Japan is one of the world’s biggest economies and home to a rich culture and a varied, changing society.
This degree will allow you to develop your Japanese language skills while exploring the diversity of Japanese society.
Core modules will develop your spoken and written Japanese, while optional modules are the starting point for you to choose the elements of Japanese and East Asian culture, history or politics that interest you. You could also study modules on Chinese society, or explore East Asia more generally.
We focus on modern Japanese life, however we don’t ignore the complex history that brought it to this point.
Whether as an absolute beginner or with intermediate-level Japanese, you’ll become part of a community of staff and students in East Asian Studies at Leeds.
This four-year course includes a year at a Japanese university.
This course is intended for non-native speakers of Japanese only.
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.
With four libraries on campus, you’ll find space for study, group work and research. 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 use the resources.
Our first-year language tuition is aimed at beginners, but we also have post-beginner level modules for those with some knowledge of Japanese language: self-study, GCSE or A-level. Either way, you’ll develop your knowledge of the Japanese language while choosing optional modules allowing you to explore the country’s fascinating history, as well as its social and cultural life.
This is the perfect way to prepare for your year abroad, which you’ll spend at a Japanese university building your language skills and gaining a new perspective on the topics you have studied.
You’ll bring all of this back to Leeds with you for your final two years, where you’ll take advanced language classes to refine your spoken and written Japanese. At the same time, you’ll be developing your critical and research skills as you choose optional modules exploring aspects of life in Japan, from religion to cinema, modern Japanese history to Sino-Japanese relations.
In your final year, you will put these skills into practice with your Final Year Project.
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|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China in East Asian History||20|
|Modern China: History and Culture||20|
|Modern Japan: History and International Politics||20|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Year Abroad in Japan||120|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Japanese 2A: Written Communication Skills||20|
|Japanese 2B: Spoken Communication Skills||20|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China Since 1979||20|
|Japan's International Relations||20|
|The Making of Modern Thailand||20|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Japanese 3: Advanced Communication Skills||20|
Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Chinese Oral and Performance Traditions||20|
|Religion in China||20|
|Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China||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
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles including lectures, small-group seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops. Independent study is also a major part of the course, building research skills and learning to 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 use various types of assessment. Exams and essays are a significant part of this, but in some modules you may also be assessed on components such as group work, reports, or oral presentations. We offer support in these areas as well – 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.
GCSE: 4/C in 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 BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.
We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.
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. Grade 4/C in a foreign language at GCSE is required. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.
M1, M1, M2 to D3, M1, M2
34 - 35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2 H2 H2 H3 H3 H3 to H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AABBBB in Highers TO AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR AAAABB in Highers.
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.
European Baccalaureate: 75% - 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: BBC preferably 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: £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
You'll graduate with proficiency in the Japanese language, as well as an insight into the fascinating culture of one of the world’s most influential economies. Combining your knowledge with experience of living abroad for a year provides you with access to a wide range of careers in Japan and elsewhere around the world.
You’ll have developed transferable skills too, including strong research skills, allowing you to find information from a wide range of sources and draw your own conclusions. Then you’ll be able to communicate and defend them clearly.
Teamwork, adaptability and time management are also among the key qualities you can develop.
As a result, our graduates have pursued diverse careers.
Many 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 teaching, tourism, publishing, business, broadcasting, overseas aid work, PR, and language-based roles such as translating and interpreting within and outside of Japan.
Others have studied for a postgraduate qualification in translating or interpreting to pursue language-based careers or continued to study Japanese language or culture, either for a PhD and career in academia or to further their knowledge.
We are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies careers and employability support includes promoting internships, providing opportunities to work for the School and employer-led workshops and events.
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
After your first year, you’ll get the chance to spend a year studying at one of our partner universities spread across Japan.
Studying in Japan provides invaluable experience of Japanese life and culture, and the intensive language classes you’ll undertake will help you develop your language skills. You’ll also get the chance to study a variety of subjects such as history and politics, but the curriculum varies between our partner universities. Of course, there will also be plenty of time for you to travel and explore everything that Japan has to offer.