Learn two major world languages from beginner level while exploring Japanese and Russian history, culture and society.
You’ll spend two years abroad, studying for a year in Japan and a year in a Russian-speaking country, developing your language proficiency and gaining first-hand experience of local culture.
Japan is one of the world’s biggest economies, home to a rich culture and a varied, changing society. Russia boasts a fascinating cultural and political history, and Russian is an important language for science and technology. Your fluency in both languages and international experience will give you outstanding opportunities for a global career.
We teach Japanese and Russian from beginner level, but if you already have some knowledge of either language we can normally accommodate you. Core modules will develop your language skills while optional modules allow you to choose the elements of Russian, Japanese and East Asian culture, history or politics that interest you.
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. Our additional library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.
You’ll also have access to the Language Zone – the University language resource centre – with books, DVDs, magazines, audio/ video resources and language learning software. To practise your speaking skills, you can participate in language groups with other students or a language exchange with a native speaker.
Take a look around our libraries:
In the first year of your degree, you’ll study core and optional modules which will develop your Russian and Japanese language skills, and introduce you to the history and culture of Russia, Japan and East Asia. A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.
All of this will prepare you for your time abroad, when you’ll take intensive language classes at one of our partner universities in Japan for a year. You’ll spend the following year studying Russian language and culture in a Russian-speaking country.
When you return, in your fourth year you’ll take advanced language classes and choose from a range of optional modules on topics such as Russian literature, Sino-Japanese relations, and Japanese cinema.
In your final year you’ll continue with advanced language and take optional modules such as advanced translation, modern Japanese history and Russian linguistics. You’ll also have the chance to take your interests and skills further, carrying out an independent research project, an advanced translation project or a documentary on a topic of your choice.
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
|Basic Japanese Language (1)||20|
|Basic Japanese Language (2)||20|
|Beginning Russian 1||20|
|Beginning Russian 2||20|
|What is Russia? An Introduction to Russian Studies||20|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China in East Asian History||20|
|Modern Japan: History and International Politics||20|
|Japanese History and Society||20|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Year Abroad in Japan||120|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Russian Year Abroad||120|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Japanese 2A: Written Communication Skills||20|
|Japanese 2B: Spoken Communication Skills||20|
|Core Russian Language 2||20|
Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China Since 1979||20|
|Japan's International Relations||20|
|The Making of Modern Thailand||20|
Year 5 compulsory modules
|Japanese 3: Advanced Communication Skills||20|
|Core Russian Language 3||20|
Year 5 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Chinese Oral and Performance Traditions||20|
|Religion in China||20|
|Trauma Narratives in the Contemporary Sinophone World||20|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their teaching is informed by their research.
We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials or occasionally workshops. You’ll also build your language skills in practical classes, and as you progress, some modules may be taught in your target languages.
Independent study is central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. In your final year, you’ll be able to apply your skills and knowledge to an independent project on a topic of your choosing, such as a research project, documentary or translation.
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 also use different types of assessment. Usually we use a mixture of exams and essays, but you may also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking if you need them.
GCSE: Grade 4/C in a foreign language
Other course specific tests:
Access to HE Diploma
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDD. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
D3, M1, M2
35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
European Baccalaureate: 80%
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative 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 alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB 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: £9,250 (per year)
International: £22,250 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 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 international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
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 about additional costs.
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.
This course is taught by
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions
In this degree you’ll gain proficiency in two major world languages, developing global awareness alongside a range of professional skills that are valued by employers.
You’ll have strong research skills, allowing you to find information from a wide range of sources and draw your own conclusions. As a languages graduate, your communication skills will be excellent, and you’ll be able to work indvidually as well as in a team. You’ll have a good understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours.
Your fluency in Japanese and Russian alongside international experience will open up a broad range of career choices. Many graduates join the Japanese government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching programme (JET), which recruits graduates to work in teaching and international relations positions. Others have moved into translation and interpreting, journalism, business, law, publishing, education and the civil and diplomatic services.
Postgraduate study in languages at Leeds or elsewhere provides an opportunity to continue to learn and prepare for a PhD and a career in academia.
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
This five-year course involves two periods of study abroad.
In year two, you’ll follow a year-long course provided by one of our partner universities in Japan.
You’ll then spend a year studying Russian language and culture in a Russian-speaking country.