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MA ... and Intensive Language (Japanese)

Course Description

Who is this programme for?:

The two-year language pathway is directed at students with a professional and academic interest in Japan. The intensive training in Japanese language aims at supporting students’ ability to tackle their disciplinary interests by engaging with written texts and in oral communication in Japanese.

Your chosen discipline is combined with intensive Japanese language over two years (including a period in Japan), making this programme unique in Europe.

Access to the Japanese language pathway is currently available for students with

a) beginner, or

b) post-beginner level of proficiency.

As a point of reference for b), this would correspond to having completed Minna no Nihongo, Volumes 1 and 2 (or an equivalent text), knowledge of approximately 500 kanji, and tuition time of about 220 hours in total. The list of kanji is available here, and a sample test is available here.

Students’ proficiency levels will be assessed through a placement test during registration week (specific dates will be provided to the applicants).

Students bear the costs of travel to and from Japan, as well as living expenses during the period of their stay.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/japankorea/programmes/ma-and-intensive-language-japanese/

May be combined with

- MA Japanese Studies
- MA Korean Studies
- MA Historical Research Methods
- MA History
- MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia
- MA Religions of Asia and Africa
- MA Medical Anthropology
- MA Anthropological Research Methods
- MA Migration and Diaspora Studies
- MA Linguistics and Language

Once you have checked the structure for this programme via the structure tab, please click into the above discipline that you would like to study. You will then see the full list of optional courses available to you.


In the two-year language pathway, students take 2 intensive language units and one discipline unit in their first year. During the summer, they participate in a summer school abroad. Upon their return, in the second year, they take one intensive language unit and two discipline units. They also choose a dissertation topic within their Major.
Students must pass all of the language units in order to qualify for the degree with Intensive Japanese.

In the two-year language pathway, the intensive language courses will be assessed by a combination of exams and continuous assessment, involving in-class tests. The assessment of the summer school element is conducted upon return to SOAS.

Programme Specification Intensive Japanese (pdf; 177kb) (http://www.soas.ac.uk/japankorea/programmes/ma-and-intensive-language-japanese/file101340.pdf)

Teaching & Learning

Learning outcomes will vary depending on the combination of courses chosen by individual students. Learning outcomes for each course can be found under the information provided on the relevant list of postgraduate courses on the departmental page of the SOAS website.

- Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s past and present, within the parameters of the courses and disciplines chosen.
- Students will acquire an advanced understanding of the theoretical and methodological tools of the relevant disciplines.
- Students will improve their knowledge of and ability to use Japanese in their everyday life and professional career.

Intellectual (thinking) skills
- Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically from a variety of sources and how to resolve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations.
- Students will learn to evaluate the strengths of particular disciplinary and theoretical approaches, cultivating their ability to draw on a variety of such approaches.
- Students will learn how to design and manage an independent research project, formulating the problem to be addressed, identifying the data to be analyzed, and synthesizing the findings to present well-supported conclusions.

Subject-based practical skills
- Students will learn how to read critically, to participate effectively in seminar discussions, and to present their work in both oral and written form.
- More specific skills will depend on the particular courses taken.
- Students will acquire/develop linguistic skills which will enable them to tackle written and spoken tasks in contexts relevant to them.

Transferable skills
- Students will learn how to access and evaluate electronic and other data effectively and efficiently.
- Students will learn how to solve complex problems, for example concerning economic development, historical causation, literary interpretation, or political decision-making.
- Students will learn how to communicate effectively in a variety of settings and formats.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Visit the MA ... and Intensive Language (Japanese) page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

See the website

Email Enquiry

Recipient: SOAS University of London
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