Chinese and Japanese Studies BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
5 years full time
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in Language Zone

China and Japan are the dominant powers in East Asia, playing a significant role in global politics, economics and society. This course offers you the opportunity to attain a high level of proficiency in both languages, and to gain a deep understanding of their history and cultures. It will equip you with the skills, knowledge and intercultural awareness to pursue a range of exciting global career opportunities on graduation.

In this varied and challenging course, you’ll learn Chinese and Japanese from beginners’ level, or intermediate if you have prior knowledge of either language. You’ll learn about Chinese and Japanese history, culture and society and the ways in which both countries are embedded in the East Asian region. But the most exciting element of the degree is the chance to spend one year in Japan and another in China, improving your language skills and gaining first-hand experience of these cultures and societies to enrich your understanding of these fascinating countries.

During the upper years of your course, you’ll take advanced modules in both languages, which use authentic materials and offer training in translation. Alongside these, you’ll develop your critical thinking and research skills as you choose optional modules exploring various aspects of Chinese, Japanese and East Asian Studies, ranging from literature and visual cultures through to political economy and international relations. You’ll undertake a final-year project on a topic of your choosing, designed to showcase your knowledge and skills.

Specialist facilities

With four libraries on campus, you’ll find space for study, group work and research. Our Chinese collection is one of the best collections of modern Chinese books in the country, alongside our Japanese holdings and a growing East Asian Studies and Thai collection. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. You’ll have access to free classes and workshops so you can learn how to find resources and develop your study skills.

Our Language Zone gives you access to free learning resources, including space for personal study, language learning software, and video, audio, books and magazines. You'll also have access to our translation computer labs equipped with specialist software and our interpreter training booths to explore different career options.

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Course details

Year 1

In your first year, you’ll focus on intensive language classes to develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Chinese and Japanese, selecting modules that introduce you to the culture and history of China, Japan and East Asia. You’ll learn both simplified and traditional Chinese characters from your first year. A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but take fewer optional modules so you can fit in both subjects.

Years 2 and 3

Year 1 will lay the foundations for the next two years, when you’ll spend a year in Japan followed by a year in mainland China or Taiwan, studying dedicated language courses at partner universities to improve your language proficiency and experience life in each culture.

Year 4

Returning to Leeds over years four and five, you’ll take advanced language classes to refine your skills in Chinese and Japanese. You’ll select optional modules on topics as diverse as Japanese cinema, international relations and the political economy of East Asia, modern Chinese and Japanese history, literature and visual cultures in China and Japan. You’ll also have the option to learn about specialised uses of Chinese and Japanese in professional contexts through advanced language and translation classes.

Year 5

In your final year, you’ll also undertake an independently researched project on a topic of your choice to showcase your knowledge and skills.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Chinese and Japanese Studies BA in the course catalogue

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Modern China: History and Culture 20
Modern Japan 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Basic Chinese Language 1 20
Basic Chinese Language 2 20
Basic Japanese Language (1) 20
Basic Japanese Language (2) 20
Intermediate Japanese (1) 20
Intermediate Japanese (2) 20
Intermediate Chinese (1) 20
Intermediate Chinese (2) 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
LCS Year Abroad 120

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
LCS Year Abroad 120

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 2A 20
Chinese 2B 20
Japanese 2A: Written Communication Skills 20
Japanese 2B: Spoken Communication Skills 20

Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
China Since 1979 20
Japan's International Relations 20
Classical Chinese 20
Society and Culture of Early Modern China 20
Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World 20
Chinese Cinema 20
Japanese Development Assistance in a Globalising World 20
Religion in China 20
East Asia's Regional Political Economy 20

Year 5 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Chinese 3: Advanced Skills 20
Japanese 3: Advanced Communication Skills 20

Year 5 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Final Year Project: Dissertation 40
Final Year Project: Extended Translation 40
Final Year Project: Digital Documentary 40
Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China 20
Southeast Asia: Politics and Economy 20
Classical Chinese 20
Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World 20
Modern Japanese History 20
Death and Religion in Japan 20
Globalising China and the Developing World 20
Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present 20

Learning and teaching

Your lecturers are all experts in their fields, so you’ll benefit from their knowledge in lectures, workshops, small-group seminars and tutorials. You’ll build your language skills in practical and highly interactive classes, and as you progress, some modules may be taught in your target languages.

Independent learning is also a major part of the course, allowing you to build your research skills and think critically about the information you find. The University Library runs comprehensive training programmes to help you make the most of our resources.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We ensure inclusive assessment by making sure all our students are assessed in a range of ways. Listening, speaking, writing and reading are all tested, and our range of assessments includes essays, exams, literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, digital projects, poster presentations and translation projects. We offer training and support in these areas to equip you with the transferable skills needed for your future careers – for example, we run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam technique that you’ll be able to attend throughout your time at Leeds.

You’ll regularly receive detailed feedback on your coursework, helping you to keep track of your progress.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including a foreign language.

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be ABB-AAB at A Level (including a foreign language) and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2 to D3, D3, M2 including a foreign language

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 - 17 at Higher Level including 6 at Higher Level in a foreign language.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 to H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 including a foreign language

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers including a foreign language and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Higher foreign language and AABBB in Highers, or to AA in Advanced Highers including a foreign language and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Higher foreign language and AAABB in Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 80% - 85% including 80% in a foreign language.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB including a foreign language at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree in Chinese and Japanese Studies equips you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a range of careers. Our graduates have gone on to work in the media, translation and interpreting, teaching, business and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, among many other fields.

Careers support

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.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

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 about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

One of the highlights of this course is that you get the opportunity to spend your second and third years abroad studying in Japan and China or Taiwan. You’ll study at one of partner universities, all of which have been selected for their high-quality methods of teaching and success in running language courses. You’ll immerse yourself in the culture and society of Japan, China or Taiwan and there’ll be time to travel and explore.

You'll have access to support and advice before, during and after your study abroad year and you’ll be able to network with returning students for first-hand advice about living overseas. You'll also have meetings with the residence abroad tutor and access to online information before you relocate.

We’ll be in touch with you during your year abroad and you’ll have support at your host institution, too. On your return, we’ll ask you to share your experiences and help you to make the most of your new and improved skills and experience.

Read more about the Japanese year abroad

Read more about the Chinese year abroad