manga, Anime, Sushi 155901416 15 Term 2
East Asian Civilizations 155901464 30 Full Year
Year 2
Core Module

This module must be passed in order progress to the following year of study.

Module Code Credits Term
J200: Intermediate Japanese (30Cr) 155901491 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
East Asian Imperialisms 155901481 15 Term 2
Contemporary Japanese Society 155901479 15 Term 1
Introduction to Pre-Modern Japanese 155901484 15 Term 2
Guided Option

Choose modules from List A (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) to the value of 15 credits.

AND 

Guided Options

Choose modules from List A /List B or Central options (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) to the value of 30 credits.

Year 3

*Year 3 (from 2021) Year Abroad: For more information on the year abroad in Japan, please see the Teaching & Learning tab.

Year 4
Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below

Module Code Credits Term
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 15 Term 2
Independent Study Project in East Asian Studies 155901483 30 Full Year
J400: Advanced Japanese 155901470 15 Term 1
AND

Guided Option

Choose modules from List A (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) to the value of 30 credits.

AND

Central Options

Choose modules from List A/List B or Central options (at the relevant FHEQ level for your academic year of study) to the value of 30 credits.

Year 2: List A Guided Option Modules

FHEQ Level 5

Module Code Credits Term
Myths, Legends and Folkways of East Asia 155901460 15 Term 1
Gender in East Asian Literature (UG) 155901482 15 Term 2
East Asian Cinema (UG) 155901475 15 Term 1
Fieldwork methods in language and culture 155901417 15 Term 2
Extended Essay in East Asian Studies 155900854 15 Term 2
Year 4: List A Guided option modules

FHEQ Level 6

Module Code Credits Term
J401: Japanese-English Translation 155901471 15 Term 2
Writing from the Margins: Voices of change in Modern Japanese Literature 155901427 15 Term 2
Japanese Cinema (UG) 155901476 15 Term 2
Modernity, Nation and Identity in Japanese History (1853-1945) 155900882 15 Term 2
Year 2/Year 4: List B Guided option modules

FHEQ level 5/6

Module Code Credits Term
Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China 155903017 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature and Film 155901390 15 Term 1
The Other Korea: North Korea since 1945 155901356 15 Term 2
Year 2/Year 4: List B Language Open Option Module
Module Code Credits Term
Chinese 1 A 155906022 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 B 155906023 15 Term 2
Chinese 2 155900829 30 Full Year
Korean 1 A 155906028 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B 155906029 15 Term 2
Korean 2 155901404 30 Full Year
FHEQ Level 6
Module Code Credits Term
Chinese 3 155901097 30 Full Year
Chinese 4 155901144 30 Full Year
Chinese 5 155901409 15 Term 1
Chinese for Business 155903010 15 Term 2
Korean 3 155900843 30 Full Year
Korean 4 155901486 30 Full Year

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorial delivered across the week. Lectures are led by an academic while tutorials are sessions in which students are expected to present reports and take a lead in discussions.

Depending on the size of the class, some intermediate and advanced level modules are less strictly divided between a formal lecture and a tutorial discussion, and instead, the topic is briefly introduced by the lecturer, followed by a seminar discussion. Advanced level modules, which are usually taught in one two-hour bloc, often take this format.

The assessment procedures involve coursework assignments, tests and unseen examinations. They provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the content and systems taught in lectures, tutorials and the literature.

Contact hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 60, 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are taught over one term or the full year. It also shows which modules are compulsory and which are optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.

More information is on the page for each module.

Year abroad

All students spend their third year in Japan at one of the Japanese universities listed below, following successful completion of their second year. Students will study a combination of language and non-language modules, and must pass 75% of them in order to proceed to Year 4.  Please note that not all universities will have places available every year, and that each university has a limited number of places. Students indicate preferences, but final allocation will be determined by the department.

Tokyo
Nagoya
Kyoto
Osaka
Kobe
Fukuoka
Hokkaido

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

  • B. Frellesvig, A History of the Japanese Language (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • K. Friday, Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850 (Westview Press, 2012)
  • C. Gerteis and T.S. George, Japan Since 1945: From Postwar to Post-bubble (Bloomsbury, 2013)
  • C. Goto-Jones, Modern Japan: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • J. Hendry, Understanding Japanese Society (Routledge, 2012)
  • M.B. Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000)
  • H. Shirane, T. Suzuki, and D. Lurie (eds.), The Cambridge History of Japanese Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • P. Varley, Japanese Culture (University of Hawai’i Press, 2000)

Employment

Employment

Studying the BA Japanese programme will provide students with competency in language skills, as well as intercultural awareness and understanding.

Skills gained

  • familiarity with the region through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law
  • communication and presentation skills
  • analytical skills
  • ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources

Careers

Graduates from the Japan Department leave SOAS not only with language 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.

Employers

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

  • Bloomberg L.P
  • British High Commission
  • British Council Tokyo
  • Deloitte Management Consulting Ltd
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International
  • NHK-Japan Broadcasting Corporation
  • Oxford University
  • The British Embassy
  • The British Museum
  • Wall Street Associates

Roles

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

  • Financial Analyst
  • Head of Production
  • US Marketing Executive
  • Senior Research Executive
  • Director of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Project Leader, Strategic Planning
  • Solicitor
  • Architect
  • Interactive Designer
  • HM Ambassador to Japan
  • Freelance Japanese Translator

Find out more about Japan and Korea graduate destinations

A Student's Perspective

Not only does SOAS have a great reputation for its Japanese department and Japanese library collection, but I also believe that for language students, there’s no better city to live and study in than London

Rosamund Graham

Find out more