MA Japanese Studies (Dual Degree Programme)


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

Sophia University's Graduate Programme in Global Studies (GPGS) and the Department of Japan and Korea at SOAS University of London have launched a Dual Degree Program (DDP) which allows students to benefit from the combined resources of two of the world's leading institutions in Japanese Studies, located in two major global cities – Tokyo and London. Students making use of this possibility widen their intellectual horizons by taking classes at two of the world’s leading institutions in Japanese Studies. Supervision of student theses or graduation projects by prominent scholars at both institutions encourages multiple perspectives on Japanese Studies.

The Dual MA is based at Sophia University, as Japanese Master’s programmes are typically two years long, and SOAS contributes to it by offering its MA in Japanese Studies as an option for students originally enrolled at Sophia University. For SOAS students there is the opportunity to continue studying in Japan for a further year after first completing the MA in Japanese Studies at SOAS. Students proceeding to Sophia University can add any one degree within the GPGS at Sophia University, while students coming from Sophia must choose the MA Japanese Studies from SOAS.

Students will study for one year at GPGS and one year at SOAS. Only upon successful completion of both the MA Japanese Studies at SOAS and the corresponding one-year element at Sophia will students receive two MA degrees, one from each institution.

For students considering enrolment through SOAS

Applications are made to the one-year MA Japanese Studies programme at SOAS. The continuation at Sophia is an optional add-on that has no impact on how the MA Japanese Studies is taught at SOAS and its normal rules and regulations apply. For students considering enrolment through SOAS, this is an opportunity to add one year of study at Sophia University, after they have completed the taught elements of their MA in Japanese Studies with SOAS. However, students should indicate interest in the possibility to continue to Sophia University upon the point of application. Only upon being accepted by Sophia University in a separate application procedure (please see below), can the students proceed to Japan. The fees for the MAs are to be paid separately to each institution.


Students must fulfil all the requirements for the MA Japanese Studies at SOAS. They can choose a module as ‘major’ – which means that they are expected to write their dissertation within this field. Please note that only modules which are not labelled as ‘minor only’ can be taken as a major and that certain pre-requisites may apply. A choice of major is also at the discretion of the module convenor.

Anthropology and Sociology

  • Culture and Society of Japan


  • Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period
  • Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts

Available as a major only


Available as a minor only

  • Japanese 1 A (PG)
  • Japanese 1 B (PG)
  • Japanese 2 (PG)
  • Japanese 3 (PG)
  • Japanese 4 (PG)
  • Japanese 5 (PG)
  • Practical Translation: Japanese into English


  • Identity and social relations in Japanese (PG)
  • Issues in Japanese language learning

Literature and Culture

  • Japanese Traditional Drama (PG)
  • Modern Japanese Literature (PG)
  • Nation and Empire in Modern Japanese History 1868-1945
  • Modernity and Identity in Modern Japanese History 1868-1912
  • Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 1 (PG)
  • Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 2 (PG)
  • Self, City and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Literature 1868-1945 (PG)
  • Writing from the Margins: Minority Voices in Modern Japanese Literature, 1945 to the Present (PG)


  • Management in Japan I
  • Management in Japan II


  • Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli
  • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
  • Censoring Japan: A Socio-Cultural History of Japanese Television

Available as a minor only

  • Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters)
  • Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters)


  • International politics of East Asia
  • Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan
  • Japan Unravelled


  • Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers

Available as a minor only

  • East Asian Buddhist Thought

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Application Procedure

Prospective students should apply in the first instance for the MA programme at the institution where they intend to commence their studies. Applicants for the MA must fulfil the criteria for acceptance adopted by both institutions.

After having been accepted by one of the two institutions, applicants must make a formal application to the partner institution, indicating that they wish to be considered for the Dual Degree Programme. Please note that different deadlines apply to both institutions.

  • For SOAS students applying for entrance into Sophia, the deadline will be in April (the application period is normally from 1-27 April). Students are permitted to apply during the spring break and before having completed the dissertation, but in order to qualify for the degree, the requirements for the completion of the MA Japanese Studies still need to be fulfilled by the appropriate SOAS deadlines
  • The deadline for Sophia students applying to SOAS is 30 June, though the earlier the application is made, the easier it will be to facilitate acceptance and arranging a visa, accommodation etc.

Once students have met the requirements and been accepted onto the second half of the programme, the receiving institution will liaise with the student concerning visa issues, accommodation etc.


For UK students applying for student loans: This MA programme is not normally fully covered by UK postgraduate loans. Please check with the organisation granting your loan before applying.

Students entering the GPGS at Sophia University in April typically apply for admission to SOAS during their 1st semester, spend their 2nd and 3rd semesters at SOAS, and return to Sophia in their 4th semester to complete their GPGS requirements.

Students entering the GPGS at Sophia University in September typically apply for admission to SOAS in their 2nd semester, spend their 3rd and 4th semesters at SOAS, and return to Sophia in their 5th semester to complete the GPGS requirements.

Students entering SOAS can only do so in September.

Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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