Japanese study options

03 November 2023

UC offers Japanese language courses from beginner to postgraduate level. We also make provision for first-year students with more advanced proficiency in the language to gain direct entry (when appropriate) into the upper-level courses. Find out about Japanese study options at UC.


Students with Level 3 NCEA with 15 credits or above in Japanese can enrol in JAPA215. Prospective students who are unsure of their level can be assessed through a placement test. Language courses are complemented at undergraduate and postgraduate level by a broad offering of non-language courses.

We advise students to combine language and culture courses in their planned degree, rather than concentrating simply on language or on culture. This is because of the dynamic mutual relationship between language and culture, which means that a full understanding of one is not possible without a sound understanding of the other. 

Check out all of our Japanese courses on offer.

If you are interested in undertaking Masters or PhD study in Japanese, you need to determine whether our staff share your research interests.

Find out more about undertaking an Master of Arts (MA) at UC.

Find out more about undertaking an Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UC.

Visit the Faculty of Arts webpage for information about processes, resources and regulations.


International students

Look at the research interests of the staff in Japanese to see if your own interests are covered. Email your CV, your academic record and your research proposal to the Global, Cultural & Language Studies administrator.

You will be informed promptly by the Department advising you if there is a suitable supervisor and if the Department can support your application.

A number of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships are available to students of Japanese through the UC Scholarships Office. Students of Japanese are also eligible for the following scholarship opportunities:


Scholarships, awards, exchange programmes and internships
  • Okamatsu / Kimura-Steven Scholarship. This annual scholarship, made possible by generous donations to the Japanese Programme from Mr Y. Okamatsu of Kyoto and Assoc Prof Chigusa Kimura-Steven, is open to competition by students of Japanese at 300 level. The scholarship (current value: ca. $2000) is intended to assist the successful applicant to travel to Japan in order to advance their study of and acquaintance with the culture and people of Japan.
  • Barbara Mito Reed Award. This award is to help an outstanding graduate student of Japanese at Canterbury further their studies towards a higher degree in a field of Japanese studies. It is normally available for B.A. (Hons), Masters or Doctoral study.
  • Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia. This scholarship supports top undergraduate and postgraduate students to undertake study and research in Asia.

The following scholarships are offered nationally to New Zealand students to travel to Japan for study and research. Full details for the current year are available from the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch:

  • The Monbukagakusho Undergraduate Student Scholarship. This scholarship covers five years of tertiary level study in Japan.
  • The Monbukagakusho Scholarship in Japanese Studies. This scholarship is designed to support one year of study of Japanese language or culture at a Japanese university.
  • Monbukagakusho Research Student Scholarships. This scholarship supports 18 months to 2 years' postgraduate research in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences at a Japanese university.

Courses in Japanese are complemented by a number of specialised courses on Japanese history, art, political science and music offered within Arts.


More information

See the Course Information website for more details about studying Japanese.

Explore the full list of courses offered in Japanese

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