BA Japanese is a 4-year degree (with Year 3 spent at a university in Japan), and combines intensive language study with considerable exposure to Japan 's sophisticated and rich culture.
The single subject degree provides students with the highest level of competence in all aspects of the written and spoken language, and with a critical familiarity with Japanese culture, both classical and modern.
Students take 4 course units per year.
Year 1: The programme accommodates absolute beginners as well as those with some knowledge of Japanese.
Absolute beginners are placed in Elementary Japanese (2 units),
those taking single-subject Japanese will additionally take 'Aspects of Japanese Culture' 1 and 2 (total 1 unit)
and 'Introduction to the Study of Language Learning' 1 and 2 (total 1 unit) or 1 'floater'.
Students who know some Japanese may be allocated, after a placement test, to 'Accelerated Elementary Japanese Language'(1.5 units), which they will combine with one or more of 'Aspects of Japanese Culture' 1 and 2, 'Introduction to the Study of Language Learning' 1 and 2 , and 1 'floater'.
Two-subject degree students choose at least 1 unit from their other subject. There also exists the possibility, again after a placement test, for entry directly into Year 2. (A grade in Japanese A-level is the benchmark for entry to Year 2.)
Year 2: Both single and two-subject degree students take 2 units of Japanese language. Single-subject students also do a half-unit of pre-modern Japanese literature, and a half-unit of Japanese readings. The remaining unit(s) are made up from other courses within the Japanese section; they may select a course from another department. Two-subject degree students choose the remaining units from their other subject.
Year 3: This is a compulsory year spent abroad for both single and two-subject degree students, and there is no tuition offered by the department. Students are expected to take the equivalent of 4 units in this year at the foreign university.
Year 4: For single-subject students the Independent Study Project (ISP: 10,000 word essay on an approved topic) is compulsory. This they combine with at least 2 other units available in the Japanese section, though one unit may be a 'floater.'
Non-language courses on offer in 2007-08 include the following:
Aspects of Japanese Culture 1 and 2, °∆Introduction to the Study of Language Learning' 1 and 2, Issues in post-war Japanese society, Pre-modern Japanese literature and drama, Readings in Japanese history, Readings in Japanese intellectual history, Readings in Modern Japanese Literature, Readings in Pre-modern Japanese Literature, Survey of Modern Japanese Literature (in translation), Survey of Pre-modern Japanese Literature (in translation)
Full details of this course can be found at http://www.soas.ac.uk/programmes/prog14027.html
BA Japanese Studies is a 3-year degree (with no year spent at a university in Japan), and combines less intensive language study with considerable exposure to Japan 's sophisticated and rich culture. The single subject degree provides students with a high level of competence in all aspects of the written and spoken language depending on student aptitude and ability, and with a critical familiarity with Japanese culture, both classical and modern.
STRUCTURE Students take 4 course units per year. In year 1, single subject students take 'Aspects of Japanese Culture' 1 and 2 (one unit in total) as a core course. In year 2, they take half unit of 'Survey of Pre-modern Japanese Literature' and half unit of 'Survey of Modern Japanese Literature' as a core unit. In year 3, they take a 10,000 word Independent Study Project as a core course. In all three years, other units are made up of a combination of Japanese language and non-language courses related to Japan, as well as 'floater' courses from other departments. Since this degree programme aims for maximum flexibility to suit student interests, the combinations are numerous, but details can be found at: http://www.soas.ac.uk/programmes/prog49408.html In year 1, joint degree students take 'Aspects of Japanese Culture' 1 and 2 (one unit in total) as a core course. In year 2, they take 'Issues in Post-War Japanese Society' 1 and 2 (one unit in total) as a core course.. In year 3, they can choose to take a one unit 10,000 word Independent Study Project. As with single subject students, other units are made up of a combination of Japanese language and non-language courses related to Japan, as well as 'floater' courses from other departments. Details can be found at: http://www.soas.ac.uk/programmes/prog49414.html
Study Period Abroad
All students spend Year Three in Japan at one of the following universities: Hokkaido University of Education (Hokkaido), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Keio University, Waseda University, Sophia University, Ochanomizu University (all Tokyo), Nagoya University, Nanzan University (both Nagoya), Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Osaka University (both Osaka), Doshisha University (Kyoto), Kansai University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kyushu University, Kobe University, Ritsumeikan University, and Hiroshima University (Hiroshima). The Year Abroad is compulsory for BA Japanese students, and no teaching is available at SOAS for 3rd year students.
The main masters programmes that are connected with the Japanese section are the following:
MA Japanese Applied Linguistics
The MA Applied Japanese Linguistics is the first of its kind to have been established in Europe . It is designed to provide opportunities for future teachers to develop an informed approach to language teaching and for experienced teachers to reflect on their practices and beliefs.
The degree also aims to increase the student's understanding of language through the study of the general principles of Linguistics, and to provide the student with experience in analysing the grammatical structure of Japanese in the Chomskyan framework. Native or near native fluency in Japanese or a first degree in Japanese will normally be required.
MA Japanese Literature
This relatively new programme covers both pre-modern and modern literatures of Japan . It includes the study of literary works written in the original languages, as well as an introduction to literary theory.
This degree is designed either as an end qualification in itself or to prepare the student for more advanced graduate work (MPhil/PhD).
Incoming students will be expected to have completed the equivalent of the first two years of undergraduate language study at SOAS in Japanese.
MA Japanese Studies
SOAS offers the most comprehensive MA in Japanese Studies available anywhere in Europe .
Students are able to choose courses that cover all of Japan 's historical periods, from the earliest to the present and ranging over the social and political sciences as well as humanities.
The students who take this degree come from many countries and have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Some have already studied, or lived in, Japan and wish to broaden their knowledge or understanding. Others wish to focus their previous training on the region, while still others will come from Japan or other East Asian countries wishing to study Japan from the perspective of a different culture and academic tradition.
Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement of the course. Language courses, however, are popular options.
MA Pacific Asian Studies
The region known as °»Pacific Asia°… can be defined in various ways, but the core countries are China , Japan , Korea and the ASEAN nations (Indonesia , Malaysia , Singapore , Thailand , Brunei , Vietnam , Laos , Myanmar and the Philippines). Together, they make up one of the most diverse and important regions in the world.
SOAS has more expertise in this part of the world than any other institution in Western Europe ; indeed there are very few places anywhere in the world that can boast the same range of expertise.
This degree is a way of bringing together the large number of courses on Pacific Asia currently on offer in SOAS Masters programmes for Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, South East Asian Studies, and Korean Studies.
The courses chosen must cover three of the four regions of China and Taiwan , Japan , Korea , Southeast Asia .
MA Theory and Practice of Translation (Asian and African Languages)
The MA programme in Translation Theory and Practice (Asian and African Languages) combines training of practical translation skills with teaching of translation theories. One of the language specializations is Japanese. The aim of the programme is to enhance students' methodological and practical skills in translation, preparing them for the professional market as (freelance) translators or other language professionals, while providing an intellectual perspective on the discipline of translation studies, which could be the foundation for further MPhil/PhD research.