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Japanese and Linguistics BA (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    Japanese is a major global language spoken in one of the world’s biggest economies. This varied and dynamic degree will allow you to learn Japanese from scratch while gaining an in-depth understanding of how language works – how it’s structured, the way it’s used and how we interpret it.

    Core modules will introduce you to the principles and concepts of linguistics, as well as developing your language skills. You’ll also study phonetics, gaining an understanding of the physical production and perception of speech sounds. But we also offer a wide range of optional modules, from Japanese literature and international relations to cultures and traditions across East Asia, as well as language acquisition, psycholinguistics and discourse analysis.

    We teach Japanese from beginners’ level – the course is for non-native speakers of the language only, but if you have some prior knowledge (post-GCSE/A-level or equivalent to JLPT N4) we can accommodate your needs.

    Specialist facilities

    Leeds has some fantastic resources for the study of linguistics, phonetics and languages. We have a recording studio and fully-equipped phonetics lab for acoustic and articulatory speech analysis, as well as a linguistics lab including eye-tracking equipment and other resources to help with experimental research. We encourage all of our students to make use of these facilities for module projects or dissertations, giving you valuable experience of different types of research.

    Our fully-equipped Language Centre houses digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). There’s also an extensive lending library of foreign films and newspapers as well as other on-demand resources. Interpreter Training Suites offer you the chance to explore a career in interpreting, and our Electronic Resource Information Centre houses specialised computing facilities to support translation studies.

  • Course content

    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.

    This course is for non-native speakers of Japanese only. You’ll begin your first year with intensive language classes to develop your spoken and written Japanese, as well as core modules introducing you to key concepts in linguistics. You’ll also take one of our Cornerstone modules to draw your two subjects together, and choose from optional modules on Japanese and East Asian history and culture.

    Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll study at a Japanese university in your second year, to improve your language skills and gain first-hand experience of the nation’s culture. It will offer you a new perspective and valuable experience to inform your studies over the next two years.

    When you return, advanced language classes will refine and develop your Japanese skills, and core modules will cover important areas of linguistics such as syntax. You’ll also choose from a wide range of optional modules in each subject, from Buddhism to Sino-Japanese relations and psycholinguistics to language change and death. You’ll also apply the analytical skills you’ve acquired to an independent research project in your final year.

    Course structure

    These are 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 credits
    • Basic Japanese Language (2) 20 credits
    • Language: Meaning and Use 20 credits
    • IT for LCS Students 5 credits
    • Language: Structure and Sound 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Japan in War and Peace 10 credits
    • Japan: A Cultural History from Buddhism to Murakami Haruki 10 credits
    • Introduction to East Asian Religions 20 credits
    • Intercultural Competence: Theory and Application 20 credits
    • Discourse, Culture and Identity 20 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Year Abroad in Japan 120 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Japanese 2A: Written Communication Skills 20 credits
    • Japanese 2B: Spoken Communication Skills 20 credits
    • Phonetics 20 credits
    • Syntax 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Japan's International Relations 20 credits
    • Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan 20 credits
    • Languages In Contact 20 credits
    • Language Acquisition 20 credits

    Year 4

    Compulsory modules

    • Japanese 3: Advanced Communication Skills 20 credits
    • Final year project
    • Final year project

    Optional modules

    • Religion in China 20 credits
    • Narratives of Japanese Modernity: Fiction and Film 20 credits
    • Sino-Japanese Relations: Past and Present 20 credits
    • Language Processing 20 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Japanese and Linguistics BA in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies is home to tutors who are at the forefront of research in their fields. We use different teaching methods to help you benefit from their knowledge and experience. They include lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as workshops in some cases. However, independent study is also a vital element of the degree, since it allows you to build valuable skills in independent research and analysis.

    Read more about How we teach Japanese Language


    A variety of assessment methods are also used, which will usually include exams and essays. Some modules will also include oral presentations or group work as assessed components. You’ll be able to find support throughout your time at Leeds – we run extra classes on topics such as public speaking, exam technique and structuring essays.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

    GCSE: 4/C in a foreign language.

    • 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.

    • BTEC

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

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      D3, M1, M1.

    • International Baccalaureate

      35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level and 4 in a foreign language at Standard Level.

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or AAAABB 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%

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

    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 at A Level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) 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 entry

    We’re 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 excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


    We accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    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.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU 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

    School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £17,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    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.

    Additional cost information

    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

    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.

  • Career opportunities

    A Joint Honours degree in Japanese and Linguistics will equip you with fluency in a major world language, as well as an in-depth understanding of human communication. While each of these will open doors to a range of careers, you’ll also have a wide range of transferable skills that are highly sought by employers.

    Because linguistics spans arts and sciences, you’ll be confident in analysing quantitative and qualitative data, as well as using technology to solve problems. You’ll have communication, research and analytical skills, while you’ll be comfortable working independently or in a team. You’ll also have the organisational skills needed to manage two different subjects.

    Graduates have gone into a range of careers including education, journalism, law, advertising and marketing, business and finance, publishing and the civil service. Others have pursued postgraduate study or specialised training in fields such as translation, interpreting or speech and language therapy.

    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 at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    Residence abroad

    After your first year, you’ll get the chance to spend a year studying at one of our partner universities in Japan spread across Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Fukuoka.

    It offers you 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 universities. Of course, there will also be plenty of time for you to travel and explore everything that Japan has to offer.

    Read more about Residence abroad in East Asian Studies