Amy_Kathryn
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Hi, well, I'm in lower sixth form, and trying to figure out what to do at uni. I would really love to do history. I love Japanese history in particular - I'm EPQ on it.
Anyway, I'm not taking any modern languages at a-level, so would I be able to take Japanese Studies?

Also, I was looking at Sheffield Uni's Asian department and it looked really great, but it doesn't say on the site whether an a level in modern language is necessary.

Any light that could be shed on the subject would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
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sophia5892
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I can't remember seeing any uni that required an A Level language when I was looking back in 2010. As the website doesn't explicitly state it then it is pretty safe to assume it is not necessary.

However, an A Level in a language is likely to be preferred as it shows your capabilities to learn a language. SOAS state they prefer a language A Level for their BA Japanese and BA Japanese Studies even though it's not a requirement. I'd think you'd definitely need to show you've done languages to GCSE at least. Newcastle stipulates a Grade B in a GCSE language even though it's overall entry requirements are lower.

My flatmate applied for Japanese studies at Newcastle without GCSE/A Level in a language and he was advised that they wouldn't accept him for Japanese Studies but he could combine Japanese with Music (what he studied in college). History is usually a pretty easy subject to combine, and history is a good A Level to have when applying for language courses anyway so I can't see why you couldn't do it
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Snufkin
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(Original post by Amy_Kathryn)
Hi, well, I'm in lower sixth form, and trying to figure out what to do at uni. I would really love to do history. I love Japanese history in particular - I'm EPQ on it.
Anyway, I'm not taking any modern languages at a-level, so would I be able to take Japanese Studies?

Also, I was looking at Sheffield Uni's Asian department and it looked really great, but it doesn't say on the site whether an a level in modern language is necessary.

Any light that could be shed on the subject would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
Do you actually want to study the language or are you most interested in Japanese history? If the latter, the SOAS history degree should be ideal for you.

If you do want to study Japanese then obviously you are more likely to get an offer if you can show some recent language learning ability, but if the university says it is 'preferred' then it means they are willing to consider applicants who don't have language A levels. In general, the more obscure the language, the less likely a university will insist students have language A levels. I don't know anything about Sheffield, but SOAS has two different Japanese degrees: BA Japanese (which involves a lot of language learning and a year abroad), and BA Japanese Studies which isn't as intensive - both can be combined with history.
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sophia5892
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Samual hit on a good point with the history content and any SOAS degree is going to be good!
I would also presume it's quite difficult to find a history degree elsewhere that allows specialisation in East Asia.

It could be worth looking at unis which offer lots of history under their "cultural modules" selection.
I know Newcastle have a few options for Chinese/Japanese and Cultural Studies students to take history courses that are actually taught by the history school/attended by history students. Compared with Sheffield where the modules you'd take are all specifically for students within East Asian studies. (I'm not saying that's not a good thing btw - just it's a different way of teaching).

You also have the option on the Newcastle degree to take cultural modules related to China even if your language of choice is Japanese. So you can get a broader base knowledge of East Asia instead of focusing solely on Japan. I'm not sure if that's also the case at Sheffield or whether you'd have to make your credits up from Japan related modules.
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