The last 20 years have been a period of transition for Japan.
The abrupt end in the early 1990s of Japan’s seemingly unstoppable economic growth plunged the nation into two decades of recession, which has in turn brought to the fore a range of social and political issues accumulated since the Second World War.
The end of Japanese economic superiority also coincided with the end of the Cold War, an event that brought about new regional and global dynamics, and with them new security challenges.
Meanwhile, Japanese culture has experienced a renaissance, with Japan recognised worldwide as a centre of global ‘cool’, and Japanese cultural products continuing to find new markets and influence new demographics worldwide.
The overall picture is of a rapidly changing nation in the vanguard of post-industrial societies — fascinating not only for its rich traditional heritage and diversity, but also for what its recent experience can tell us about world trends.
Understanding such complexity requires an interdisciplinary approach, and we offer you the opportunity to explore Japanese history, international relations, politics, religion, and arts, and help you see the connections between them.
Using Japanese source materials in tandem with the extensive English language literature on Japan, we will help you build upon and develop your own interests, focus on the aspects of Japan that fascinate you, and support you as you carry out your own original research project.
By the end of the programme you will have acquired specialist skills and knowledge that mark you out as an expert on Japan, and the confidence to apply those skills in industry, academia or beyond.
The programme is taught through a combination of seminars and tutorials. You will take one compulsory and four option courses, as well as a compulsory research skills and methods course. After two semesters of taught courses you will conduct your own research for your dissertation.
Option courses may include:
Students who follow the programme will:
Those with previous experience in Japanese language learning will have the opportunity to develop the necessary linguistic skills to conduct research in defined areas within Japanese Studies by retrieving, selecting, translating and assimilating information from Japanese sources.
The flexibility of focus this programme offers makes it an ideal foundation for advanced study, potentially leading to an academic career. Teaching or curatorship roles in cultural institutions are alternative career pathways
The transferable skills you gain in communication, project management and presentation will prove a valuable asset to employers in any field.
Students gain expertise on East Asian contemporary history, politics and societies and learn social science research methods to become area specialists on East Asia. East Asian languages are studied as part of the degree to support students’ acquisition of knowledge and Master’s thesis research.
Students in the Programme have good opportunities for student exchange in East Asian universities as well as to receive East Asian study and research scholarships. The Programme provides expertise to enter international public, private and third sector professions. Students also become qualified to apply to PhD programmes and to pursue an academic career.
The Centre for East Asian Studies specializes in research on contemporary East Asian societies, with special focus on various manifestations of civil societies in China, North and South Korea and Japan. For China, academic staff conducts research, for example, on disaster management, social movements and protest, urban governance, and environmental issues. For South Korea, on popular culture and social movements, as well as on South Korean foreign aid. For North Korea, on social and economic transformation. For Japan, on social movements and civic society.
The research by the academic staff is directly reflected in the Master’s programme: students get up-to-date teaching on topical issues and societal and political developments in East Asian societies. Students also receive individual thesis supervision firmly anchored in the East Asia expertise of the teaching staff.
Students conduct independent research on their chosen topic and write a Master’s Thesis (40 ECTS). This trains students to apply social science methods, carry out research, analyse research data, present their findings orally and in writing, be engaged in argumentation and debate, and communicate their research findings in accordance with scientific standards.
Examples of thesis topics:
Check out the complete list of Master’s theses written by our graduates from the programme’s webpages
Students in the Master’s Degree Programme in East Asian Studies have very good study exchange opportunities in the People’s Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, in the partner universities of the University of Turku.
It is common that students spend one or even two academic terms abroad during their second year in the Programme and also conduct field research for their Master’s thesis during that time.
Students of the Programme also have a chance to study for one year in the Master of China Studies programme at the Zhejiang University in China as part of their Master’s Programme in Turku.
In this Master’s Degree Programme, you will gain in-depth knowledge on contemporary East Asian societies.
You will learn:
Those graduating from the Master’s Degree Programme in East Asian Studies find employment in public, private and third sector jobs, such as in diplomatic service, international organisations, and companies where knowledge on East Asia and dynamic regions is in demand.
