• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    2-3 evenings a week

    October to July

  • Location:

    Central London

  • Professional bodies that recognise this course:

Programme overview

This pioneering BA degree in Japanese and journalism allows you to combine study of the Japanese language and its associated culture with the practice-oriented study of journalism, and to do so with a fairly even emphasis on the 2 halves of this programme of study.

You will learn, on the one side, how to develop journalistic skills, with an emphasis on written and online practice, relevant to a wide range of professional contexts. You will be taught by industry professionals with experience not only in how to write for different media and audiences, but also in how the industry works. The journalism modules offered in this course also emphasise the importance of awareness of the cultural, political and industrial contexts in which journalism is situated.

On the Japanese side, you will study Japanese language from a beginner's or near-beginner's level to a high-intermediate/advanced level of proficiency. Furthermore, the course provides you with a solid grounding in modern Japanese society and culture and, through option modules, specialist knowledge of the media industries in Japan and their practices.

This programme is also available for full-time evening study over 3 years.

How to apply

Application deadlines and interviews

We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.

Interviews by arrangement, April to August; September if there are vacancies.

Your application must include a clear supporting statement in which you explain why you wish to apply for this programme, alongside any relevant academic, professional or other experiences related to journalism or media as well as Japanese language or culture.

Online application

Japanese and/with Journalism (BA): 4-year, part-time (Part-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • This course will enable you to reach near-native standard in Japanese, while developing a critical appreciation of journalism and Japanese culture and society.
  • Birkbeck offers an extensive portfolio of internationally respected film and media studies courses that combine a tradition of teaching and researching cultural studies with the latest ideas and techniques across film studies, journalism, screenwriting and digital media.
  • Our staff are active researchers at the highest levels in their respective fields and leading, influential practitioners at the heart of London's global media industry.
  • Our Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice organises a dynamic programme of seminars, events and guests lecturers.
  • We offer a range of resources and student support services to help you while you're studying with us.
  • Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books and journals in film and media studies. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including the British Film Institute, Senate House Library and the British Library.

Course structure

You take 12 modules (360 credits) in total: 6 modules from a range of Japanese studies (4 of which will be usually language modules) and 6 modules from a range of journalism and media studies.

In your final year, you will be required to submit a dissertation of between 6000 and 8000 words on a topic of your choice, or an in-depth journalistic investigation accompanied by a critical evaluation of the journalistic choices made and the process of communicating them. Guidance about selecting an appropriate topic and supervisor will be given in the summer term of your third year.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Year 1 language modules

Year 2 compulsory module

Year 2 language modules

Year 3 language modules

Year 4 language modules

Final year project

Japanese option modules

Journalism option modules

Entry requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

You can join this programme with Japanese at any level, from complete beginners'. Admission is based on a written test, a language entry test (except for complete beginners) and an interview.

Alternative entry routes

Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in media, social science or humanities subject units.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


Part-time home/EU students: £ 6750 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

Careers and employability

Graduates go on to enter a range of work environments, from Japan-related media and cultural industries to newspapers, online journalism, magazines and trade publications, as well as related areas such as public relations and professional communications.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching is in small groups. A wide range of teaching methods are employed, including lectures, seminars, language classes and guest speakers.


Assessment varies and includes essays, journalistic writing, recordings, unseen examinations, oral language tests and critical evaluation.

Further study opportunities

We offer an MA Japanese Cultural Studies and an MA Journalism, as well as a wide range of postgraduate courses in film and media, journalism and the creative industries.

Not ready to do a degree?

We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

Key Information Set

Welcome to Birkbeck, London's evening university: Consistently voted number 1 in London for teaching and student satisfaction in the UK National Student Surveys.