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BA Japanese Studies

Year of entry: 2021

Overview

Degree awarded
BA (Hons)
Duration
4 Years
Typical A-level offer

ABB

Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
Grades BBB.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
34 points overall. 6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply through UCAS

Course overview

  • Examine Japan through its language and culture, and the social dynamics that have shaped the country.
  • Develop advanced Japanese language skills throughout all four years of the course.
  • Spend a year studying or working in Japan during your degree.
  • Study at a university ranked 5th in the UK for Modern Languages (QS World University Rankings 2019).

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days .

Fees

Tuition fees for home students commencing their studies in September 2021 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £19,500 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Residence Abroad Support 

We offer dedicated financial support packages of up to £2,000 for residence abroad students, based on household income. You will be automatically assessed for this, based on your Student Finance financial assessment - you just need to make sure you apply for a financial assessment in the academic year in which your residence abroad will take place.

RWS Brode Scholarship  

You may be eligible for this scholarship if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your qualifications were achieved at a state-funded school in the UK
  • Your total household income does not exceed £60K (as verified by the Student Loan Company)
  • You achieve high marks in your A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), usually AAB or above
  • You apply to (and remain on) either a single honours Language programme, or a dual-language programme.

Awards will be made according to a sliding scale, benefitting those who have achieved the highest marks relative to backgrounds. You will be automatically assessed for this after you have registered on your degree programme. You simply need to make sure you allow The University access to your records when applying for your Student Loan (we cannot otherwise assess your eligibility).

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 3031
Email
Website
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk
School/Faculty overview

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

Grades ABB

This programme is designed for students whose level of Japanese at entry ranges from complete beginner to approximately A-level standard. It is not suitable for students whose first language is Japanese.

Whilst we do not insist on any particular pre-requisite subject at A-level, we are seeking strong performance in learning - and particularly in essay writing subjects.  The course is very demanding in terms of academic writing as well as language learning and we therefore prefer that at least 60% of one A-level to be assessed on written work, so that applicants are able to cope with the demands of the programme.

AS-level

AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall. 6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see Accepted entry qualifications from your country

Scottish requirements

We normally require grades AABBB in Scottish Highers.  In addition, one Scottish Advanced Higher is normally required at Grade B.  Where a pre-requisite subject is required at A-level, then this Advanced Higher should be in that subject.

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this.

The minimum grade required will normally be the same as the lowest grade listed in the A Level entry requirements.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We normally require 77% to include a minimum of 8.0 in at least one essay-based subject.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve ABB in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve ABB in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

Please read this in conjunction with our A-level requirements, noting any pre-requisite subjects.

For all other foundation programmes please see this list of approved UK foundation programmes .

Pearson BTEC qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: we consider the National Extended Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, Merit, in a humanities-related subject such as English, History or Politics.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: we consider the National Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, plus one A-level at Grade B in an essay-based subject.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma: we consider the National Foundation Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Foundation Diploma with a Distinction grade, PLUS one A-level at Grade B in in an essay-based subject, PLUS an EPQ or AS at Grade B.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: we consider the National Extended Certificate for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Certificate with a Distinction grade, PLUS two A-levels at Grades BB (one of these A-levels should be in an essay-based subject).

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy BTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC Diploma, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and BTEC Certificate.  The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new BTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC):  we do not consider the Technical Extended Diploma for entry to this course.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC): we consider the Technical Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades Distinction, Merit, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A Level at grade A in an essay-based subject such as English Literature, History or Politics .

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC): we consider the Technical Foundation Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Foundation Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A Level/A Level at min. Grade B an essay-based subject such as English or History, PLUS an EPQ or AS Level at grade B.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC) : we consider the Technical Extended Certificate for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Certificate with grade Distinction, plus two additional Level 3 qualifications such as A Levels at grades BB, one of which must be in an essay-based subject such as English or History.

The University of Manchester will consider applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma, CTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and CTEC Certificate.  The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new CTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

The specific course requirements are a minimum of 30 credits with a Distinction grade, plus 15 credits with a Merit grade, all in a Humanities-related subject. Where possible, 15 of the Distinction credits should be in the pre-requisite subject required for A-levels.

Applicants to Languages programmes are also required to have a minimum of GCSE grade B/6 in a modern language or in English Language.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A Level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken.

Candidates taking Pre-U principal subjects in conjunction with A levels are expected to achieve a combination of D3, M2, M2 in the Pre-U and ABB at A level in three distinct subjects.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Core Maths

The University recognises the value of Level 3 Core Mathematics qualifications. Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer we make. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when we consider a student's application, particularly for courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element that does not require A Level Mathematics. Academic Schools may also choose to take a student's performance in Core Mathematics into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Where a course requires applicants to have at least grade 6/B or higher in GCSE Mathematics we would be likely to consider a pass in Core Mathematics at a minimum grade C or B as an alternative way to fulfil this requirement. Where an A Level in Mathematics is required then Core Mathematics will not be accepted in lieu of an A Level.

A Level and GCSE Mathematics requirements for our courses vary according to subject so we advise students to contact the academic School, who will clarify whether a student's portfolio of qualifications is acceptable for entry onto the chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the academic School for your chosen course who will be able to help you. 

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.  The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.  Further information for mature students can be found here ( http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/mature-students/ )

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade 4/C, or;
  • IELTS 7.0, or;
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

Advice to applicants

Learning Japanese

Learning Japanese can be an intensive process, and we recommend you are familiar with the hiragana alphabet prior to enrolment, even if you are a complete beginner. Building knowledge of the Japanese language is very different to learning a European language, but it is an extraordinarily rewarding experience that opens numerous doors.

Mitigating circumstances

Mitigating circumstances may be personal or family illness, other family circumstances, change of teachers during a course, problems with school facilities or an unusual curriculum followed by your school or college.  We recommend that information on mitigating circumstances that have affected or are likely to affect your academic performance should be included in the referee's report. 

We cannot usually take into account information that is supplied after an adverse decision has been made on an application by the admitting School.  If you encounter mitigating circumstances after you have submitted your application, please inform the admissions staff in the School to which you applied as soon as possible.

Where mitigating circumstances have already been taken into account, for example by the relevant Exam Board, we will not be able to make further allowances.

How your application is considered

You will be invited to an interview prior to an offer being made for this course.

Whilst we do not insist on any particular pre-requisite subject at A-level, we are seeking strong performance in learning - and particularly in essay writing subjects.  The course is very demanding in terms of academic writing as well as language learning and we therefore prefer that at least 60% of one A-level to be assessed on written work, so that applicants are able to cope with the demands of the programme.

Interview requirements

You will be invited to an interview prior to an offer being made for this course.

Your interview will form part of a visit day, during which you can sample aspects of your chosen course, meet with academics staff, hear from current students and find out about the latest Residence Abroad options.

Your interview will offer you the opportunity to explain your interests and qualifications, and how your chosen course fits with your motivations and study experience. 

Returning to education

We welcome applicants who are looking to return to study and value their contribution to the departmental culture and social life.

Access courses are acceptable as an entry route to this course - please contact the UG Admissions Team.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation.  Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only and two years at the maximum. Some English Language test results, such as IELTS or TOEFL are only valid for two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

If you have re-sat individual modules to improve your grades, we will consider your application according to the standard selection process. If you are planning to re-sit the final Year 13 examinations, or have already done so, the University will consider your application, but we may require further information in order to make an informed judgment on your application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

Our BA Japanese Studies course will give you a firm grounding in the Japanese language while you study Japan in its historical, cultural social and global contexts.

You will benefit from research-led teaching in areas such as Japanese visual culture, popular and youth culture, religion, intellectual and social history, society and education.

You will develop various linguistic skills, including speaking and writing accurately, and understanding and analysing audio, video and written materials in different registers. You will also learn how to speak to a group with confidence and translate with appropriate sensitivity.

