SOAS University of London

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

MA Japanese Studies (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

  • Q&A
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The MA in Japanese Studies at SOAS is the most comprehensive available anywhere in Europe. Students are able to choose modules that cover all of Japan’s historical periods, from the earliest to the present and ranging over the social and political sciences as well as humanities.

Students who take this programme come from many countries and have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Some have already studied, or lived, in Japan and wish to broaden their knowledge or understanding. Others wish to focus their previous training on the region, while still others will come from Japan or other East Asian countries wishing to study Japan from the perspective of a different culture and academic tradition. Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement of the programme. Language modules, however, are popular options.

SOAS has its own Japan Research Centre and shares the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures with the University of East Anglia. Both can be of great benefit to students.

Prospective students may also be interested in the Dual degree programme in Global Studies between SOAS and Sophia University (Tokyo).  

See Japan and Korea Department

Why study Japanese at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 1st in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in the UK
  • ranked 8th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2021 for South Asian Studies
  • SOAS is specialist in the studies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia
  • access SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
One calendar year (full-time), Two or three (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2021/22

UK fees:
£11,520
Overseas fees:
£22,500

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. This is a Band 3 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's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

Convenors

Q&A

Q&A with Griseldis Kirsch

Course convenor Griseldis Kirsch discusses how she first became interested in Japanese Studies and what students can expect who decide to join the MA Japanese Studies programme.

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Q&A video with Griseldis Kirsch

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Structure

Students take a total of 180 credits, of which 60 credits are a dissertation, 15 credits are allocated to the core module and the remaining 105 credits are chosen from other taught modules. Students must choose a minimum of 45 credits of modules from List A (modules related to Japan) and a maximum of 60 credits from List B, which includes language modules, modules related to other regions of East Asia and modules on Japan offered by other departments.

For students opting to take language acquisition modules in more than one language, only one of these can be at an introductory level.

In the first term students will be asked to choose the module on which they will base their dissertation. The convenor of this module will usually be their dissertation supervisor. The module will usually be chosen from List A modules within the department, but after consultation with the programme convenor it may be possible to arrange for a supervisor from another department.

All modules are subject to availability.

Programme

Compulsory Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Japanese Studies 15PJKC990 60 Full Year
Core Module
Module Code Credits Term
Connections and Intersections: Core Aspects of East Asian Studies 15PJKH025 15 Term 1
List A: Guided Options

Students must take a minimum of 45 credits from the list below.

Module Code Credits Term
Japanese-English Translation (PG) 15PJKH003 15 Term 2
Modernity, Nation and Identity in Japanese History (1853-1945) (PG) 15PJKH027 15 Term 2
Writing from the Margins: Voices of change in Modern Japanese Literature (PG) 15PJKH031 15 Term 2
Contemporary Japanese Society (PG) 15PJKH060 15 Term 1
Japanese Cinema (PG) 15PJKH058 15 Term 1
List B: East Asia modules

Students may take a maximum of 60 credits from the list below.

Module Code Credits Term
Myths, Legends and Folkways of East Asia (PG) 15PJKH052 15 Term 1
East Asian Cinema (PG) 15PCHH051 15 Term 1
Gender in East Asian Literature (PG) 15PEAH014 15 Term 2
Fieldwork methods in language and culture (PG) 15PJKH045 15 Term 2
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Taiwan 15PCHH003 15 Term 1
Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China (PG) 15PCHH042 15 Term 2
Contemporary Chinese Society (PG) 15PCHH054 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature and Film (PG) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1
The Making of Modern Korea 15PJKH032 15 Term 2
Korean-English Translation (PG) 15PJKH057 15 Term 2
Language
Module Code Credits Term
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
J400: Advanced Japanese (PG) 15PJKH055 15 Term 1
Korean 1 A (PG) 15PJKH037 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B (PG) 15PJKH038 15 Term 2
Korean 2 (PG) 15PJKC024 30 Full Year
Korean 3 (PG) 15PJKC013 30 Full Year
Korean 4 (PG) 15PJKC036 30 Full Year
K200: Intermediate Korean (PG) 15PJKC035 30 Full Year
K400: Advanced Korean (PG) 15PJKH056 15 Term 1
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
Chinese 4 (PG) 15PCHC012 30 Full Year
Chinese for Business (PG) 15PCHH027 15 Term 2
Ch400: Advanced Chinese (PG) 15PCHH049 15 Term 1
List C: Guided Options

Students can take a maximum of 30 credits from the list below or from the central options list.

Module Code Credits Term
Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period 15PARH007 15 Term 1
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
Interpreting Visual Expressions of the Mandala 15PARH086 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Economic development in the Asia Pacific region 15PECC030 15 Term 2
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 15 Term 1
Comparing Democracies in North East Asia 15PPOH050 15 Term 2
International Security Politics in East Asia 15PPOH059 15 Term 2
Political Economies of Northeast Asia: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOH061 15 Term 2
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2

 

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

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.

Contact hours

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

Knowledge
  • 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.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2021/22 entrants, per academic year (Band 3 tuition fee)

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
£11,520 £22,500 £5,760 £11,250 £3,840 £7,500 £5,760 £11,250

Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2021-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-02-15 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2021-03-08 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2021-06-04 00:00

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

Employment

Employment

A postgraduate degree in Japanese Studies from SOAS provides its students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Postgraduate students develop linguistic and cultural expertise which will enable them to continue in the field of research.

Skills gained

Students develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers. These include 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.  

Careers

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

  • Department of Energy & Climate Change
  • Ernst & Young
  • Gaia'S Delights
  • HM Forces
  • Hosei
  • Nikkei Europe Inc
  • The Japan Society
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Synovate
  • Al-Jazeera English
  • Reykjavik University
  • Konnichiwa-Japan, Inc.
  • Mitsibushi Securities

Roles

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

  • Teacher
  • Executive - Japan Business Programme
  • Designer/Translator
  • Writer
  • Product and Operation Executive
  • Communications Officer
  • TV reporter, producer
  • Financial Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Academic Programmer
  • Online Journalist
  • Creative Director
  • Investor Relations Officer
  • Marketing Director
  • Publisher

Find out more on our Careers Service website

A Student's Perspective

Aside from the incredible library, I would have to say that the commitment to learning that is shared by both students and staff members is a unique aspect of SOAS. Everyone is striving to do their best and to bring out the best in others.

Charlie Orr

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