MA Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Arts
- Course Length
- 1 years
- Course Start Date
- September 2024
Are you curious about Japan? Would you like to know more about its place in the world and its cultural identity? Whether or not you are already familiar with some aspects of Japanese culture, the MA in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies will give you a solid grounding in the study of the country’s art, literature, history, and politics. Looking at a variety of topics through the lens of Japan will also open new ways for you to engage with our globalised world. You’ll learn about a variety of research methods from several humanities disciplines and benefit from UEA’s expertise on Japan, equipping you with the tools to actively participate in shaping the vibrant field of Japanese Studies in the future.
Please note: knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement for this course.
The Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies MA responds to our contemporary world in which globalisation and future-oriented concerns put Japan at the centre of debates on urgent issues such as technology and digital innovation, population change, arts and politics, and health and ageing.
Based in Norwich, one of the most rapidly growing research hubs of Japanese Studies in the UK, this course will give you access to resources across several local institutions. The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will introduce you to its world-class research and outreach programme on Japanese visual cultures; experts on Japan from across the UEA faculty will share their experience and disciplinary insights; and the unique collection of Japanese art and archaeology at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts will offer an opportunity for direct contact with Japan’s art and material culture. Drawing on the synergies between these institutions and their resources, this MA offers you an outstanding combination of expert knowledge, active research networks, and important primary sources, preparing you for a successful and exciting global career.
This course embodies UEA’s vision for borderless interdisciplinary inquiry and positions Japanese Studies at the nexus of the major humanities disciplines including Literature, History, Politics, and Art. How do contemporary experiences of migration and alienation reverberate in Japan’s literature? How do popular Japanese art forms such as manga find their way into museums? Which historical issues dominate Japan’s regional politics and relations with its neighbours? When did Japan become modern and how?
World-leading experts in Japanese Studies will be working together with you to both answer these questions and encourage you to come up with your own.
Study and Modules
The MA begins with our year-long core module which is an important introduction to the fundamental writings and debates in Japanese Studies across the history of the field, equipping you with the tools to actively participate in its future direction. You will also cover the history of ideas and key writings about Japan and be encouraged to think critically about the direction of contemporary Japanese studies more broadly.
In the autumn and spring semesters, you will take three modules, focusing on the specific areas of Japanese studies that interest you.
Towards the end of your second semester, you will focus on your dissertation. This is your chance to pursue an area of specialist study of your choice, investigating a specific academic methodology or topic. You’ll receive advice from two members of staff as supervisors to support you in researching and writing up your dissertation. The dissertation is complemented by the core module, helping you to develop a range of transferrable skills for the workplace, future research, or doctoral-level study.
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
You’ll be taught by a leading team of research-active academic staff who bring diverse disciplinary perspectives to the study of Japan. They have particular strengths in Japanese arts, cultures, and heritage, Japanese politics and international relations, Japanese media, anime, and manga, gender in Japan, and Japanese history from the early modern era to the present day.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn directly from our researchers, who have themselves explored many different themes using a variety of approaches and methods, such as experimental art movements and archaeology, and from wartime culture to post-war social change. Academics from across the arts, humanities and social sciences at UEA and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures have published influential work on Japanese Studies.
You will be mainly taught through lectures and seminars. You’ll usually spend around eight hours a week (for full time students) in seminars, which will incorporate small and whole cohort group working.
At the centre of core module. Researching Japan, you’ll attend presentations from staff and visiting researchers at the Sainsbury Institute public lecture series, academic workshop events, and the Centre for Japanese Studies seminar series, allowing you to discuss research ideas in early development. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend additional lectures at UEA from visiting speakers addressing themes in any area of study relevant to your interests.
Working independently is an important aspect of study at Master’s level. You’ll undertake preparatory reading for each seminar as well as working towards your coursework. You’ll bring your own areas of interest to every module and have the opportunity to define your focus. In the dissertation, you’ll choose a subject area that you’re passionate about and potentially see a career path within. To support this research, you’ll also have access to the world leading Lisa Sainsbury Library at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.
Your achievement on the Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies MA will be assessed by coursework rather than exams. This will include a range of assessments, such as essays, research proposals, and your final dissertation. In all your modules you’ll receive frequent formative feedback from your tutors – helping you to develop your knowledge and skills before producing summative work.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors degree (minimum 2:1 or equivalent)
- Degree Subject
- Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
IELTS: 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in only two components with 6.0 in the others)
Test dates should be within 2 years of the course start date.
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
Our Admissions Policy applies to the admissions of all postgraduate applicants.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2024/25 are:
UK Students: £9,975 (full time)
International Students: £21,200 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying, please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
After completing the Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies MA, you will have an in-depth understanding of this field and will be able to demonstrate critical engagement with key issues and topics. You’ll be well prepared for careers in research, international relations or organisations, policy, NGOs, and the public sector.
If you’re interested in further study towards a PhD, you’ll be well prepared for sustained research into Japanese Studies or the fields of art history, film and media studies, history, or politics and international relations. Our MA will ensure that you’re fully equipped with the theoretical and practical research skills necessary for advanced level study.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Example of careers that you could enter include:
Public sector roles
Culture industries, including museum sector
Charity sector roles
Discover more on our Careers webpages.