Year 1 will see you study core course units, but you will be able to choose specific unit to focus on particular areas of interest in the study of Japan and East Asia from Year 2.

In addition, Flexible Honours may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject.

Aims

Our BA Japanese Studies aims to:
  • Give you a strong understanding of the Japanese language
  • Deepen your knowledge of Japan in its historical, cultural, social and global contexts.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can study and/or work for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your communicative language skills through focused learning in a native-speaker environment.

Find out more about residence abroad .

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Francaise - home of French language and culture.

Societies

Join the Japan Society North West for an exciting range of cultural events such as sushi-making demonstrations, Taiko drumming workshops, dining experiences, and an annual Japan Day celebration.

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related student societies offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

Learn from experts

You will learn from a diverse team of academic specialists in Japanese Studies, giving you the opportunity to either build on existing knowledge of the language (ie GCSE-level or AS/A2-level or equivalent) or study it as a beginner.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials. The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

The advanced language course includes an Independent Language Learning Portfolio, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.

Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive. In Year 1, you will have approximately 18 contact hours in formal study sessions (9-12 hours of which will be dedicated to Japanese). For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The first few weeks may be particularly intensive, and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned the hiragana script prior to Week 1 of teaching; guidance on materials to help with this can be obtained from language tutors.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

The language course unit for beginners involves intensive study of the language with native and non-native Japanese teachers and regular testing. The advanced language course unit includes an Independent Language Learning Portfolio (see Teaching and Learning).

In addition to language study, there is an introduction to Japanese Studies course unit and an introduction to Japanese History unit, as well as an optional course unit in Empire and Culture in East Asia.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 1 JAPA51011 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 2 JAPA51022 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Empire and Culture in East Asia JAPA13222 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

The language course units continue to build competence, and the Independent Language Learning Portfolio and learning partnerships remain central to this process.

You will also develop your studies of Japan via a choice of course units in areas such as Japanese history, religion, society and culture, and begin to prepare for residence abroad.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Mandatory
Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics JAPA20121 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad  under approved conditions.  Our partner Universities are:

Chuo University, Dokkyo University, Fukuoka Women's University, Hiroshima University, Hitotsubashi University, Hokkaido University, Kanagawa University, Kansai Gaidai University, Keio University, Kobe University, Kyoto University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Meiji University, Meiji Gakuin University, Nanzan University, Ochanomizu University, Oita University, Osaka University, Rikkyo University, Ritsumeikan University, Saitama University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Waseda University, Yamagata University

Course content for year 4

Students taking single honours Japanese will undertake a dissertation in Japanese studies to work on an area of particular interest in depth, as well as selecting from various units in religion, historical, cultural and social science.

The language teaching programme continues to develop and refine abilities in all skills, and has specialised strands for either Translation (Japanese to English) or Business Japanese Communication, depending on student preference.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Japanese Language 6 JAPA51060 20 Mandatory
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Optional

Facilities

The University Language Centre is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

A degree in Modern Languages and Cultures paves the way for an exceptionally broad range of careers. You will develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

Studies show that over two-thirds of UK businesses value foreign language skills; through your studies, you'll acquire transferable expertise at the very heart of language learning, including enhanced powers of perception and interpretation and advanced decision-making and multitasking skills.

This will open up numerous paths with an international dimension (eg business and finance). You will also have excellent all-round communication skills, making you a strong contender for openings in the media, PR and similar areas.

Many of our graduates go straight into business services, marketing, advertising, management, banking or communications. Others opt for postgraduate study or further vocational training to become accountants, lawyers, teachers (in the UK or abroad) or enter the Civil Service.

Employers who have taken on our Japanese Studies graduates in the past include Nova (Kyoto), Dell, Christian Dior Couture, Berlitz, Bloomberg and Deloitte.

Find out more on the Careers and employability page.  

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .