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      Europe Japan Research Centre

  • Japanese Language and Contemporary Society Course


    Our four year degree course in Japanese Language and Contemporary Society will give you the opportunity to explore in depth the distinctive features of contemporary Japanese society. You will study both the Japanese language and the key aspects of Japanese society and culture, including its history, religion, and contemporary popular culture.

    As this course is half of a joint honours degree, you can combine it with the study of another language, such as French, German, or Spanish. Other popular choices include Anthropology or Business. Or you can choose one of the many other subjects offered on the University's Modular Course such as Computing, Economics, Geography, History of Art, Politics, Tourism and Hospitality Management Studies.

    Course content

    Each year of the course combines language modules with the study of specific aspects of Japanese Society, taught by specialists in the field.

    In your first year, you study Japanese language either from scratch or from GCSE level. You also take Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture, which provides essential background knowledge of Japanese in historical and, especially, contemporary perspective.

    As well as introductory modules in your other field, you may also choose optional introductory modules in Business, Economics or Social Anthropology, as helpful preparation for advanced work relating to Japan.

    In your second year, further language practice is combined with content modules that place Japan in a broader international context. This prepares you for your third year studying in Japan.

    Third year is spent entirely in Japan, studying at one of the universities with which we have exchange arrangements. You attend intensive language courses and lectures, which complement your programme of studies at Brookes.

    On your return to Oxford, and building on your experiences abroad, fourth year language modules help you to develop a high level of written and spoken proficiency in Japanese. You also follow a personalised study programme, choosing a range of advanced modules on specific aspects of Japanese life, institutions and culture.

    In the final year, you have the opportunity to research and write up a dissertation on a topic of your choice. It can span both your fields of study: for example, a student of Japanese Language and Contemporary Society and Tourism might undertake a dissertation on Cultural Tourism in Japan.