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Master's Degree Program - Getting a Master's Degree in Japanese Studies through Distance Learning

written by: Sonal Panse•edited by: Sylvia Cochran•updated: 7/31/2009

This article takes a brief look at how to go about getting a master's degree in Japanese Studies through distance learning. The article examines the benefits of distance learning and also career prospects with a master's degree in Japanese Studies.

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    Masters Degree in Japanese Studies through Distance Learning

    A master's degree in Japanese studies is a two year program. It is designed to give students a very high level of proficiency in the Japanese language and a detailed knowledge and understanding of the history, culture, society and economy of Japan.

    In the course of the program, students will complete translation assignments and read -- as well as analyze -- classical and contemporary Japanese literature. They will research sociological, economic and political trends in Japan, going back over the years to the present time. Students write essays and reports, and make spoken presentations.

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    Getting a Masters Degree in Japanese Studies through Distance Learning

    To be eligible for this program, students must demonstrate an excellent command of the Japanese language. This should place them at or around a Level 2 of the Japan Foundation Japanese Proficiency Test.

    Students interested in going for a master's degree in Japanese studies should carefully research universities offering this program. It is important to make sure that the universities under consideration are accredited by the proper regional or national accreditation authorities. Visit the university websites to get information on eligibility criteria, admission requirements, tuition fees and financial assistance. Find out about the courses offered, the professors conducting the courses and the course schedules.

    Since this is a distance learning program and is likely to be conducted solely online, find out about computer requirements and if you need to get any special software. You may need to install Japanese fonts if your computer doesn't already have those. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and send in your admission application well before the stipulated deadline.

    Here are some British universities offering a master's degree in Japanese studies through distance learning:

    • The University of Sheffield
    • The University of Edinburgh

    To be eligible for the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Japanese Studies program, students require a first class or an upper second class degree. If you are an overseas student, TOEFL and IELTS qualifications of a high order are necessary. There are two compulsory modules and a number of optional ones. Students learn about the Japanese language, literature, history, business, politics and society.

    A dissertation is required. Students are regularly assessed via assignments and essays. Learners can avail themselves of audio-video materials, texts and online lessons. Some periods of residential learning are required both in Japan and in Sheffield. Students can keep in contact with their tutors via email.

    Tuitions fees for UK/EU students are 3,390 pounds sterling and for non UK/EU students are 12,100 pounds sterling.

    To be eligible for the University of Edinburgh’s Japanese Studies program, you require an honors degree and a competent knowledge of Japanese. This master's degree program will enhance Japanese linguistic skills, critical thinking and research skills, as well as thoroughly imbibe students with the culture and literary tradition of Japan. Students are expected to write a dissertation. Tuition fees vary for UK/EU and non UK/EU students, 4,850 pounds sterling for the former and 11,250 pounds sterling for the latter.

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    Benefits of a Master's Degree in Japanese Studies through Distance Learning

    • The program will provide you with a thorough grounding in a wide range of issues related to modern Japan. It will also give you a good understanding of Japan's past.
    • The program will help further develop your linguistic competency in Japanese.
    • You will be able to read, translate and analyze Japanese texts, especially in your area of specialization.
    • One of the main benefits of distance learning is the flexibility in learning. You can study for a master's degree in Japanese Studies from the location of your choice and at your convenience.
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    Career Prospects with a Masters Degree in Japanese Studies through Distance Learning

    Employment prospects for Japanese studies graduates are excellent according to Professor Mark Williams of the University of Leeds. Proficient Japanese speakers are required in a number of industries involved in international trade. Graduates of Japanese studies have a lot of career options. They can work as translators, travel guides, journalists, writers, linguists, researchers, computer engineers, engineers, animators, artists, business executives, bank executives, as teachers and so on.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics predicts an increasing demand for Japanese language specialists in coming years. The earnings of these specialists will vary depending on whether they work for the government, private organizations, for NGOs or freelance. Earnings will also depend on job level, education level, professional qualifications and personal initiative.

    The Bureau of Labor gives the hourly rates for language specialists as between less than $9.88 to more than $30.91. Those that work for the federal government earn in the range of less than $76,287 to more than $100,000 annually.

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    Sources

    • The University of Sheffield at http://www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/courses/sscience/eastasian/advanced.html
    • The University of Edinburgh at http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/finder/details.php?id=182