If you love the Japanese language and want to develop your knowledge about it – learn grammar, something about translations with a bit of culture (to better understand the language), Japanese Studies seems like a dream course for you. After graduation, you will end up with JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test)  on a level N3, N2, or N1 depending on a few things (N1 is an equivalent of foreign language C2, while N5 is an A1).  

Japanese Studies (BA)

There are a few universities that offer Japanese Studies as a bachelor’s degree. Usually, the applicant has to meet some requirements to get to the university. Most commonly it’s a foreign language passed at GCSE, A-level, or equivalent. No preliminary knowledge of Japanese is required. You will have the opportunity to learn the language completely from scratch. 

The level of the Japanese language which you will reach after graduation varies depending on a few things:  

  • Completing year abroad
  • Your engagement 
  • Level of Japanese before entry 

Usually, if you have experience in the language before university entry, you probably will be able to join the “Post-A level” group. You will then focus on the higher level of the language, around N4-N3 on the JLPT scale. It sounds like a great deal for someone who has already spent hours studying the Japanese language. However, you should be prepared for a short interview or test before joining the more advanced group at your university.

Japanese studies program abroad at the university

Most of the Universities in the UK offer a year abroad program. This can be a great opportunity to immerse in the target language. Some universities allow a student to go abroad only for one semester as well. However, being able to study at a Japanese university might be one of the best experiences in your life. Usually, courses abroad are focused mostly on language learning. You will also be able to choose some electives such as calligraphy, Japanese literature, and many more. It all depends on the university in Japan you will choose.

This program usually is not compulsory, so it is your decision whether to go or not. However, everyone has such an opportunity. If you decide not to go, your course will be three years long instead of four. You will probably reach around the N3-N2 level if you started from scratch. You should remember that there are only around 5 hours of Japanese a week. Thus, you have to commit yourself to study it in your spare time.

Not only the language

Many universities across the UK offer the Japanese language combined with another course. This might be a great opportunity for someone interested in language and would like to develop knowledge on the different fields of science. 

  • The University of Leeds offers quite a few options with the Japanese language. Some of them are 5-year course on Chinese and Japanese Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, and Japanese, or Japanese and Russian.
  • The University of Central Lancashire  – 3 years long TESOL and Japanese, Japanese for International Business, International Business Communication with Japanese, or modern languages (for example Japanese and Korean) courses. They last 3 years and are still with the placement abroad.
  • University of Manchester – 4 years long Politics and Japanese, Sociology and Japanese, Linguistics and Japanese, Art History and Japanese courses, and many more. 

As you can see, there are quite a few alternatives for studying the language itself. However, you should check universities’ offers regularly if you are interested in taking such a course. There might be some new ones worth looking at.

Do you need a Japanese Bachelor’s degree to learn the language? 

Of course not! If you are passionate about the language and the culture of Japan, then you should definitely give it a try. It can turn out that university is completely not your cup of tea. In this case, you can still enjoy learning the language. You can try to do it by yourself, but to get a good basis you can take an online or stationary course. Some people just need the motivation to study. In such a situation, it is a good idea to try a course with a professional tutor. In our offer, you will find both group and individual classes that you can join.

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