On the BA programme in Japan studies, you study the Japanese language and learn about the culture, history and society of Japan.

About the programme
Quota 1 2017: 8.1 (Standby: 7.5)   |   Quota 2 2017: 6 (Standby: 5) (Indicative)  
: Danish (and partly English) | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: Week 35


This programme is only offered in Danish.

Language teaching on the Japan studies programme takes the form of classroom instruction, and your teachers are often Japanese. The classes are based on dialogue, which gives you a chance to practice your Japanese actively. You also read texts in Japanese as well as working with grammar and translation exercises.

From Meiji to Manga

On the Japan studies programme, you work with contemporary and historical Japanese culture and literature  You study important periods in Japanese history such as imperial Japanese, the shogunates and Japan’s role in WW II. You also learn about Japan’s relationship with the neighbouring countries of Korea and China, and you gain insight into Japanese popular culture, including animé, manga and films.

A semester in Japan

On the 4th semester of the programme, you study at a Japanese university, where you can polish your Japanese and get to know Japanese society first-hand. Studying abroad gives you in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture and society that enables you to build bridges between Japan and Denmark.

Career opportunities

Most graduates of the BA programme in Japan studies go on to do a Master’s degree in English. The MA programme, a direct continuation of the BA programme, gives you career opportunities in a variety of fields, for example education, tourism, cultural exchange, communication and translation. 

Admission requirements

Admission area number: 22280

To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:

qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • Japanese A*
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B

*The requirement of an additional language qualification may be replaced by an introductory course in connection with the degree programme.


If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).

The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission.

Quota 2

Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.

Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of:

  1. a grade average calculated on the basis of the particularly relevant subjects (Quota 2 subjects), listed below
  2. other particularly relevant documented qualifications.

Read more about Aarhus University's quota 2 criteria.

Quota 2 subjects:

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • Japanese A
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B



Programme structure

The courses on the Japan studies programme focus on two main areas. First and foremost, you are given a thorough introduction to the Japanese language, both in terms of reading, writing, speaking and understanding modern Japanese. In addition, the courses give you insight into Japanese history, culture and social conditions.

Academic regulations

In the academic regulations, you can read more about the content of the individual course, the structure of the degree programme and the demands the programme places on you as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.

In the diagram below, you can see how the programme is structured. You can click on the various courses to read the individual course descriptions.


Student life

Academic student life on the Japan studies programme

Most courses on the Japan studies programme take the form of classroom instruction, where you have a chance to make presentations and participate in discussion with your fellow students. There are also some seminar lessons where you practice grammar and do written exercises, listening exercises and role play with your study group. 

Here is an example of a typical week in the first semester of the BA programme in Japan studies. As you can see, you will be spending much of your time preparing for classes and lectures, and meeting with your study group. Japan studies is a full-time degree programme, even though you many not have as many hours of classes as you are used to. This means that you will also learn how to structure your time in the course of your studies.

8:00-10:00 Study group
10:00 - 12:00 Grammar exercises
13:00 - 15:00 Reading of Japanese texts
15:00 - 18:00 Preparation for class

10:00 - 14:00 Introduction to Japanese History
14:00-18:00 Independent study

8:00-10:00 Study group
10:00 - 12:00 Grammar exercises
12:00 - 14:00 Written exercises
14:00 -16:00 Japanese conversation

8:00 - 11:00 Preparation for class: grammar exercises
11:00 - 13:00 Grammar
13:00-18:00 Independent study

9:00 -10:00 Tests
10:00-15:00 Independent study
15:00 - 18:00 Friday bar

Social life on the Japan studies programme

When you are not immersing yourself in Japanese language and culture, you can take part in some of the academic and social events for students on the programme: 

The Asian degree programme committee
This is the degree programme committee for Japan studies, China studies and South Asia studies. The committee is the students’ voice in relation to university affairs, and you can influence your study environment by participating in it. 

Asian Friday bar
Every month, the Asian Friday bar offers good music, cold drinks and a great atmosphere. 

Studying abroad

For students on the Japan studies programme, studying in Japan is indispensable. The fourth semester of the programme takes place at a Japanese university. This gives you a unique opportunity to practice your language skills and get to know the culture first-hand. If one semester abroad isn’t enough, you can also take advantage of the university’s many other student exchange agreements with universities all over the world. Get inspiration, guidance and travel lust here.

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.


The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.


After you graduate from the BA programme in Japan studies, your career opportunities depend on what subjects you chose to focus on during your studies, your choice of supplementary subject, and your choice of Master’s degree programme if you decide to continue your studies. 

In the course of your studies, you learn to communicate in Japanese, both orally and in writing. The knowledge you gain about Japan’s culture, history and social conditions enables you to analyse intercultural issues that are relevant to Japan. You learn to define a topic, investigate it in depth and communicate your conclusions clearly both orally and in writing. 

Most graduates of the Japan studies programme work in communications for companies with links to Japan. Many also work in administration or education, for example at secondary schools or folk high schools. A career as an interpreter is also a possibility.

Supplementary subjects

There are lots of options to choose from when deciding which supplementary subject to do in the course of your Bachelor’s degree programme. Other students on the Japan studies programme have chosen: 

  • Supplementary subject in aesthetic communication
  • Supplementary subject in anthropology
  • Globalisation and Cultural Identity 

Master’s degree programmes

Most graduates of the Bachelor’s programme in Japan studies go on to do a Master’s degree. There are many possibilities, and you should be aware that specific supplementary subjects can be a prerequisite for admission to some MA programmes. Here are some examples of the options available: 

  • The Master’s degree programme in Asian studies (Japan studies), where you build on the foundation from your BA programme and learn to work with your subject more independently and critically.                                                                                
  • The Master’s degree programme in anthropology, which gives you the tools to understand humans as social and cultural beings.
  • The Master’s degree programme in German language, literature and culture, which provides you with an in-depth understanding of Germany’s history, language and society.
  • The Master’s degree programme in aesthetics and culture, where you learn to analyse the aesthetic dimensions of our culture and everyday life.