Graduates of the Programme are eligible to apply to the doctoral programmes at the University of Turku and other universities in the fields of social sciences and East Asian studies.
On this course we focus on business practices and systems in East Asia, namely China, Japan and Korea.
You’ll develop a thorough understanding of the Asian business environment and how it is shaped by domestic and social change, globalisation and political developments.
Through optional modules you will have the opportunity to focus your studies on one particular East Asian country if you wish or keep your knowledge broad depending on your interests and career goals.
Our graduates hold influential positions in business, government, the arts and academia. Some of them are journalists, television producers, interpreters and translators. Others are city brokers and analysts. They work for organisations such as the BBC World Service, BNP Paribas, British Council, British Museum, Deloitte, HarperCollins, Jaguar Land Rover, Lloyds Banking Group, Nintendo, Siemens, Sony, Toyota and the World Food Programme.
We are one of Europe’s leading centres for the study of China, Japan and Korea. We have links with partner universities in East Asia that support our dynamic research culture. Our academics bring theories, methods and findings from their research to their teaching.
All three of our interdisciplinary research clusters inform what we teach. They are: East Asian Text and Culture; Movements, Economy and Development in East Asia; Power, Cooperation and Competition in East Asia.
The Sheffield Confucius Institute, which was named Global Confucius Institute of the year in 2015, explores Chinese language and culture. The Institute offers many opportunities for students to get involved in its activities which will help enhance their learning and deepen their cultural understanding of China.
You’ll learn how to research and analyse, manage projects, write reports and give effective presentations. You will also have the opportunity to take language modules in Chinese, Japanese or Korean if you wish. Your in-depth knowledge of East Asian countries and your understanding of the region will give you an edge in the careers market.
Our postgrads have their own study space and IT facilities at the Sir Sze-yuen Chung Resource Centre. The University’s libraries have an extensive selection of texts and online resources in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
You can study a shorter course for a Postgraduate Certificate (four months, 60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (nine months, 120 credits). You’ll need 180 credits to get a Masters degree, including 60 credits from your extended project.
hoose from a range of optional modules which may include:
There are lectures and small-group seminars. You’ll be assessed on your essays, exams, presentations and an extended project.
First taught at Edinburgh in 1976, Japanese has developed to encompass a thriving postgraduate research programme. Covering a wide spectrum of interests, it also allows for joint supervision, should your research goals be interdisciplinary.
Postgraduate researchers can choose from array of topics covering Japanese history, politics and the performing and literary arts. These include:
Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to liaise closely with the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh, the Japan Society and the Japan Foundation, each of which can offer a variety of events and resources.
As well as the comprehensive collections of the University, we can offer a specialised collection of journals and reference works. Additional research resources are available at the nearby Edinburgh Central Library and National Library of Scotland. You will also be involved in a programme of regular seminars and workshops, as well as tuition in subject-appropriate skills where necessary.
“Interest in studying Japanese continues to grow. It is no longer taught only at university and adult education institutes, but is increasingly finding its way into the school curriculum.”
- Embassy of Japan in the UK website
In the last decade, Japanese language and culture have undoubtedly increased in popularity, particularly amongst young people. However, the area of Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (TJFL) is still relatively new outside Japan. TJFL has traditionally been the prerogative of ‘native’ Japanese teachers, adopting traditional Japanese language teaching methods.
Our MA in Japanese Language Teaching draws from state-of-the-art teaching approaches derived from TESOL research and practice, an area of expertise at York St John University. This MA would be attractive to global teachers, aspiring teachers and researchers whose first language may be English, Japanese or other. For example, you might have spent time teaching English and learning Japanese in Japan, be a graduate of Japanese from any country, or a Japanese national interested in the application of TESOL principles to TJFL. In the UK, it is the only Masters of its kind outside London.
Although it does not lead to UK Qualified Teacher Status, this MA equips you with the skills and expertise to teach Japanese in a wide range of settings, for example independent schools, colleges, as freelance instructors, in companies and for private individuals. The MA also provides the research training and subject knowledge to enable you to continue your studies to doctoral level.
The programme is designed to be studied either full-time over 12 months or part-time over a maximum of five years. If you are unable to complete the full Master’s degree or are interested in certain modules, you may work for the intermediate awards of Postgraduate Certificate in Japanese Language Teaching or Diploma in Japanese Language Teaching.
The full Master’s programme comprises taught modules and a dissertation.
Japanese Language Teaching Methodology (A) (15 credits)
Japanese Language Teaching Methodology (B) (15 credits)
These modules address contemporary issues in Japanese language teaching with an emphasis on spoken interaction (A) and reading, writing and grammar (B). There will be a combination of critical exploration of Japanese teaching methodologies and practical application of theory. You will also have opportunities for teaching observation and practice in real classroom settings.
Japanese Society and Culture (15 credits) - Delivered in Japanese, this module explores issues in contemporary Japanese society through reading and discussion of a range of materials. Your language skills, as well as knowledge and critical thinking, will be brought together in this module in the context of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).
Themes in Japanese Linguistics (15 credits) - Through this module, you will develop a critical understanding of Japanese linguistics and how this affects second language learners. You will explore those aspects of Japanese grammar and phonology which are markedly different from English, as well as learning about varieties of Japanese.
Second Language Acquisition (30 credits) - This module aims to give you a critical appreciation of the theoretical background of, and issues in, second language acquisition, providing you with the necessary academic knowledge to underpin good practice.
Research in Applied Linguistics (30 credits) - This module explores the implications of research findings for future professional practice and aims to encourage you to exercise an enquiring approach in your future career. The module takes place in the Spring semester, before you start to collect data for the dissertation.
Dissertation (60 credits) -Your final module will be a dissertation on a topic that you will agree with your supervisor. It is an opportunity for you to explore in depth an area of interest or particular area of Japanese language teaching and learning. You will gain experience in formulating ideas and hypotheses, devising sound research methodology, collecting and evaluating data, and presenting your findings in a dissertation of 10,000 - 12,000 words in English.
Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.
York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.
This interdisciplinary programme will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the politics, economies and societies of East Asia.
Taught by leading researchers in our world-class facilities, you’ll learn to apply academic analysis to your experience of the region, or to convert past training in another academic discipline to apply it to the Asian context.
A wide range of optional modules will give you the chance to focus on topics such as business practices, the role of China or Japan in international development or the complex politics of the Asia Pacific among others.
Whether you’re entering a professional career and want to gain regional expertise, or you’re a professional seeking to build on your experience of living and working in an Asian context, you’ll gain an insight into a complex and fascinating part of the world.
By choosing to study East Asian Studies at Leeds you will be joining a leading centre for research in the region, with over 50 years of history. In addition to the academic strengths that have accrued over this time, we have developed an extensive and active international network of alumni. Leeds is also home to very substantial and world-renowned specialist library collections.
If you’re interested in learning or developing your skills in an East Asian language, you might want to consider our East Asian Cultures and Societies (Language Pathway) MA.
This programme offers a wide range of choice. You’ll select the modules you want to study from a range of options, allowing you to shape the programme according to your own interests and career plans.
You could focus on Japanese business, China’s relationship with the developing world or international politics across the Asia Pacific among many other topics.
A core module will give you an understanding of research methods in the humanities and social sciences, allowing you to develop your skills. This will culminate with your dissertation – an independent research project on a topic of your choice that allows you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. However, independent study remains an important element of this degree as a chance for you to develop your skills and explore topics that interest you.
You’ll also experience a range of assessment methods, depending on the modules you choose. These may include exams and essays as well as presentations, project work and in-course assessment among others.
This programme will suit you whether you’re just starting your professional career, or you’re a mid-career professional who has lived and worked in an Asian context. You’ll gain subject knowledge as well as transferable skills in topics such as analysis, research, communication, presentations and cultural awareness.
All of these are valuable in a wide range of professions across different sectors and industries, including business, public and third sectors. Graduates from our School have developed exciting careers in the UK and worldwide, as diplomats, educators, and policy-makers, to name just a few.
The programme will also prepare you for PhD study, providing a good stepping stone towards an academic career.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.