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Japanese Popular Culture and Media Studies (MA)

What is the degree programme about?

Japan's media production is currently in second place behind the United States of America. It influences youth culture all over the world. The degree programme's curriculum covers modern processes in popular and media culture since the Meiji era (1868) but also addresses the Early Modern Period from the 17th century onwards as the basis for many contemporary phenomena (such as visual cultures). In addition to improving the language skills in modern Japanese which were acquired in the Bachelor's degree programme Japanese Studies, students are introduced to the basics of Chinese and Korean in elective modules. This enables them to thoroughly study the export of Japanese popular culture to these countries.

Students refine their knowledge of pre-modern forms of the Japanese language through philological skills which help them gain access to pre-modern Japanese sources. They can conduct their own innovative research, independently of the range of topics determined by Japanese researchers. Other specialisation areas with regard to the phenomena of contemporary popular and media culture are manga/anime, film/TV series and digital media (Web 2.0, video games), for which students can acquire an appropriate set of methodological and theoretical skills. In a practical module, students gain an insight in potential occupational fields outside of academia (cultural management, publishing, adult education).

What type of Bachelor's degree do I need?

The consecutive Master's degree programme (10 modules, 120 ECTS credits, 38 semester hours) builds on and refines the philological, methodological, theoretical and intercultural skills acquired in Japanese studies. Students are enabled to critically reflect on and analyse the subject of study 'Japan' with a set of skills from cultural studies.

Modules and degree programme structure

1st module: Japanese language

2nd module: Edition (collation and annotation of pre-modern Japanese sources)

3rd module: Pop/media 1 – Contemporary (overview of media and popular culture processes)

4th module: Pop/media 2 – Contemporary (advanced studies on current media and popular processes)

5th module: Pop/media 3 – Early modern period (print history, 17th–19th century book market, popular prose, Kabuki theatre, art, promotion concepts)

6th module: Practical module on culture and media

7th module: Practical module on culture and media

Potential challenges
  • Japanese language proficiency sufficient to read and understand texts (most of the literature used in lectures is in Japanese)
  • Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree. Final grade of at least 2.5 (final grade of 2.5–3.0: subject to an interview)
Admission requirements
  • Degree with a final grade of between 1.00 and 3.00 (if the grade is 3.0, your application will be reviewed separately) in Japanese studies or media and cultural studies; a qualification assessment check may be required in individual cases.
  • Good Japanese skills (JLPT certificate, level N2 or successful completion of a language examination at this level) and advanced English skills.
Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Please find more detailed information on how to apply for a Master or advanced degree programme on the following website:

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Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

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Degree type: Master of Arts (MA)
Type of study: Master
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 4 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: German
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: yes
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology