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MSc in Japanese Studies

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Japanese Language

Course type


Course Summary

About the course

This is a twelve-month programme offered jointly by the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA) and the Faculty of Oriental Studies that combines courses about Japan, an intensive language programme, a research methods course and a 12,000-word dissertation. Native speakers of Japanese or those with native speaker competence are also encouraged to apply.

The MSc in Japanese Studies is intended to be both a stand-alone course for those seeking to improve their language skills and an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of modern Japan. It is taught by full-time members of the Nissan and Oriental Institutes and all the courses are designed for master's-level students.

The department does not teach Japanese language for beginners. However, it does offer language teaching which will equip you to do research about Japan. The levels range from JLPT Level 3 up to and beyond Level 1.

The course acts as either a foundation for those intending to seek employment working in Japan or with Japan, or as a preparation for further research on Japan either on the follow-on MPhil course or on a doctoral programme at Oxford or elsewhere. It is taught over three terms.


The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies.


The research methods course is assessed on the basis of projects and tasks set in the course of teaching. The language course is assessed through a combination of tests and quizzes set during the year and an end-of-year examination. The courses about Japan are assessed by a three-hour written examination in English in the chosen subjects. The research project (dissertation) is examined for its competence, conceptual grasp and innovation soon after submission on 1 September.

Graduate destinations

There are three typical career courses that the department’s graduates pursue. The first is further study on discipline-based graduate programmes either in Oxford, elsewhere in the UK or overseas, including the US and Japan.

The second career pattern of the department’s graduates is to work in Japan or with Japanese employers. Recent examples include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Fuso (Daimler Trucks) and Mitsui-Sumitomo Bank. Not only Japanese native speakers but also non-native-speaker graduates obtain employment in Japan or with Japanese companies outside Japan, making full use of their enhanced Japanese language skills and social science knowledge of Japan.

The third route is to professional careers with such companies as Accenture, KPMG, and Ernst & Young, in which the department’s alumni can utilise their presentation skills both in English and Japanese, and their critical thinking skills.


Research Methods - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications: a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any subject or discipline, although it is preferable to have some social sciences or humanities background. Preference may be given to those who have previously studied social sciences or humanities. For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.