Japanese at the University of Newcastle is offered through a major in modern languages in the Bachelor of Arts. Students study Japanese language as well as aspects of Japanese culture and society at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The language courses at 1000 and 2000 levels focus on, among other things, basic grammar and sentence patterns; the courses at 3000 level deal with both colloquial and formal Japanese used in a wide variety of media such as manga, anime, the Internet and literary texts. From Honours level students start to use the language for research in the field of their choice.
Those who have acquired some knowledge of Japanese before coming to the university, through HSC, an exchange program, or some other means, may start their study at the university from 2000 level courses.
Our graduates have found employment in a wide range of fields. They have become professional interpreters, an award-winning translator of Japanese poems, and a senior public servant in the Ministry of Defence. While still studying some find seasonal jobs at Japanese ski resorts over the Christmas holiday. The Japanese government also employs annually a large number of university graduates from overseas, including Australians, either as assistant language teachers or CIR (Coordinators of International Relations).
Opportunities to study in Japan
The University of Newcastle has exchange programs with several Japanese universities located in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Nagoya, Ube, and Kumamoto. The programs range from a very popular pre-Christmas short visit to Shohoku Collage founded by Sony Corp, to two semester intensive Japanese language courses. All of these exchange programs come with attractive scholarship packages that usually include airfares, accommodation, and living allowances.
In addition, students of Japanese will have plenty of opportunities to meet students from Japan who come to Newcastle to study. The Japanese undergraduate courses also offer opportunities for students to meet Japanese students in virtual reality, using videoconferencing, Skype, Facebook and other means. That is because students can improve their language skills by using it.
The Japanese Honours program offers students the opportunity to undertake advanced study in Japanese that involves research in the fields of language, society, and culture, using Japanese language source materials. The program seeks to continue students' language development and foster the academic skills specific to each student's area of interest. It is made up of course work plus the writing of a 15,000 word thesis in English that is based on close reading of a substantial amount of appropriate Japanese language sources.
The Honours program provides students with credentials testifying to their ability to engage in high-quality independent study using Japanese. Usually it is also a prerequisite for postgraduate study, a job in the federal government, or for becoming a CIR in Japan.
For more detailed information on our expertise in the area of Japanese studies, see a list of discipline contacts in the School of Humanities and Social Science.
Find out more about the following majors in the Bachelor of Arts (BA):
For more information about the program structure, please refer to the handbook.