Please note this programme will not be available in 2019/20 but you may be interested in the MA Japanese Studies programme instead.
This programme covers both pre-modern and modern literatures of Japan. It includes the study of literary works written in the original languages, as well as an introduction to literary theory.
This degree is designed either as an end qualification in itself or to prepare the student for more advanced graduate work (MPhil/PhD).
Incoming students will be expected to have completed the equivalent of the first two years of undergraduate language study at SOAS in Japanese.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)
- One calendar year (full-time);
Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
- UK/EU fees:
- Overseas fees:
Fees for 2020/21 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. 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 Postgraduate Tuition Fees page
Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. For students on a literature pathway, the dissertation must be on a subject in Japanese Literature. For students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be from an introductory level. On certain programmes only ONE language acquisition module is permitted.
All modules are subject to availability and, in some cases, the approval of the programme convenor.
For students on the Literature pathway, the dissertation must be on a subject in Japanese Literature.
Choose a minimum of 30 credits from the list below
You must select modules to the value of at least 30 credits from EITHER the list of complusary modules above OR from the list below.
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the list below
List of Modules (subject to availability)
List A: Japanese Related Modules
List B: Literature options from East Asia Department (please note that some modules are taught in original language)
List C: Literature options from Languages, Cultures and Linguistics (please note that some modules are taught in original language)
List D: Language modules
List E: Non literature modules (Korea/East Asia related)
Anthropology and Sociology
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 & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. 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. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module
- Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s past and present, within the parameters of the modules 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.
Learning Outcomes: 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 modules taken.
- 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.
Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.
This is a Band 1 tuition fee.
Fees for 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second & subsequent years of study will be higher. Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.
||Part-time 2 Years
||Part-time 3 Years
||Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00
Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00
Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00
Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00
Application Deadline: 2020-06-05 15:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
A postgraduate degree in MA Japanese Literature from SOAS provides students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates of this programme will develop their ability to engage with and explore relationships between indigenous aesthetics of the region and contemporary literary theories. Some graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems that contemporary societies now face.
Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including 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. A postgraduate degree in Japanese Literature is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
Sara Iannone, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
My advice would be: go for it! Especially if you are thinking about studying at SOAS because it is a great experience, not only for your CV but for yourself as well because [the] SOAS environment is really as great as the leaflets or the website tell you.
How to apply
Please note that this degree programme is no longer accepting new applicants, the information is still available for current students who have previously enrolled on it.
You might be interested in our MA Japanese Studies or MA Japanese Studies with Intensive Language degree programmes instead.