• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2016
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    2-3 evenings a week

    October to July

  • Location:

    Central London

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 beginner or near-beginner 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

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

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 guest 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 usually be 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 beginner. 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.

If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

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 can pursue careers in Japan-related media and cultural institutions, journalism, public relations or professional communications. This degree may also be useful in becoming a magazine/newspaper journalist, public relations officer or press sub-editor.

Find out more about these professions.

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.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art.

Further study opportunities

This course will enable you to go on to study a wide range of postgraduate courses in languagesfilm and media studies and journalism.

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