Japanese Studies (BA)

What is the degree programme about?

What should you expect in the Japanese Studies degree programme? The Japanese language is of course the main focus. However, you do not need any previous knowledge of Japanese, as in the first four semesters you will take specific courses in which you will learn the basics of the spoken and written language. This is more complex than simply learning vocabulary. You will systematically learn Japanese characters, focus on correct pronunciation and intonation, and gain good knowledge of the grammar. By the end of the degree programme you will be able to communicate orally and in writing in every-day situations.

Cultural studies are also a key part of Japanese studies. In this context you will learn about topics such as different forms of literature and theatre in various periods. On the subject of Kabuki – the most popular form of Japanese theatre today – you will investigate topics such as which materials, narrative forms and performance practices have become established in Japan, and how Kabuki has influenced Western theatre.

What can I do with this degree?

As a graduate of Japanese studies you will be able to pursue a variety of different careers. Due to your language skills in particular, as well as your knowledge of Japanese culture and history, you will find career opportunities in, for example:

  • cultural education
  • international trade
  • tourism
  • transfer of knowledge between Germany and Japan
  • translation
  • journalism
What qualities and skills do I need?
  • an interest in not only the Japanese language and writing system but also Japanese culture, such as theatre and literature from the Modern Period to the present day
  • perseverance when learning the Japanese language and writing system
  • an interest in Japan and its society, culture and history
Good reasons for choosing to study at FAU
  • Japanese Studies at FAU has connections with many large universities in Japan.
  • You can spend one or two semesters abroad at a partner university.
  • There is often the opportunity to take part in a language course in Tokyo in the summer before studying abroad.
  • As a relatively small number of students take the degree programme you will receive intensive support from lecturers.
  • There is a regular meet-up organised by students where you can meet Japanese exchange students.
Potential challenges
  • Being a manga fan is not enough to succeed in the Japanese studies degree programme.
  • An analytical approach is required to learn the language, similar to the approach used to learn Latin.
  • Learning the Japanese writing system is an essential part of learning the language. Unlike you may find when learning Romance languages if you have a background in Latin, other languages you are likely to have learnt at school will not be of much help when learning Japanese.
Combinable degree programs

Can be combined*

Archaeological Sciences (BA), Book Studies (BA), English and American Studies (BA), French Studies (BA), German Language and Literature (BA), Greek Philology (BA), Hispanic Studies (BA), Islamic-Religious Studies (BA), Italian Studies (BA), Cultural History of Christianity (BA), Art History (BA), Latin Philology (BA), Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (BA), Oriental Studies (BA), Education (BA), Political Science (BA), Chinese Studies (BA), Scandinavian Studies (BA), Sociology (BA), Theatre and Media Studies (BA)

*These courses are scheduled in such a way that the subjects can usually be combined without overlapping.

Can be combined after consulting a study advisor*

Computational Linguistics (BA), Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (BA), Cultural Geography (BA), History (BA), Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (BA), Business and Economics (BA), Philosophy (BA)

As it is not guaranteed that there will be no overlap between teaching times in this combination, you will be required to submit proof of consultation with a study advisor when enrolling. Please contact the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) or the Student Service Centre of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology.

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Degree program start date and application deadlines

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Start date of degree program: Winter Term

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Degree type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Type of study: Two subject Bachelor's degree programme
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 6 Semester
Start date of degree program: Winter Term
Size: (currently 1-50 Students)
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology
Admission: Registration