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MA Contemporary Japan

Course Description

About the course

This is a highly flexible course that offers a large range of modules in the social sciences that may be combined with Japanese language tuition at a range of levels. The course will cover topics including international relations in Japan, Japanese media, public relations, and business and work culture in Japan. At the end of the course you will have a deep understanding of life in modern Japan.

Your career

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.

Our expertise

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 four of our interdisciplinary research clusters inform what we teach. They are: East Asian Business Environment; East Asian Text and Culture; Human Movement 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.

Develop your skills

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.

Specialist resources

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.

Core modules

Media and Public Communication in Japan: Global Governance and Japan: Project.

Examples of optional modules

Choose from a range of modules which may include: Work and Organisation in East Asia; Investing in East Asia; International Business and East Asia; Postwar Japanese Politics; Business and the Economy of Japan; Japanese language modules (of the appropriate level); Project (core).

Teaching and assessment

There are lectures and small-group seminars. You’re assessed on your essays, exams, presentations and an extended project.

Visit the MA Contemporary Japan page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Tiziana Zanirato

I chose Sheffield because I wanted to improve my Japanese but I wanted to learn in an academic environment where i could learn more about the theoretical aspects of the field. Sheffield seemed to have a very good East Asian department, so it was suitable for my purposes.


Entry Requirements

You’ll need a good first degree in any subject. This will normally mean a 2.1 from a university in the UK, or an equivalent qualification from an institution overseas. You don’t need prior knowledge of an East Asian language. Native speakers of Japanese are welcome to apply but you won’t be able to take the optional language modules. English language requirements: overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, 6.5 in Writing, 5.5 in Listening and 5.5 in Speaking, or equivalent.

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Recipient: University of Sheffield

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