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Japanese by Research

MA by Research

Key facts

Start dates

September 2022 / January 2023 / June 2023

Application deadline

It typically takes up to four months (five months for International and EU applicants) from application to enrollment on your programme. This is subject to all the necessary documentation being in place.



Course length

Full time: 1 year

Part time: 2 years


This MA by Research in Japanese Studies at Oxford Brookes University provides an excellent opportunity for you to obtain a Master’s qualification focused on a research project of particular interest to you.

You will be supported by an experienced and dedicated team with extensive research expertise, and will benefit from our facilities, training, research seminars. 

The Japanese Studies Department offers research expertise in a wide range of subjects related to Japan. The main research areas relevant to this degree are:

  • Japanese Linguistics
  • Japanese Literature
  • Japanese Cinema
  • Manga and Anime
  • Modern Japanese History
  • Japanese Religion
  • The Anthropology of Japan
  • Multimodality.
A street in Japan

Research expertise

Our school comprises two centres and several clusters which support the work of researchers and doctoral students. We encourage wide participation through partnerships and our busy programme of conferences, public events and lectures.

We strongly recommend that prior to submitting a full application you identify and make contact directly with a potential Director of Studies. Please look at our research group pages and individual staff profiles to help you identify the appropriate member of staff and to find out whether your proposed research focus is one that we can supervise. 

Additional details

The MA by Research in Japanese Studies builds on the School’s expertise to support a unique and clearly focused programme of study. You will have the opportunity to develop a high level of subject knowledge, together with the ability to develop and undertake independent research in your own particular area of interest.

The programme will be attractive to applicants seeking to pursue intellectual interests and develop skills beyond first degree level for further personal or professional reasons. The MA by Research route is also designed to prepare you to undertake further research at MPhil or PhD level.

Supported by a comprehensive programme of research training, you will embark on a substantial piece of independent research guided by your supervisors during regular supervisory meetings. Having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic, a thesis of up to 30,000 words will be presented for examination and this will include an oral examination where you will defend your thesis to the satisfaction of the examiners.

Japanese room

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Each research student in the Faculty will be allocated £630 towards the costs associated with specific research activities during the research programme.
  • Close supervision from experts in your chosen research area, including joint supervision across departments for interdisciplinary projects. 
  • Plentiful opportunities to present your work. Depending on your chosen subject you may have the opportunity to attend:
    • research seminars with presentations from high profile external guest speakers
    • specialist seminars organised by individual research groups and clusters
    • methodology workshops.  
  • You will also be encouraged to submit publications to leading research journals.
  • You may have the opportunity to develop your teaching, mentoring and demonstrating skills by undertaking paid teaching activities for up to six hours a week. You may also be required to attend the Associate Teachers course which is run by the University’s Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and Development.

After you graduate

Career prospects

We are passionate about fostering the careers of our researchers and ensure that they gain research skills training, leadership experience and teaching practice as part of the doctoral programmes we offer.

Bespoke careers advice is also embedded into our programme as we think this is a key element of your personal and professional development during your time with us.

How to apply

Entry requirements

A first-class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification.

If you choose to study full-time you must be able to devote a minimum of 35 hours per week over a 44-week year to your research. You should not undertake more than 20 hours per week paid employment or other commitments (including a maximum of six hours per week teaching, demonstrating, or other paid work directly related to your research training).

If you choose to study part-time you must be able to devote a minimum of 15 hours per week over a 44-week year to the programme of research.

You must also meet our residence requirements.

English language requirements

Applicants whose main language is not English must meet the Faculty’s English language requirements. The minimum IELTS score required for entry to the research degree programme is 6.5–7 overall. 

In addition, we require a minimum of 6.5 in each component of the test. We do not accept IELTS certificates that are over two years old. 

Application process

It is essential that you first check whether your specific research interests can be adequately supervised before submitting a full application. To do this please email the Research Administrator ( your provisional research proposal. This should be 1500–2000 words in length and should include a title and a summary of the proposed subject area.

There is no specific format for research proposals but the following areas are usually covered:

  • introduction
  • evidence of background reading and knowledge/previous experience of research area
  • details of research methods proposed to carry out the project
  • the aims of the research project and any proposed hypotheses/outcomes
  • literature review
  • how your research project will make an original and independent contribution to knowledge.

If your area of research can potentially be supervised you will be encouraged to submit a full application via our online application system.

The Research Administrator will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. We strive to make a decision within one month of receiving your application. Please note, however, decisions may take longer during busier periods of the academic year.

Supporting documents

Please read through the list of supporting documentation that must be uploaded along with your application or emailed separately.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

Fees increase by approximately 4% each year and apply to all MPhil, MPhil/PhD, PhD, MA by Research, MSc by Research and LLM by Research programmes.

If you have any questions about fees, get in touch with the Research Degrees Team at

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course