SOAS University of London

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

MA Japanese Studies (Literature Pathway) (2018 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019 2018

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

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2019/20 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

Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

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


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

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.


For students on the Literature pathway, the dissertation must be on a subject in Japanese Literature.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Japanese Studies 15PJKC990 60 Full Year
Taught Component
Core Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese Traditional Drama (Masters) 15PEAH013 15 Term 1
Modern Japanese Literature (Masters) 15PEAH012 15 Term 2
Compulsory modules

Choose a minimum of 30 credits from the list below

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 1 (PG) 15PJKH028 15 Term 2
Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 2 (PG) 15PJKH029 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Self, City and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Literature 1868-1945 (PG) 15PJKH030 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Writing from the Margins: Minority Voices in Modern Japanese Literature, 1945 to the Present (PG) 15PJKH031 15 Term 2
Optional Modules

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
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Modernity and Identity in Modern Japanese History 1868-1912 15PJKH026 15 Term 1
Nation and Empire in Modern Japanese History 1868-1945 15PJKH027 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
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
Censoring Japan: A Socio-Cultural History of Japanese Television 15PJKH034 15 Term 2
Identity and social relations in Japanese (PG) 15PJKH022 15 Term 1
Issues in Japanese language learning 15PJKH023 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
List B: Literature options from East Asia Department (please note that some modules are taught in original language)
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC004 30 Full Year
Modern Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC002 30 Full Year
Classical Documentary Texts 15PEAC006 30 Full Year
Modern Documentary Texts 15PEAC007 30 Full Year
Reading Seminar: Masterpieces of Modern Chinese Literature 15PCHH029 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Reading Seminar: Modern Chinese Literature and the World 15PCHH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Literary Traditions and Culture of Korea (Masters) 15PJKH005 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 15 Term 2
Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 30 Full Year
List C: Literature options from Languages, Cultures and Linguistics (please note that some modules are taught in original language)
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 30 Full Year
Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 30 Full Year
Modern Arabic Literature and the West 15PNMC002 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arabic Popular Literature: Themes, Genres & Theory 15PNMC045 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
A Modern Arabic Literary Genre: Themes and Techniques 15PNMC046 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Classical Arabic Prose Literature and Adab 15PNMC047 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature 15PNMC347 30 Full Year
Social and Political Trends in 19th Century Turkish Literature 15PNMC373 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Selected Topics in 20th Century Turkish Literature 15PNMC374 30 Full Year
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG) 15PNMC379 30 Full Year
Arabic Poetry and Criticism 15PNMC048 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 30 Full Year
Identity and Language in Hebrew Literature (PG) 15PNMC412 30 Full Year
Classical Ottoman Literature (Masters) 15PNMC385 30 Full Year
Classical Persian Poetry: Texts and Traditions (PG) 15PNMC401 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Literature 15PSAC003 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Sanskrit Texts from the Hindu Tradition 15PSAC014 30 Full Year
Literatures of South Asia 15PSAC284 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) 15PSAH005 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asia Literatures in Translation (Masters) 15PSEH009 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
The Urban/Rural Divide in South East Asian Literature 15PSEH012 15 Term 1
English Literatures of South East Asia 15PSEH013 15 Term 2
Under Western Eyes: European Writings on South East Asia (PG) 15PSEH017 15 Term 1
List D: Language modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese 1 A (PG) 15PJKH035 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B (PG) 15PJKH036 15 Term 2
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: Japanese into English 15PJKH003 15 Term 2
Practical Translation: English into Japanese 15PJKH002 15 Term 2
Korean 1 A (PG) 15PJKH037 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B (PG) 15PJKH038 15 Term 2
Korean 2 (PG) 15PJKC024 30 Full Year
Intermediate Korean (PG) 15PJKC013 30 Full Year
Chinese 1 A (PG) 15PCHH031 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 B (PG) 15PCHH032 15 Term 2
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 30 Full Year
Practical Translation: Chinese to English 15PCHH004 15 Term 2
Practical Translation: English to Chinese 15PCHH005 15 Term 2
List E: Non literature modules (Korea/East Asia related)
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period 15PARH007 15 Term 1
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese Modernity I 15PHIH013 15 Term 1
Japanese Modernity II 15PHIH014 15 Term 2
The Making of Modern Korea, 1864-1953 15PJKH032 15 Term 1
The Two Koreas since 1953 (PG) 15PJKH033 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Management in Japan I 15PFMC018 15 Term 1
Management in Japan II 15PFMC077 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
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
Module Code Credits Term Availability
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
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG) 15PCHH001 15 Term 1
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 2


This is the structure for applicants

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

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

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 2019/20 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 Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
£9,685 £19,930 £4,843 £9,965 £3,228 £6,643 £4,843 £9,965

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

The best thing about my time here is that there has been a huge improvement in my language skills and I have become more aware of people from various backgrounds. 

Alice Yuen


Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
  • Got a question?

    If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.

    Ask a question

  • Apply

    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

    Start your application