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Japanese Studies

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Japanese language, literature and related subjects have been taught at Durham University for well over half a century, welcoming students from all over the world to study for undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees. For regulations for the BA degree in Japanese Studies please follow this link. These regulations provide for different pathways in the language for beginners and post A-level students.


University student
Studying Japanese has been one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of my life so far. My year abroad in Japan not only completely transformed my language ability, but also allowed me to build meaningful connections with people from all over the world who shared my passion. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Durham University languages student

Areas of Research and Teaching

The areas of research and teaching include the following:

  • Japanese language
  • Japanese linguistics
  • Japanese literature
  • Japanese translation

The autumn light in Tokyo. Photo taken by our student Takeo Broadhurst on their year abroad.

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BA Japanese Studies with Year Abroad Course Page

Find out how to apply, all course details and structure, entry requirements and more.

BA Japanese Studies with Year Abroad Course Page
University student
Japanese Studies at Durham has been a wonderful linguistic and cultural journey. Durham provides rigorous academic teaching in an immersive, engaging environment with friendly teaching staff. The course varies from developing language skills, to discovering the richness of Japanese literature and history, to the allure of present-day popular culture.

Durham University languages student

Progress to Postgrad

Japanese / English translation has been taught since 2008 as part of an MA in Translation Studies degree at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. This offers a combination of common modules which MA students of all languages take, so you get the opportunity to mix with a wide range of students, and dedicated teaching for Japanese / English translation. There is also the opportunity to go on to a PhD degree in translation studies.


University student
Studying Japanese at Durham is a rewarding and enriching experience. The teaching staff go above and beyond to create a very enjoyable learning atmosphere. The language and literature modules have introduced me to a beautiful new culture that I am looking forward to joining during my year abroad in Tokyo!

Durham University languages student

Other Japanese Language and Culture Teaching

In addition to this specialist programme MLaC offers open modules in Japanese language (four levels) to students throughout the university as for-credit modules. Japanese culture modules are also offered to students throughout the university as option modules.


Discover more

Find out more about our members of staff responsible for Japanese studies, other language courses, employability, study abroad and scholarships.


Find out more about our modules for Japanese studies.
Team of four connecting giant jigsaw pieces together on a table


See a complete list of all members of staff responsible for Japanese studies.
Staff Meeting


Find out more about other language courses we offer.
Small group of students sat working at their laptops together


Find out more about job prospects and careers with a degree from MLaC.
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Study Abroad

Find out more about where and how to study abroad.
Study abroad


Find out more about scholarships for eligible undergraduate students.
Two female students

BA Japanese Studies Course Page

Find out how to apply, all course details and structure, entry requirements and more.
Traditional Japanese architecture with Mount Fuji in the background