School of Languages and Cultures


Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 academic year unless otherwise specified.

On this page:

This subject is taught by the School of Languages and Cultures.


Sushi, sumo, samurai. Sound familiar? Japanese culture has had a profound and long-lasting influence on the West. Not only is Japan one of the biggest economies in the world, it also has one of the most fascinating cultures.

Whether you have studied Japanese at school or are a complete beginner, the School of Languages and Cultures gives you a comprehensive and supportive education in spoken and written Japanese within the Bachelor of Arts (BA).

The emphasis is on getting you involved and speaking straight away. Through classes and fun tutorials, and the multimedia learning support at the Language Learning Centre, you will find you are soon ready for later courses in modern Japanese culture and society. You can also take Japanese as part of a major in Modern Language Studies.

The Japanese are enthusiastic travellers from a vibrant country. Open up a world of fascination by equipping yourself with Japanese at Victoria.

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Undergraduate information

Japanese major requirements

  1. JAPA 111 and 112*
  2. JAPA 113
  3. JAPA 204 and JAPA 205 and 20 further points from JAPA 200–299
  4. JAPA 304 and JAPA 305 and 20 further points from JAPA 300–399

*Requirement (1) will be waived for students who have the appropriate NCEA Level 3 requirements (or equivalent).

Other students with some prior knowledge of Japanese will be admitted to the appropriate course after assessment of their competence. Please contact Japanese Programme staff prior to enrolment.

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Postgraduate information

Postgraduate qualifications in Japanese

For information specific to Japanese, please see our Postgraduate Study page. For information about the postgraduate qualifications, please click on the Faculty links below.

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How to find out more

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjectsCareers

Asian Studies
International Business
Modern Language Studies
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Tourism Management

International business

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List of courses

Japanese courses are taught within the School of Languages and Cultures. The School office is located in Room 610, von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn campus.

Meet staff who work in the Japanese Programme, or contact the School of more information, tel: 04-463 5293, email:

For a complete course listing, see the list of all Japanese courses.

100 Level Courses

FHSS 110 – Reading the World: Languages and Cultures in Context

JAPA 111 – Introduction to the Japanese Language

JAPA 112 – Elementary Japanese

JAPA 113 – Introduction to Japanese Culture and Society

200 Level Courses

FHSS 210 – Language Study Abroad

JAPA 204 – Japanese Language 2A

JAPA 205 – Japanese Language 2B

JAPA 213 – Japanese Culture through Literature

JAPA 214 – Special Topic

300 Level Courses

FHSS 310 – Study Abroad for Language Students

JAPA 304 – Japanese Language 3A

JAPA 305 – Japanese Language 3B

JAPA 314 – Special Topic: Japanese Mythology

JAPA 322 – Readings in Japanese Culture and Society

400 Level Courses

FHSS 410 – Global Popular Cultures in Context

JAPA 401 – Advanced Japanese Language

JAPA 405 – Special Topic: Japanese Pop Culture: Book to Screen

JAPA 406 – Special Topic: Introduction to Japanese Sociolinguistics

JAPA 412 – Japanese Mythology

JAPA 489 – Research Project