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Chinese and Japanese BA (Full time) 2018 start

Course information for 2019 start

Key facts

UCAS code: TT12

Start date: September 2017, September 2018

5 years full time

Typical A-level offer: AAA-AAB
(specific subjects required)

UK/EU fees See fees section below
International fees £17,500 (per year)

Language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component

Study abroad option: Yes
Work placement option: Yes


This challenging and varied degree allows you to learn two major world languages from scratch and spend two years studying abroad.

Core modules will build your skills in both languages and introduce you to the culture and history of each country. You’ll also choose from a wide range of optional modules exploring the history, culture, business practices, religions and politics of these two fascinating countries and East Asia more broadly.

But the most exciting element of the degree is the chance to spend one year in China and a second in Japan, improving your language skills and gaining first-hand experience of Chinese and Japanese culture.

You could study East Asian religions or Japanese cultural history, the rise of the non-profit sector in contemporary China or the complex dynamics of Sino-Japanese relations. You could even try translation or interpreting. It’s a great opportunity to develop language skills and gain an insight into two of the world’s biggest economies.

Specialist resources

With over fifty years of acquisitions, the Chinese collection housed in the beautiful Brotherton Library is one of the best collections of modern Chinese books in the country. The University Library also has impressive holdings of books in English about China, backed up by a wide range of digital materials.

As well as our great library resources, Leeds has state-of-the-art facilities to support language students. Our fully equipped Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

If you’re interested in translation studies, we offer specialised computing facilities in our Electronic Resource Information Centre. What’s more, if you’d like to explore a career in interpreting you can get a taste of this in our Interpreter Training Suites.

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Course content

In your first year you’ll focus on intensive language classes to develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Chinese and Japanese, while choosing modules introducing you to the culture and history of China, Japan or East Asia. This will lay the foundations for the next two years, when you’ll spend a year each in China and Japan studying dedicated language courses to improve your skills while you experience life in each culture.

When you return to Leeds, you’ll spend the next two years taking advanced language classes to refine your spoken and written language skills and explore the media in each country. You’ll also choose from a variety of optional modules on topics as diverse as Japanese cinema, international relations in the Asia Pacific or modern Chinese history. You’ll even have the option to learn Cantonese or learn about specialised uses of Chinese and Japanese in professional contexts.

In your final year you’ll also undertake an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice to showcase your knowledge and skills.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Basic Chinese Language 1 20 credits
Basic Chinese Language 2 20 credits
Basic Japanese Language (1) 20 credits
Basic Japanese Language (2) 20 credits
IT for LCS Students 5 credits

Optional modules

History and Culture of Early Imperial China 10 credits
Modern China 10 credits
Foundations of East Asia 20 credits
Introduction to Religious and Philosophical Texts of East Asia 20 credits
Introduction to East Asian Religions 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

You will spend the second and third year of their programme in China and Japan (one year in each country).

Optional modules

Year Abroad in China 120 credits
Year Abroad in Japan 120 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

You will spend the second and third year of their programme in China and Japan (one year in each country).

Optional modules

Year Abroad in China 120 credits
Year Abroad in Japan 120 credits

Year 4

Compulsory modules

Chinese 2A 20 credits
Chinese 2B 20 credits
Japanese 2A: Written Communication Skills 20 credits
Japanese 2B: Spoken Communication Skills 20 credits

Optional modules

China Since 1979 20 credits
Japan's International Relations 20 credits
The Making of Modern Thailand 20 credits
Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan 20 credits
Religion in China 20 credits
Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China 20 credits
Korea: Politics, Economy and International Relations 20 credits

Year 5

Compulsory modules

Chinese 3: Advanced Skills 20 credits
Japanese 3: Advanced Communication Skills 20 credits

Optional modules

Classical Chinese 20 credits
South East Asia in the Global Context 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Chinese and Japanese BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles including lectures, small-group seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops. Independent study is also a major part of the course, building research skills and learning to think critically about the information you find. The University Library runs comprehensive training programmes to help you make the most of our resources.

Read more about How we teach Japanese Language


Exams and essays are our usual forms of assessment, but some modules may also assess you on oral presentations or group work. We’ll provide plenty of support to help you handle this – throughout your time at Leeds you’ll be able to attend extra classes on issues like public speaking and exam technique.

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Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA-AAB

including a foreign language but excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking

  • Access to HE Diploma

    Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

  • BTEC

    We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

  • Cambridge Pre-U

    D3, M1, M1 to D3, D3, M1 including a foreign language.

  • International Baccalaureate

    35 points overall with 16 - 17 at Higher Level including 6 at Higher Level in a foreign language.

  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

    H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 to H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 including a foreign language

  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

    AB - AA in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers or A in Advanced Highers and AABBB - AAABB in Highers. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

  • Welsh Baccalaureate

    The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

  • Other Qualifications

    European Baccalaureate: 80% - 85% including 80% in a foreign language.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be ABB at A Level (including a foreign language excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB including a foreign language (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below
International: £17,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

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Career opportunities

This degree gives you proficiency in two important world languages, as well as an insight into the fascinating culture of some of the world’s most influential economies. These will open doors to a wide range of careers in East Asia and around the world, but you will also develop transferable skills which are highly sought by employers.

You’ll have strong research skills, allowing you to find information from a wide range of sources and draw your own conclusions. Then you’ll be able to communicate and defend them clearly. Teamwork, adaptability and time management are also among the key qualities you can develop. Spending time abroad will also demonstrate that you are resilient, independent and adaptable.

As a result, graduates have pursued diverse careers. Many join the Japanese government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching programme (JET), which recruits graduates to work in teaching and international relations positions. Others have moved into teaching, tourism, publishing, business, broadcasting, overseas aid work, PR, and language-based roles such as translating and interpreting throughout China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and across East Asia as well as in the UK, USA and Europe.

Many also progress to postgraduate study or further training in fields such as translation or interpreting.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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Placement opportunities

Residency abroad

This degree is unique in that it allows you spend two years abroad. You’ll spend each of them studying a dedicated language course for non-native speakers at one of our partner institutions in each country. Of course, you’ll also have plenty of time to travel and explore everything that China and Japan have to offer.

You could improve your Chinese at universities in Beijing, Shanghai or Taipei. In Japan, courses are provided by our partner universities in Akita, Fukuoka, Kobe, Kumamoto, Nagoya, Osaka or Tokyo.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop your language skills and gain a new appreciation of both Chinese and Japanese cultures. It can also really enhance your CV. For many of our students, it’s the highlight of their degree.

Read more about Residence Abroad in East Asian Studies

Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336