Japan is one of the most influential nations in the Asia-Pacific region – culturally, diplomatically, and economically. It is a key player in Aotearoa New Zealand's import and export, tourism, and education markets, and continues to be an attractive destination for graduates.
Aspects of Japanese culture have become popular in much of Asia, Australasia, and America. These include animation, video games, fashion, art, sport, and spirituality.
Learning the Japanese language helps you to do business with Japanese people and multinational companies, equips you for a job in Japan and opens up an understanding of a proud people with a long history and fascinating culture.
- The Japanese programme at UC offers a wide range of courses in Japanese language and related subjects up to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) level.
- It is supported by a strong team of staff specialising in linguistics, literature, theatre, society, tradition, and modern culture.
- In language classes, equal emphasis is placed on the four key language skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Communicative and cultural competency in Japanese is developed through regular interaction with native speakers and practice communicating in a range of real-life situations.
- Courses in the programme are complemented by a number of specialised courses on Japanese history, art, political science, and music offered through various schools in Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts.
UC offers courses for beginners and those who have studied Japanese previously. To major in Japanese without any prior background in the language will take three years.
Students who have some native ability in the language should contact the Programme Director for advice on the most appropriate course of study. Direct entry into language classes other than the ones listed is through a placement test and discussion with the Programme Director.
For the major in the Bachelor of Arts, complete the following courses:
- JAPA 208 Japanese Society OR JAPA 212 Japanese Society and Culture in Film and Literature
- Two 200-level JAPA courses
It is highly recommended that you complete some Japanese language courses during their major study. The 100-level language courses are for absolute beginners or those with very little previous experience in Japanese language. Those with a high level of Japanese language proficiency may be given direct entry to 200-level language courses.
JAPA 326 is an advanced language course required for all Japanese major students.
For the minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, complete the following courses:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level JAPA courses, with at least 45 points above 100-level, and including at least one Japanese language course
A degree in Japanese can lead to a variety of career options.
Some graduates have been awarded prestigious Monbukagakusho (Japanese Ministry of Education) Scholarships for study and research in Japan. Many have joined the Japanese Government's Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. Others have been employed by the Japanese Embassy or Consular Office, Manatū Aorere | Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Government Communications and Security Bureau in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.
There is a demand for teachers of Japanese in secondary schools, and some graduates have joined the teaching staff of Japanese departments at tertiary institutions.
Other graduates enter banking, import/export, and legal industries, or find jobs in multinational companies that have links with Japan. Some become freelance translators or enter the tourism and travel industry.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Japanese.
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Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
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