Japanese Studies

UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR

Preparing students to be active participants in a multicultural world, the Department of Japanese Studies offers training in the Japanese language, as well as in the Japanese culture. If you just want to learn for a semester or two, you can take units of study as electives in your bachelor degree. For those who want a more comprehensive program, a major is available. A major in Japanese Studies is made up of senior units in Japanese language and culture units of study. Culture units use Japanese materials to present various aspects of ancient to contemporary Japan ranging across disciplines from history and literature to popular culture.

A system of prerequisites ensures that units of study are taken in order, from easier units to the more difficult, across ten levels of language. The sequence will end at different levels depending on the entry point. Even if you have no previous knowledge of the language – ending your major at the sixth level of Japanese – you will gain basic literacy in Japanese and the ability to express yourself in everyday situations. If you finish your major at the highest level, you will be quite fluent.

Study plan

A major in Japanese Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including 24 credit points from language and 12 credit points from culture units of study with at least 6 credit points from 3000 level units of study.

Entry levels into language units of study:
Language units are divided into ten levels, from Japanese 1 to Japanese 10 and are taken in succession.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
You will need to complete four senior language units of study for a major in Japanese Studies. For example, if you begin at Japanese 3, the language units you will complete in your major will be: Japanese 3, 4, 5, 6

You will need to add to this sequence at least two culture units focused on a specific aspect of Japanese society, culture, literature, or history. These culture units are closely associated with the language units, so that each unit is available only to students who have reached a specific language level.

Some studies units currently offered, and their appropriate language levels, are:

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
You will need to complete four senior language units of study for a major in Japanese Studies. For example, if you begin at Japanese 3, the language units you will complete in your major will be: Japanese 3, 4, 5, 6

You will need to add to this sequence at least two culture units focused on a specific aspect of Japanese society, culture, literature, or history. These culture units are closely associated with the language units, so that each unit is available only to students who have reached a specific language level.

Some studies units currently offered, and their appropriate language levels, are:

- JPNS2660 Introduction to Japan, for Japanese 3 – 4
- JPNS2670 Love and Death in Japanese Novels, for Japanese 5 – 6
- JPNS 2672 Japanese Media Culture, for Japanese 5 – 6
- JPNS 3650 Japanese Language and Identity, for Japanese 5 – 6
- JPNS3673 Japanese Society, for Japanese 7 – 10
- JPNS3675 Japanese Cinema, for Japanese 7 – 10

If you finish your study of language units at Japanese 6 (JPNS2622), one of your two culture units must be JPNS3650 Japanese Language and Identity, the only 3000 level unit open to students who are doing Japanese 6.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Asian Studies

Our courses that offer this major