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NCEA Japanese workshop at UC


Japan is one of the most influential nations in the Asia-Pacific region — culturally, diplomatically and economically. It is a key player in New Zealand's import and export, tourism and education markets and continues to be an attractive destination for graduates.

Aspects of Japanese culture have become popular in much of Asia, Australasia and America. These include animation, computer games, fashion, art, sport and spirituality.

Learning the Japanese language helps you to do business with Japanese people and multinational companies, equips you for a job in Japan and opens up an understanding of a proud people with a long history and fascinating culture.

Why study Japanese at UC?

  • The Japanese programme at UC offers a wide range of courses in Japanese language and related subjects up to PhD level.
  • It is supported by a strong team of staff specialising in linguistics, literature, theatre, society, tradition and modern culture.
  • In language classes, equal emphasis is placed on the four key language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Communicative and cultural competency in Japanese is developed through regular interaction with native speakers and practice communicating in a range of real-life situations.
  • Courses in the programme are complemented by a number of specialised courses on Japanese history, art, political science and music offered through various Schools in the College of Arts.

UC offers courses for beginners and those who have studied Japanese previously. To major in Japanese without any prior background in the language will take three years.

Students who have some native ability in the language should contact the Programme Director for advice on the most appropriate course of study. Direct entry into language classes other than the ones listed below is through a placement test and discussion with the Programme Director.


See all Japanese courses

100-level courses

The language course for complete beginners is JAPA125 Elementary Japanese A. Students with 15 credits at NCEA level 2 (or equivalent) should join JAPA126 Elementary Japanese B (second semester).

Students with at least 15 credits at NCEA level 3 (or equivalent) can go straight into the more advanced course JAPA215 Intermediate Japanese.

JAPA108 Introduction to Japanese Culture is also required for the major.

200-level and beyond

At 200 and 300-level students can continue their study of Japanese language or take courses on Japanese society, culture and history.

Career opportunities

A degree in Japanese can lead to a variety of career options.

Some graduates have been awarded prestigious Monbukagakusho (Japanese Ministry of Education) Scholarships for study and research in Japan. Many have joined the Japanese Government's Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. Others have been employed by the Japanese Embassy or Consular Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Government Communications and Security Bureau in Wellington.

There is a demand for teachers of Japanese in secondary schools and some graduates have joined the teaching staff of Japanese departments at tertiary institutions.

Other graduates enter banking, import/export and legal industries or find jobs in multinational companies that have links with Japan. Some become freelance translators or enter the tourism and travel industry.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Japanese.

More information

Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies

Phone +64 3 369 3377
Email artsdegreeadvice@canterbury.ac.nz

5th floor, Logie building - see campus maps

Postal address
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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Richard Yap

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Rheuben Burke

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