BA Russian and Japanese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Our BA Russian and Japanese joint honours degree will give you excellent proficiency in writing, speaking and understanding the Russian and Japanese languages.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Russian and Japanese are spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities in Russia and Japanese-speaking countries, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

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 in a native-speaker environment.

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

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

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, 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 individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive and that a great deal of time is required for this throughout the course (extending through the summer period between Years 1 and 2, particularly for beginners).

The first few weeks may be particularly intensive for those who have not encountered Japanese script, and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned at least 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

You will study 60 credits from each discipline. 

Russian  

  • In Year 1 you develop crucial Russian language skills through dedicated grammar classes, oral practice with native-speaker lectors, language laboratory work, and a range of independent learning activities. Separate language pathways are offered for beginners, post A-level and more advanced students.
  • Year 1 provides you with a solid base for your further studies, helping you to acquire and improve on important study skills and giving you a thorough grounding in concepts and debates crucial to an understanding of Russian society and culture.
  • Topics and themes introduced in first-year content courses are explored in depth in optional content courses in the second and final years. As a result, these courses also help you to make informed choices for subsequent years of study based on your own interests. 

Japanese  

  • Year 1 Japanese language study includes an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite 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.
  • The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years.

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
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS10242 20 Mandatory
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 1 RUSS51011 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 2 RUSS51022 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

You may choose to study up to two-thirds from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.  

Russian  

  • In Year 2, you continue with your intensive study of Russian language.
  • You also choose from optional courses in a range of areas (such as Russian culture and thought, literature, Central European and Balkan history and culture, and Polish language).
  • In addition, you begin to prepare for your year abroad, through meetings and consultations with our Residence Abroad Tutor and with final-year students who have recently returned from the year abroad. 

Japanese  

  • The Japanese language courses in Year 2 continue to build competence and the Independent Language Learning Portfolio and learning partnerships remain central to this process.
  • In addition, students develop their studies of Japan via a choice of courses 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
Russian Literature and Society from Pushkin to Putin RUSS20700 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 4 RUSS51040 20 Mandatory
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional
Science and Civilisation in East Asia JAPA23002 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS20251 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20471 20 Optional
Russian Studies Long Essay RUSS20502 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 1 ULPL51010 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad under approved conditions. 

Course content for year 4

You may choose to divide your studies equally between both languages or study up to two thirds from either language. 

Russian  

  • The compulsory element of your studies consists of an advanced Russian language course, which focuses on oral proficiency, translation in Russian and composition in Russian.
  • Optional courses in subjects including Business Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, Russian popular culture, Russian and Soviet politics and history and memory in post-socialist Eastern Europe round out your studies. 

Japanese   

  • Students will select from various Japanese course units in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Japanese and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.
  • You may also choose to complete a dissertation, which is supervised by an appropriate member of staff. In researching and writing your dissertation, you explore in depth a subject of particular interest to you. The topic of your dissertation may be related to one of the final-year optional courses, but this is not obligatory.

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
Russian Language 5 RUSS51050 20 Mandatory
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31841 20 Optional
Dissertation in Japanese Studies JAPA30000 40 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Optional
Dissertation in Russian Studies RUSS30000 40 Optional
Business Russian RUSS30342 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
Remaking Russia: Constructing and Contesting Identity in Post-Soviet Film and Visual Culture RUSS30812 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 3 ULPL51030 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 4

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