• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Language Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Specialisation code JPNS-SPEC
Japanese Language and Culture Specialisation

Japanese is the national language of Japan, a nation that is not only one of Australia's major trading partners, but is also a country with which many young Australians have deep personal ties. Japanese is a popular foreign language in Australian schools and the depth of the ties between Australia and Japan mean that knowledge of the language will be a valuable asset for many years to come. 

Studying Japanese has many linguistic and cultural benefits that reach well beyond the classroom. In today’s globalised world a strong understanding of Asia, and Japan as one of our most important bilateral partners is vital. Employers across business, government, the arts and various sectors actively recruit graduates who can demonstrate knowledge of and experience in Japan. 

A student may not take a course if that course is a prerequisite for another course which they have already passed, or a course that is a lower level than a course they have already passed.

Students with prior knowledge of the language will be required to take a proficiency assessment.

Career opportunities

This specialisation will advance your career in language-related and cross-cultural work in government and non-government organisations, language technologies or as an independent language practitioner or researcher.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Use an active spoken vocabulary of around 600 items, and a passive vocabulary of around 1200 items;
  2. Use an active written vocabulary of around 300 kanji and a passive vocabulary of around 500 kanji;
  3. Use grammatical points and constructions necessary to produce and comprehend various basic sentences in both spoken and written Japanese;
  4. Read and compose 1200 characters long passages on topics which including family, daily routines, interpersonal relationships, cultural traditions, and everyday life;
  5. Communicate in both writing and speaking using strategies to produce natural colloquial Japanese;
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of socio-cultural issues in past and present Japanese society, including such topics as social structures, traditional arts and crafts, and everyday life. 

Other Information

Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language proficiency assessment to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level. 


Relevant past experience includes:

  • Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example, but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)
  • Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend
  • Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken
  • The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)


Students who are not sure if they need to take a proficiency assessment should seek advice from the course or language convenor. 


Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may result in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.


Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convenor.

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This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must consist of:

A minimum of 18 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

JPNS6112 - Japanese 1: Spoken (6 units)

JPNS6113 - Japanese 2: Spoken (6 units)

JPNS6114 - Japanese 1: Written (6 units)

JPNS6115 - Japanese 2: Written (6 units)

JPNS6012 - Japanese 3 (6 units)

JPNS6013 - Japanese 4 (6 units)

JPNS6014 - Japanese 5 (6 units)

JPNS6015 - Japanese 6 (6 units)

JPNS6024 - Japanese Grammar and Expressions (6 units)

JPNS6102 - Debating Japan: Contemporary Intellectual Debates (6 units)

JPNS6505 - Advanced Japanese: Issues in Contemporary Japan (6 units)

JPNS6506 - Advanced Japanese: Language in Context (6 units)

JPNS6507 - Advanced Japanese: Readings in Culture and Society (6 units)

JPNS6508 - Advanced Japanese: Readings in Literature (6 units)

JPNS6512 - Teaching Japanese: Content (6 units)

JPNS6513 - Japanese - English Translation (6 units)

JPNS6514 - Teaching Japanese: Method (6 units)

JPNS6023 - Research Topics in Japanese: History & Society (6 units)

JPNS6025 - Research Topics in Japanese: International Relations & Politics (6 units)

JPNS6525 - Learning Language Locally: Japan (6 units)


A maximum of 6 units from completion of the following list:

LANG6001 - Translation across Languages: The Translation of Literary Texts (6 units)

LANG6002 - Translation across Languages: Specialised Materials (6 units)

LANG8016 - Translation Project (6 units)

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