Japanese Studies

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Undergraduate Major


Japanese Studies at the University of Newcastle offers courses on the Japanese language, culture, and society, from undergraduate to PhD levels. At undergraduate level, the Japanese Studies major sits in the Bachelor of Arts and can be also studied concurrently with other programs as part of the Diploma of Languages. The Japanese language courses are designed to be followed sequentially, with students beginning their sequence at one of two entry points:

The Japanese Studies major is designed to be followed sequentially, with students able to begin at one of two entry points: Beginners or Post-HSC. The former sequence is designed for students with no knowledge of the Japanese language and will begin with 1000-level courses, while students who have studied Japanese during their HSC can enter at the latter, intermediate, 2000-level.

Students graduating with a Japanese language major are granted a greater scope of employment opportunities within locations (often abroad) where Japanese is the native, or predominant language. Work in translation, teaching, editing and proofreading, tourism and foreign service is complemented by the comprehension of another language. For information on both exchange and work opportunities, head to the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme homepage.

View our Bachelor of Arts in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees, Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a major in Japanese Studies include:

Honours: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Postgraduate Study:



After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explor such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.

Sample Jobs

The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates majoring in Japanese Studies. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, while some may require further study.

Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained from a major in Japanese.

Getting the Edge

Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.

  1. Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
  2. Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
  3. Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
  4. Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
  5. Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
  6. Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
  7. Consider volunteering.

Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.


Sample Employers

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.

Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Job Search Sites

Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:

Australian and International

  • CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.


  • CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
  • MyCareer: Australian and international listings
  • Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
  • The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs


Job Ads and Tips For Applying

Aboriginal Professional Practice

Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in Japanese Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:

  • Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
  • Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
  • Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
  • Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
  • Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
  • Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
  • Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts graduates majoring in Japanese Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:

  • An in-depth understanding of at least one specialist area in the Bachelor of Arts
  • The capacity for analytical thinking and for creative problem solving
  • Information literacy: skills in locating, evaluating and using relevant information
  • Effective and appropriate communication skills, written and oral, across a range of forms
  • Ethical sensitivity, including an awareness of ethical issues and standards within disciplines
  • Intercultural awareness: a respect for and understanding of cultures other than one's own