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University of Otago
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Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Japanese

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree

Duration

1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Master of Arts (Coursework) programme is designed to give students the skills sought-after by employers around the globe, with a balance of specific subject knowledge plus broad-based transferable skills – such as oral and written communication, and analytical skills.

The degree is also an possible qualification for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The MA(Coursework) normally requires either 12 months or three semesters of full-time, or equivalent part-time, study and entails completion of papers and a dissertation.

The dissertation is a major piece of supervised research of up to 20,000 words.

The primary aim of the MA(Coursework) is to provide candidates with a grounding in their chosen subject area within a wider disciplinary frame. The degree cultivates the skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement a significant piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership.

Why study Japanese?

Japan is one of New Zealand’s major trading partners and one of the world’s richest and largest markets, therefore your knowledge of Japanese language and culture will be highly valued by many New Zealand or overseas employers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, primary and secondary schools, tourism industries, research institutes, law firms and translation services, and the many New Zealand businesses that trade with Japan, all require university graduates not only proficient in Japanese language but familiar enough with Japanese customs and culture that they are able to interact successfully with Japanese people.

Your study of Japanese language and culture will also be immeasurably enriching to you on a personal level. Whether you’re interested in anime cartoons or Zen meditation, in the novels of Haruki Murakami or the films of Hayao Miyazaki, in the high aesthetics of Japanese food or Tokyo fashion, in flower arrangement, rock gardens, martial arts, tea ceremony, or all of the many other fascinating aspects of Japanese culture, this culture has so much to offer. It will enrich you intellectually and spiritually for the rest of your life.

Career opportunities

There are many opportunities open to students who major in Japanese. While some opt for careers in foreign relations, trade, commerce and tourism, others choose an academic path, such as teaching Japanese at schools in New Zealand or going on to MA and PhD degrees at Otago or elsewhere. A number of our graduates have also spent time in Japan under the Japanese government’s JET Programme. They work as assistant language teachers at Japanese schools or as coordinators for international relations at local government offices.

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

Every applicant must either

  • be a graduate, or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme. Applicants must normally have achieved an average grade of at least B in the papers at the highest level in the programme.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

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