Masters degrees in Japanese Language & Literature equip postgraduates with the skills to critically analyse and understand the history, development and usage of Japanese languages, as well as their representation and interpretation in Japanese literature.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Japanese Language Teaching and Asian Studies. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as History, Cultural Studies or Languages and Literature.
Courses in this field offer a broad range of opportunities for specialisation, depending on your interests.
For example, you may wish to focus your studies specifically towards a career in translation, whereby you may study a range of literature or even practical vocal translation, to translate Japanese to or from other languages.
Alternatively, you might observe how traditional Japanese literature was heavily influenced by Chinese culture, and how the phonology between Japanese and Chinese was historically very similar.
Careers in Japanese Language & Literature may include roles in public services or authorities, such as translation for immigration services or policy within foreign exchange networks. You might also consider roles in academia and publishing, or even the media such as journalism.
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.
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.
This programme is aimed at students who see China’s role as a rising economic super power as both an opportunity and a challenge, and who want to ensure they are ‘China ready’.
Taught by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and Leeds University Business School, you’ll gain intensive research training and study modules in business and management studies.
You’ll also take Chinese language classes at a level appropriate for you and choose from a range of optional modules to develop your knowledge of China, the wider East Asian region and the international business world. You could study Chinese politics, human resource management, Japanese business and much more.
This programme will suit both UK and non-UK students wanting to engage with the growing markets in which Chinese interests are present, as well as Chinese students seeking practical and strategic management expertise alongside an insight into how China is perceived by the outside world.
Leeds University Business School and East Asian Studies are leading centres for research, offering complementary expertise in the region. East Asian Studies has enjoyed over 50 years of history at Leeds. 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.
A core module will provide you with intensive research training, developing your understanding of research methods and building the skills to complete your dissertation. You’ll work with your supervisor(s) – specialists member of our teaching staff – to complete this independent research project which focuses on a topic of your choice.
You’ll also take intensive language classes at the right level for you in Chinese, Japanese or Thai – we teach all three languages from beginner level, but if you already have some knowledge of the language you’ll be able to study at a more advanced level. If you’re a native Chinese speaker, you’ll be exempt from this requirement and choose extra modules in East Asian Studies instead.
To complete the programme, you’ll select from a wide range of optional modules to explore topics that suit your interests or career plans. You’ll maintain some variety with modules in business and management studies as well as Chinese culture, politics or history – you could study topics as diverse as cross-cultural management, Japanese politics, China’s relationship with the developing world and gender and equality.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Please see the website for a list of the optional modules available on this course
We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, including lectures, seminars, online learning, tutorials and workshops. Language classes may also include practicals and computer classes to develop your skills.
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, literature reviews, project work and in-course assessment among others. Language modules may also include different forms of assessment such as translation tests.
Whether you’re already an established professional or just launching your career, the programme will give you valuable knowledge and skills to develop an international career.
You’ll have advanced skills in research, analysis and written and oral communication, as well as a greatly expanded cultural awareness. All of these are valuable in a wide range of careers – and your language skills will make you even more attractive to employers worldwide – in business, public and third sectors.
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.
This programme allows you to explore the cultures of the variety of language-speaking areas in which we specialise - French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Spanish and Latin American Studies - and it also gives you a thorough grounding in comparative literature and cultural studies in the context of modern languages. You can choose whether you want your focus to be broadly comparative or whether you wish to engage with one or more specific language-speaking areas.
The programme brings together the specialisms of our teaching team who are experts in a variety of different areas: cultural studies, visual studies, linguistics, comparative literature and cultures, history and thought. We will help you steer a pathway through the programme that reflects your specific interests and knowledge of the languages of those areas on which we focus. You will be able to choose whether you study texts in the original language(s) or in English translation; if you work in the original language(s) this will be reflected in the final degree title.