Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Learning a language opens a door to another culture. Our BA Japanese Studies allows you to gain a near-fluent command of the Japanese language and combine it with study of Japanese culture. You will be able to choose from modules on Japanese history, society and contemporary culture including cinema, popular culture, manga and anime. Entry requirements are flexible and you can join the degree at various levels of competence in Japanese, from complete beginner to advanced learner. If you opt for the Foundation Year route, this will fully prepare you for undergraduate study. It is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree. On the International Experience route, you will normally spend your third year at a partner institution in Japan to allow you to develop your language skills and your knowledge of the culture. Highlights

  • Offers a multidisciplinary approach to studying the language, modern history and contemporary culture of Japan.
  • You will be taught by specialists from a centre of teaching and research excellence in languages.
  • If you choose the International Experience route, you will have the opportunity to spend a year at a partner institution in Japan.
Careers and employability Graduates can pursue career paths in Japanese organisations or businesses, education, translation, research or journalism. Possible professions include:
  • translator
  • secondary school teacher
  • social researcher
  • journalist.
We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.


For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

In-class tests, oral presentations, essays and other written tasks.

How to apply

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential. You must normally have N5-level (JLPT) competence, or the equivalent, in Japanese, but students without prior knowledge of Japanese may also be accepted. Acceptance may be subject to an admissions test and/or interview.

Additional entry requirements

Admission tests

Institutions Own Test (IOT)

Acceptance may be subject to an admissions test and/or interview.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

To be confirmed
Japanese Studies with Foundation Year at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS