Edminzodo
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
I want to take the Oriental Studies course in Japanese, and I have narrowed it down to these universities:

Edinburgh
Leeds
Manchester
Oxford
Newcastle
Nottingham
Sheffield
SOAS

Does anyone have any experience of these universities and could you please tell me some pros and cons? Thanks.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
sophia5892
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
(Original post by Edminzodo)
I want to take the Oriental Studies course in Japanese, and I have narrowed it down to these universities:

Edinburgh
Leeds
Manchester
Oxford
Newcastle
Nottingham
Sheffield
SOAS

Does anyone have any experience of these universities and could you please tell me some pros and cons? Thanks.

Posted from TSR Mobile
I take French, German and Japanese at Newcastle and I'm in final year now
Pros:
flexible entry and exit levels - Japanese is offered from very beginner's up to higher advanced level designed to reach JLPT 1 (Levels A - D). a beginner would usually take levels A, B and C but it is possible to skip to Level D after your Year Abroad if you reach the required level - and that is a very real possibility. I failed the placement test for Level D by 4 marks, and we only had a couple of months notice that we could do that (Level D is relatively new) so I hadn't exactly studied or put in any special effort for it. And the other way around - if you have some japanese knowledge already you don't have to sit through the beginner's course.

small classes - up to 15 students in a class. This year we had 13 students in Level C and just 2 in Level D.

Year Abroad in third year - I believe Leeds send you in your second year. I really wouldn't recommend this unless you're starting uni with A Level Japanese. My skills after first year were nowhere near the standard I'd have wanted to be at for a Year Abroad and if I'd have been made to go so soon then I probably wouldn't have been benefited as much from my time there - I found trying to talk to people scary enough after two years at uni so I think if I'd have gone abroad in second year I'd have spent all my time with the other foreigners speaking English and not integrating! Also it would have been way more stressful - English is not widely spoken at all there so you really do need to use Japanese when you're out and about.

Flexible Year Abroad - Newcastle offers Year Abroad placements at a variety of unis, from way up north in Hokkaido to down south in Fukuoka. Quite a few are in Tokyo but you also have Kyoto, Hiroshima, Akita etc. Something for everyone basically. You're allocated to a uni based on a list of your top 3 preferences with most students getting their first choice. I point this out as an advantage because some unis (not sure if this applies to any on your list) have very limited exchange partners or send all their students to one uni which minimises your chances of integrating as you're likely to stay with the students you know.

Variety of cultural modules - modules are offered on history, literature, anime, politics, film, pop culture, society etc.

Newcastle - I'm gonna list the city itself as a pro just because I love it :P It's one of the cheapest places to study, it's incredibly friendly, nice and compact so everything you want is nearby etc etc.

Cons: My only real con would be that the Newcastle department isn't as big as at other unis. So while it means that you get lots of great, specialised support and your lecturers really know you, you might find a bigger department has more choice.

It really comes down to where your interests lie - look at the modules on offer carefully, look at the year abroad options and of course, visit the unis!

I don't have too much to say about the other unis on the list seeing as I don't study there except:
SOAS - I applied there before deciding I wanted to combine Japanese and the course did look really really good. Expensive being in London tho.

Leeds - the second year abroad thing. Total deal breaker for me

Sheffield - visited on an open day there and wasn't impressed at all as it was so poorly organised. The lecturers weren't friendly at all. I have a friend doing Japanese there atm - she enjoys it but does say that she's pretty much had to self-teach herself for 3 years because she didn't find the language side of things that useful.

Oxford - another one I visited and was put off by the atmosphere. I was also concerned that the course seemed very literature based rather than language based.

Of course you're better off getting opinions from students that actually study there, and it does all come down to what you're looking for, but I hope that's helpful.

And let me know if you have any questions
0
reply
Edminzodo
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#3
(Original post by sophia5892)
I take French, German and Japanese at Newcastle and I'm in final year now
Pros:
flexible entry and exit levels - Japanese is offered from very beginner's up to higher advanced level designed to reach JLPT 1 (Levels A - D). a beginner would usually take levels A, B and C but it is possible to skip to Level D after your Year Abroad if you reach the required level - and that is a very real possibility. I failed the placement test for Level D by 4 marks, and we only had a couple of months notice that we could do that (Level D is relatively new) so I hadn't exactly studied or put in any special effort for it. And the other way around - if you have some japanese knowledge already you don't have to sit through the beginner's course.

small classes - up to 15 students in a class. This year we had 13 students in Level C and just 2 in Level D.

Year Abroad in third year - I believe Leeds send you in your second year. I really wouldn't recommend this unless you're starting uni with A Level Japanese. My skills after first year were nowhere near the standard I'd have wanted to be at for a Year Abroad and if I'd have been made to go so soon then I probably wouldn't have been benefited as much from my time there - I found trying to talk to people scary enough after two years at uni so I think if I'd have gone abroad in second year I'd have spent all my time with the other foreigners speaking English and not integrating! Also it would have been way more stressful - English is not widely spoken at all there so you really do need to use Japanese when you're out and about.

Flexible Year Abroad - Newcastle offers Year Abroad placements at a variety of unis, from way up north in Hokkaido to down south in Fukuoka. Quite a few are in Tokyo but you also have Kyoto, Hiroshima, Akita etc. Something for everyone basically. You're allocated to a uni based on a list of your top 3 preferences with most students getting their first choice. I point this out as an advantage because some unis (not sure if this applies to any on your list) have very limited exchange partners or send all their students to one uni which minimises your chances of integrating as you're likely to stay with the students you know.

Variety of cultural modules - modules are offered on history, literature, anime, politics, film, pop culture, society etc.

Newcastle - I'm gonna list the city itself as a pro just because I love it :P It's one of the cheapest places to study, it's incredibly friendly, nice and compact so everything you want is nearby etc etc.

Cons: My only real con would be that the Newcastle department isn't as big as at other unis. So while it means that you get lots of great, specialised support and your lecturers really know you, you might find a bigger department has more choice.

It really comes down to where your interests lie - look at the modules on offer carefully, look at the year abroad options and of course, visit the unis!

I don't have too much to say about the other unis on the list seeing as I don't study there except:
SOAS - I applied there before deciding I wanted to combine Japanese and the course did look really really good. Expensive being in London tho.

Leeds - the second year abroad thing. Total deal breaker for me

Sheffield - visited on an open day there and wasn't impressed at all as it was so poorly organised. The lecturers weren't friendly at all. I have a friend doing Japanese there atm - she enjoys it but does say that she's pretty much had to self-teach herself for 3 years because she didn't find the language side of things that useful.

Oxford - another one I visited and was put off by the atmosphere. I was also concerned that the course seemed very literature based rather than language based.

Of course you're better off getting opinions from students that actually study there, and it does all come down to what you're looking for, but I hope that's helpful.

And let me know if you have any questions
Thank you so much for this reply. I am taking A-Level Japanese so I should (?) probably start off in an advanced class, I guess. This scares me a little, to be honest!

Most universities send you abroad in your second year. And the choice of university in Japan is really appealing . . . Where did you go?

I will look into the specific modules at Newcastle!

Would you mind telling me about the accomodation and the city itself a bit more, please? Thank you, so so much!!!

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
sophia5892
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by Edminzodo)
Thank you so much for this reply. I am taking A-Level Japanese so I should (?) probably start off in an advanced class, I guess. This scares me a little, to be honest!

Most universities send you abroad in your second year. And the choice of university in Japan is really appealing . . . Where did you go?

I will look into the specific modules at Newcastle!

Would you mind telling me about the accomodation and the city itself a bit more, please? Thank you, so so much!!!

Posted from TSR Mobile
With A Level Japanese you'd begin in Level B. I'm not sure if that would mean you'd go abroad in second year at Newcastle too then. But I guess my cons for a second year abroad are aimed at beginner students which you're not

As far as accommodation goes there's lots of options. The same as at any uni I guess - catered, self-catered, ensuite, shared. I know Newcastle's prices have gone up but I presume thats the same everywhere. It was certainly at the cheaper end when I came here. Most of the accommodation is within easy walking distance of campus (0-15 mins away). I lived in St Mary's which is about 2 miles away because it was the cheapest and the rooms were nice and big. But even 2 miles isnt that far - lots of students cycled, I got an annual bus pass and yeh. It wasn't inconvenient at all.

From second year students will rent privately and again, there's plenty of affordable accommodation in walking distance. You can get places from say as cheap as £50 per person per week not including bills. I pay £73 a week for a two bed flat 15 mins walk from campus.

As I mentioned, the city centre is quite small. You have the train station at the bottom of town, then the two unis at the top end. Takes maybe 15 mins to walk across. So everything is really central. And with two big unis in the centre it also means the city is very student oriented. And although the centre is small it still has plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, a cinema, a casino etc etc.

You also have the Metrocentre a bus ride away and the beach at Tynemouth or Whitley Bay on the metro

I went to Kyushu University in Fukuoka
0
reply
Bambirina
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by Edminzodo)
I want to take the Oriental Studies course in Japanese, and I have narrowed it down to these universities:

Edinburgh
Leeds
Manchester
Oxford
Newcastle
Nottingham
Sheffield
SOAS

Does anyone have any experience of these universities and could you please tell me some pros and cons? Thanks.

Posted from TSR Mobile
Hi I'm just finishing my first year studying Business & Management and Japanese at Manchester. I'm so so glad I chose to come here!
Here is a really good article about what first year Japanese is like in Manchester: http://nadinenihongo.tumblr.com/post...-in-the-uk-you
As you have an A-level in Japanese you'll be in the advanced class so you'll have different books, but I'm pretty sure that the rest of the course is similar (weekly quizzes, etc..)
Manchester also has loads of different options for the year abroad, which you can see here: http://www.llc.manchester.ac.uk/unde...broad/options/
And really, my Japanese teachers here are great. They're so nice, passionate, and they genuinely care about us.

I don't really know how to give you pros and cons as I don't know what you're looking for in a uni/course, but feel free to ask me if you have any question
0
reply
TheTechN1304
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
Hi,

I'm doing A level Japanese too and thinking of doing Japanese (Oriental Studies) as well. I'm thinking of going for Oxford, Durham, Edinburgh, Sheffield and SOAS.

I've done the most research into Oxford, as this is the one with the best course in my opinion.

With most universities offering Japanese, year abroad is your third year. Oxford is one of the few where the year abroad is 2nd year. This can be advantageous/disadvantageous depending on the way you look at it. At Oxford, you have the option to pick up a secondary language in your 3rd year (Chinese, Korean or Tibetan) which you'd continue to the end of 4th year. Like others have said, the Oxford course is quite literature based, so if you don't like literature then it might not be for you!

Other unis doing Japanese have the year abroad in the 3rd year (very few in 2nd year). Quite a few unis allow you to combine Japanese with another language, but combining it with another oriental language is quite rare, and only a few unis like Manchester and SOAS (SOAS only Japanese & Korean) allow you to do so.

Edinburgh's another really good university for Japanese, so is Durham, but the Durham course is really new, so there's not much information on it yet. Still, Durham is a good university, so it's unlikely you'd come out with a degree from there speaking bad Japanese...

Tbh I'd suggest looking into the courses on the university websites into great detail and maybe going to a few open days. Your choices at the moment are all really good for Japanese (can't comment on Nottingham though as I don't know too much about it). I wouldn't really suggest narrowing down your options to 5 yet as you haven't got your AS results, but once you do you can choose accordingly.

We're in the same position, so if you ever want to ask anything or talk about Japanese PM me :P
0
reply
Edminzodo
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#7
(Original post by sophia5892)
With A Level Japanese you'd begin in Level B. I'm not sure if that would mean you'd go abroad in second year at Newcastle too then. But I guess my cons for a second year abroad are aimed at beginner students which you're not

As far as accommodation goes there's lots of options. The same as at any uni I guess - catered, self-catered, ensuite, shared. I know Newcastle's prices have gone up but I presume thats the same everywhere. It was certainly at the cheaper end when I came here. Most of the accommodation is within easy walking distance of campus (0-15 mins away). I lived in St Mary's which is about 2 miles away because it was the cheapest and the rooms were nice and big. But even 2 miles isnt that far - lots of students cycled, I got an annual bus pass and yeh. It wasn't inconvenient at all.

From second year students will rent privately and again, there's plenty of affordable accommodation in walking distance. You can get places from say as cheap as £50 per person per week not including bills. I pay £73 a week for a two bed flat 15 mins walk from campus.

As I mentioned, the city centre is quite small. You have the train station at the bottom of town, then the two unis at the top end. Takes maybe 15 mins to walk across. So everything is really central. And with two big unis in the centre it also means the city is very student oriented. And although the centre is small it still has plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, a cinema, a casino etc etc.

You also have the Metrocentre a bus ride away and the beach at Tynemouth or Whitley Bay on the metro

I went to Kyushu University in Fukuoka
Awesome! Thanks.

I'm lazy so I would probably go for catered in my first year. And also antisocial. Ha.

That sounds great. Thanks again for all of this information. Have you finished for the year?

Wow! What was it like there? I'm going to Japan next year and can't wait already!

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Edminzodo
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by TheTechN1304)
Hi,

I'm doing A level Japanese too and thinking of doing Japanese (Oriental Studies) as well. I'm thinking of going for Oxford, Durham, Edinburgh, Sheffield and SOAS.

I've done the most research into Oxford, as this is the one with the best course in my opinion.

With most universities offering Japanese, year abroad is your third year. Oxford is one of the few where the year abroad is 2nd year. This can be advantageous/disadvantageous depending on the way you look at it. At Oxford, you have the option to pick up a secondary language in your 3rd year (Chinese, Korean or Tibetan) which you'd continue to the end of 4th year. Like others have said, the Oxford course is quite literature based, so if you don't like literature then it might not be for you!

Other unis doing Japanese have the year abroad in the 3rd year (very few in 2nd year). Quite a few unis allow you to combine Japanese with another language, but combining it with another oriental language is quite rare, and only a few unis like Manchester and SOAS (SOAS only Japanese & Korean) allow you to do so.

Edinburgh's another really good university for Japanese, so is Durham, but the Durham course is really new, so there's not much information on it yet. Still, Durham is a good university, so it's unlikely you'd come out with a degree from there speaking bad Japanese...

Tbh I'd suggest looking into the courses on the university websites into great detail and maybe going to a few open days. Your choices at the moment are all really good for Japanese (can't comment on Nottingham though as I don't know too much about it). I wouldn't really suggest narrowing down your options to 5 yet as you haven't got your AS results, but once you do you can choose accordingly.

We're in the same position, so if you ever want to ask anything or talk about Japanese PM me :P
Yay! I'm actually in Y11 but we are in the same position because I'm 99% sure I want to study Japanese. Plus, I can bring in lots of other subjects: Economics, History, Literature etc, so it's perfect!

I've actually visited Oxford with a scheme I belong to. I fell in love with Regent's Park College (Well, PPH), but sadly you can only do Oriental Studies AND Theology there.

I think I'd probably pick up Chinese, so that would be good. And with the A-Level, I'd be prepared for going abroad in my second year.

Yes, I think I will research more into these universities. I live in London so I'm not sure if I would want to go to SOAS. I'd prefer somewhere a bit more quiet and well, not as expensive!

What exam board do you follow? I do Edexcel. And is the AS a big step up from GCSE?

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
TheTechN1304
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
(Original post by Edminzodo)
Yay! I'm actually in Y11 but we are in the same position because I'm 99% sure I want to study Japanese. Plus, I can bring in lots of other subjects: Economics, History, Literature etc, so it's perfect!

I've actually visited Oxford with a scheme I belong to. I fell in love with Regent's Park College (Well, PPH), but sadly you can only do Oriental Studies AND Theology there.

I think I'd probably pick up Chinese, so that would be good. And with the A-Level, I'd be prepared for going abroad in my second year.

Yes, I think I will research more into these universities. I live in London so I'm not sure if I would want to go to SOAS. I'd prefer somewhere a bit more quiet and well, not as expensive!

What exam board do you follow? I do Edexcel. And is the AS a big step up from GCSE?

Posted from TSR Mobile
I feel the same way about SOAS haha. I live in London so don't really wanna stay here :P

We do the Edexcel syllabus. The AS is actually tomorrow :eek:

Whenever people ask about the step up between GCSE and AS it's always kinda difficult to explain, as it's quite subjective. I started Japanese sometime in year 10, and so had to do a lot of work in order to get to GCSE level from nothing within a year. When it came to AS, I just carried on working at the same fast pace as before, and so didn't find a significant increase in workload/difficulty. GCSE has 200 kanji which you learn across 2 years, whereas AS has 200 kanji and A2 has another 200 kanji. If you like kanji though (as I do) it's not really a problem. The gap between GCSE and AS is there, but how big the gap is depends on how much you work. When I was in your position last year, I looked at Japanese AS papers and thought they looked REALLY hard, but a year later and they're relatively easy!!
0
reply
sophia5892
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
(Original post by Edminzodo)
Awesome! Thanks.

I'm lazy so I would probably go for catered in my first year. And also antisocial. Ha.

That sounds great. Thanks again for all of this information. Have you finished for the year?

Wow! What was it like there? I'm going to Japan next year and can't wait already!

Posted from TSR Mobile
I just have one exam left - Japanese on Thursday

Fukuoka was lovely. The weather was too hot for me, but tbh the weather in Newcastle has been too hot for me these past coupla weeks!
People in Japan are so nice! Really polite and friendly and they go out of their way to help you. And the customer service over there is unbelievably good.
I did find it kinda hard to adapt at first tho - it's strange being somewhere where English is barely spoken, especially when you're not brilliant at the local language. So my first few trips to the supermarket were a bit of a chore etc. And I found it hard to make friends with japanese students. I know this is a stereotype and they're not all like that... but I found most of the guys were too shy to speak to me... and most of the girls were extremely feminine. You know the kind that jump up and down and scream and clap at everything? Which really isn't me at all. But I made some good friends in the end

I could write for days about my experiences out there
0
reply
pomme de terre
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11
Hey, I've just finished my degree in Maths and Japanese (weird combo yeah I know) at Manchester uni and I think it's a really great course overall! I can only speak for the language modules however as I unfortunately couldn't take any of the side modules in Japanese due to being joint honours.

As a previous poster mentioned, we have a massive variety of unis you can go to on your year abroad. You get to list 10 preferences, and while you may not get your first, you usually get one in your top three. I got my second choice (Hokkaido) and tbh I'm glad I went there rather than to my first!

I honestly think most universities don't differ that much in terms of syllabus for Japanese. (Unless Oxford is really literature based or something..??) I think that the key to success in a degree in Japanese is made up of a) motivation and b) natural language learning aptitude. You can't simply rely on teaching hours, you have to make it up outside of class too!

Also, Manchester is a really great place to be a student imo. It's a massive uni and city so there's something for everyone. And if you're into nightlife, believe me there's plenty and it's pretty cheap.

One thing I will say is that coming off the year abroad into fourth year is somewhat tough. You basically go from being IN JAPAN and learning Japanese there to being in England and only doing 6 hours in-class a week for language. Obviously it varies where you go in Japan etc but I was taking like 14 hours a week of language classes in Japan. Fourth year is more like "preventing your level from going down" rather than "improving your level", tbh. (edit: I imagine this is similar in any uni, though of course I'm not sure)
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Midwifery Open Day at Portsmouth Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 18 Dec '19
  • The University of Law
    Open Day – GDL and LPC - Chester campus Postgraduate
    Sat, 4 Jan '20
  • University of East Anglia
    Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Mon, 6 Jan '20

Did you vote in the 2019 general election?

Yes (394)
43.83%
No (92)
10.23%
I'm not old enough (413)
45.94%

Watched Threads

View All