SOAS University of London

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

BA Japanese Studies and ...

3 years

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2018 Entry requirements

  • No preliminary knowledge of the language is required.
  • Subjects Preferred: A foreign language at A level, or equivalent, is desirable but not essential.
  • Interview Policy: Mature students, candidates with non-standard qualifications, Japanese nationals, and heritage speakers (i.e., Japanese raised abroad) who meet the academic requirements may be invited for interview.
A Levels:
35 (665 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements


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

  • Overview
  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

From the study of pre-modern Japanese literature and history, to contemporary cinema and TV, we are the home to the largest concentration of Japanese specialists in Europe. The BA Japanese Studies Combined Honours Degree provides students with the opportunity to study Japanese culture in depth, along with the study of the language. It will not only provide you with a thorough grounding in Japanese culture but will allow you to create a specialist niche for yourself by studying another subject.

What subjects can you combine it with?

Other disciplines -  Economics, History, History of Art/ Archaeology, International Relations, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology, Study of Religions, World Philosophies.

Languages - Chinese, Korean, Korean Studies

Why study Japanese Studies Combined Honours at SOAS?

  • 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
  • choosing to study a Combined Honours programme will allow you take advantage of the expertise of one of our other departments and help you create a specialist niche for yourself
  • we are specialists in the delivery of more that forty African and Asian languages. Your command of a language will set you apart from graduates of other universities

Apply now via UCAS or visit our upcoming Open Day.

Find out more about how to apply.


Key Information Set Data

Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

*Taught at Birkbeck College, London

(Students are advised to see the other departments’ websites for options required in joint degrees)

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


Students take 120 credits per year composed of core and optional modules, which allows for students to design their own intellectual journey while maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals.

This is a three-year degree and requires less intensive study of the Japanese language than the BA Japanese degree. A smaller number of language classes can be taken at various levels of proficiency from pure beginner to very advanced.

Year 1
Core Module

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

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese Cultural History to 1600: Power, Belief, Creativity 155901199 15 Term 1
Japanese Cultural History 1600 to 1945: Power, Belief, Creativity 155901200 15 Term 2
Core Language Module

Choose 30 credits from List A.

Other Subject

60 credits are taken from the other subject. NB: For students taking BA Chinese & Japanese Studies or BA Korean & Japanese Studies, please note that you will take 90 credits from the Chinese or Korean syllabus in year one. Your only Japanese modules will be Aspects of Japanese Culture 1 and Aspects of Japanese Culture 2. You will begin your Japanese language modules in year 3, after your return from the year abroad

Year 2
Core Module

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

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Nation and Identity in Contemporary Japan 155901329 15 Term 1
Gender and Society in Contemporary Japan 155901330 15 Term 2
Compulsory Module

Choose 30 credits from List A or List B.

Other Subject

60 credits are taken from the other subject.

Year 3
Compulsory Modules

Choose either: 30 credits from List A and 30 credits from List B, OR choose 60 credits from List B.

Other Subject

60 credits are taken from the other subject.

List A (Language use modules)

Available to Year 1, 2 and 3 students depending on their language ability.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese 1 155900874 30 Full Year
Japanese 2 155900875 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 155901345 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 155901346 30 Full Year
Japanese 5 155901255 30 Full Year
Modernity and Identity in Modern Japanese History 1868-1912 155900881 15 Term 1
Nation and Empire in Modern Japanese History 1868-1945 155900882 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 1 155901424 Term 2
Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 2 155901425 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Self, City and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Literature 1868-1945 155901426 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Writing from the Margins: Minority Voices in Modern Japanese Literature, 1945 to the Present 155901427 Term 2
J400: Advanced Japanese 155901285 30 Full Year
List B (Non-language based disciplinary modules)

Before selecting a module, student's must first check that the module it is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.

Avaliable to year 1 students only
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Cultural History of Tibet 155903018 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Imagining Tibet 155903019 Term 2
H120 Introduction to the History of East Asia 154800229 30 Full Year
R110 Introduction to Buddhism 158000110 15 Term 1
R170 Introduction to the Religions of East and Central Asia 158000100 15 Term 2
Chinese 103: History and Culture of China 155901001 30 Full Year
Available to year 1 or year 2 students
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Modern Korea 1: History 155901428 Term 1
Modern Korea 2: Culture and Society 155901429 Term 2
Cool Japan: Manga, Anime, Sushi 155901416 Term 1
Survey of Modern Japanese Literature in Translation 155901214 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Survey of Pre-Modern Japanese Literature in Translation 155901213 15 Term 1
Available to Year 2 students only
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Post-War Japanese Cinema: a Critical Survey 155904000 15 Term 1
Japanese Cinema in the 1960s: Politics, Porn and Protest 155904001 15 Term 2
Fieldwork methods in language and culture 155901417 Term 2
Identity and social relations in Japanese 155901418 Term 1
Music and Japanese Identities 155901420 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
J201: Japanese Readings 155901235 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Available to Year 2 and 3 students

Please note that prerequisites or programme convenor approval may be required for some of these modules. Please see Teaching & Learning tab.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Extended Essay (Japanese Language and Culture) 1 155900853 15 Term 1
Extended Essay (Japanese Language and Culture) 2 155900854 15 Term 1
Japanese Art 154900110 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Visual Culture of Early-Modern Japan 154900120 30 Full Year
Pop and Politics in East Asia 155800077 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Musical Traditions of East Asia 155800078 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Ethnography of Japan 151802081 15 Term 1
Themes in Japanese Religions 158000043 15 Term 2
H283 Modern Japan 154800233 30 Full Year
Available to year 3 students only

Please note that prerequisites or programme convener approval may be required for some of these modules. Please see Teaching & Learning tab

Module Code Credits Term Availability
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 Term 2
H333 Urban Modern Eastern Asia (I) 154800288 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Japanese Traditional Drama 155901422 Term 1
Modern Japanese Literature 155901423 Term 2

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 60, 45, 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.


The following Open Option modules can be taken as options in the 3rd year:

  • Economic Development of Modern Japan since 1868. The prerequisites are either Intermediate Economic Analysis or Economics of Developing Countries I (to be taken in Year 2).
  • Musical Traditions of East Asia. The prerequisites are GCSE Music or Grade 5, or clear evidence of performance skills.

Modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials, usually one hour a week of each. Sometimes, one follows the other in a two-hour bloc. Sometimes, the tutorial is at a different time or on a different day than the lecture.

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.

The Independent Study Project (ISP)

These can be taken by final-year students only. Like the Special Subject dissertation, its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It too involves no formal classes and is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

Learning Resources

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Programme Full-Time
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,907
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,385 £8,454
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2018-04-30 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


Studying this programme will provide students with competency Japanese language skills as well as intercultural awareness and understanding. Choosing to study a Combined programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge as you develop additional skills with which to further your studies of Japan, or to make comparative study with other areas. 

Skills gained include:

  • a 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
  • 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 Japan, or to make comparative study with other areas

Graduates from the 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.

Find out more about Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea Destinations

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

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

A Student's Perspective

London is amazing. It is a big city, there is always something going on, always something interesting to do. Also, you can move around easily and fast. It is a frenetic life, but it is just part of the fun. If you want you can also relax in a park. I particularly love parks as there are not many in my city. You can enjoy art, nature and everything else in the same city. I really think it is amazing!

Fiorella Cerbasio, Istituto Universitario Orientale Di Napoli


Find out more

  • Contact us
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  • Apply

    Undergraduate applications should be made through UCAS.

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