MA Japanese Studies

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time


SOAS offers the most comprehensive MA in Japanese Studies 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.

The 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.

This webinar is no longer live, however, any questions you have can be emailed to the programme convenor.

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. Equally, they 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.

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

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

Structure

Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation, 15 is a core module and the remaining 105 are from taught modules. A maximum of 60 credits can be taken from one discipline and a minimum of three disciplines must be covered. For students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be from an introductory level.

One of the modules is designated as a major, in relation to which students complete a 10,000-word dissertation. Note that some modules can only be taken as a major and some, notably language modules, only as a minor.

As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students may only take a maximum of 60 credits in any one discipline. A minimum of three disciplines must be covered and, for students taking two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be at an introductory level.

Some disciplines, such as Anthropology, Economics, or Politics, require an appropriate qualification (such as part of a first degree) if any of their modules are to be taken as the major subject. Students interested in such modules are advised to refer to the relevant webpage for details and, if necessary, to contact the relevant module convenor. Please note that convenors have discretion in deciding if an applicant's background is sufficient for the module concerned.

Compulsory Dissertation

  • Dissertation in Japanese Studies 15PJKC990 60 Full Year

Core Module

  • Connections and Intersections: Core Aspects of East Asian Studies 15PJKH025 15 Term 1

Taught Component Options

Students choose modules to the value of 105 credits from the options below.

Options

  • Anthropology and Sociology
    • Culture and Society of Japan
  • Art
    • Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period
    • Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts
  • Economics
    Available as a major only. Adequate background in Economics is a prerequisite for this module. Please contact the convenor for details.
    • Economic Development of Japan
  • History
    • Modernity and Identity in Modern Japanese History 1868-1912
    • Nation and Empire in Modern Japanese History 1868-1945
    • Japanese Modernity from Edo to Meiji
    • Japanese Modernity from Meiji to Heisei
  • Language
    • 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
    • Korean 1 A (PG)
    • Korean 1 B (PG)
    • Korean 2 (PG)
    • Intermediate Korean (PG)
    • Chinese 1 A (PG)
    • Chinese 1 B (PG)
    • Chinese 2 (PG)
    • Chinese 3 (PG)
  • Linguistics
    • Identity and social relations in Japanese (PG)
    • Issues in Japanese language learning
  • Literature and Culture
    • Modern Japanese Literature (PG)
    • Japanese Traditional Drama (PG)
    • Modernity and Identity in Modern Japanese History 1868-1912
    • Nation and Empire in Modern Japanese History 1868-1945
    • 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)
    • Censoring Japan: A Socio-Cultural History of Japanese Television
    • Fieldwork methods in language and culture (PG)
    The modules below can be taken individually as a minor, however, should a student wish to take one of them as a major, both half modules have to be taken.
    • Gender and Society in Contemporary Japan (PG)
    • Nation and Identity in Contemporary Japan (PG)
  • Management
    The modules below can be taken individually as a minor, however, should a student wish to take one of them as a major, both half modules have to be taken.
    • Management in Japan I
    • Management in Japan II
  • Media
    • 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
  • Music
    Available as a minor only
    • Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters)
    • Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters)
  • Politics
    • International politics of East Asia
    • Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan
    • Japan Unravelled
  • Religion
    • Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers
    Available as a minor only
    • East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2

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.

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.

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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