SOAS University of London

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

MA Japanese Studies (Literature Pathway)

One calendar year (full-time); Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 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

2018 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

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.




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.

Compulsory modules

The modules below are compulsory

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese Traditional Drama (Masters) 15PEAH013 15 Term 1
Modern Japanese Literature (Masters) 15PEAH012 15 Term 2
Dissertation in the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea 15PJKC999 60 Full Year
Optional Modules

You must select modules to the value of at least 30 credits from the list below. You may select both.

Further Optional Modules

You can select modules to the value of 30-60 credits from the list below.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 30 Full Year
Practical Translation: English into Japanese 15PJKH002 15 Term 2
Practical Translation: Japanese into English 15PJKH003 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period 15PARH007 15 Term 1
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
Japanese Modernity I 15PHIH013 15 Term 1
Japanese Modernity II 15PHIH014 15 Term 2
Management in Japan I 15PFMC018 15 Term 1
Management in Japan II 15PFMC077 15 Term 2
Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 15 Term 1
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Japanese Television since 1953 15PJKC006 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
International politics of East Asia 15PPOC251 30 Full Year
Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOC253 30 Full Year
Japan Unravelled 15PPOH033 15 Credits - Not Running 2018/19
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year
Japanese 1 (PG) 15PJKC008 30 Full Year
Japanese 2 (PG) 15PJKC009 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 (PG 15PJKC010 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 (PG) 15PJKC011 30 Full Year
Japanese 5 (PG) 15PJKC012 30 Full Year
Practical Translation: English into Japanese 15PJKH002 15 Term 2
Practical Translation: Japanese into English 15PJKH003 15 Term 2
Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 30 Full Year
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 30 Full Year
Korean 1 (PG) 15PJKC022 30 Full Year
Korean 2 (PG) 15PJKC024 30 Full Year
Intermediate Korean (PG) 15PJKC013 30 Full Year


This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

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

Learning Outcomes

  • 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.
Transferrable 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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

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

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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

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


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