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.
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.
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.
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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
including a foreign language but excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking
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.
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.
Study abroad and work placements
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