Diploma of Japanese Studies

Career Opportunities

  • Japanese-owned Corporations
  • Government Departments
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Teaching- Japanese/English
  • Translation/Interpreting
  • Import/Export
  • Tourism

The Diploma of Japanese Studies (DJAST) is centred on a core of compulsory papers that emphasise the development of a firm foundation in Japanese language skills, and an understanding of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, as well as modern society, politics and business.

A choice of Japanese language and culture papers are available to meet the requirements for the Diploma.

Upon completing the DJAST, students have the option of cross-crediting their papers into the Bachelor of Contemporary International Studies (BCIS), thereby allowing them to graduate within three years with both the DJAST and the BCIS qualifications. 

The Diploma of Japanese Studies (DJAST) includes a total of eight papers at level 5 or above. To complete your DJAST you must include four core Japanese language papers, and four elective papers from the lists below. 

Core language paper descriptions

  • 20.501 Contemporary Japanese 1: Speaking and Listening
    This paper is the introduction of Japanese language. It aims to develop communicative skills with emphasis on speaking and listening Japanese at an introductory level.
  • 20.502 Contemporary Japanese 2: Reading and Writing
    This paper aims to acquire the basic Japanese writing skills. The students are required to acquire Hiragana and Katakana as well as basic Kanji.
  • 20.503 Contemporary Japanese 3: Speaking and Listening
    This paper further develops the basic Japanese skills and it aims to develop communicative skills with emphasis on speaking and listening Japanese. The paper is essential for those who want to achieve the level of proficiency which is necessary to prepare for bridging to a pre-intermediate level.
  • 20.504 Contemporary Japanese 4: Reading and Writing
    This paper further develops the basic Japanese skills and it aims to develop communicative skills with emphasis on speaking and listening Japanese. The paper is essential for those who want to achieve the level of proficiency which is necessary to prepare for bridging to a pre-intermediate level.
  • 20.509A English to Japanese Translation 1
    This paper is designed for students who are interested in acquiring the very basic skills necessary for professional translation from English into Japanese. These include the ability to ensure accurate understanding of English texts, to produce correct and well-expressed Japanese sentences, and to undertake efficient and effective research related to the topics for translation.
  • 20.601 Contemporary Japanese 5: Speaking and Listening
    This paper is to develop a pre-intermediate level of Japanese speaking and listening skills. It aims to build up topic-based vocabulary and phrases while learning new syntaxes to acquire various methods of expression. The students in this level should aim to achieve JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level 4.
  • 20.602 Contemporary Japanese 6: Reading and Writing
    This paper aims to develops the four communicative skills with emphasis on writing and reading skills. The students in this paper prepare for improving to a higher level of Japanese and need to learn 250 basic Kanji with Kana-majiri reading and writing. The students will also learn new syntaxes to acquire various methods of expression for writing.
  • 20.603 Contemporary Japanese 7: Speaking and Listening
    This paper further develops the four communicative skills, with emphasis on speaking and listening skills. The students in this paper prepare for bridging to an intermediate level.
  • 20.604 Contemporary Japanese 8: Reading and Writing
    This paper further develops the four communicative skills, with emphasis on writing and reading skills. The students in this paper prepare for improving to a higher level of Japanese and need to learn 250 basic Kanji with Kana-majiri reading and writing. The students in this level should aim to prepare for JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level 3.
  • 20.609A Japanese to English Translation 2
    This paper is designed for students who are interested in developing to a higher level the basic skills necessary for professional translation from English into Japanese. These skills include the ability to ensure accurate understanding of English texts, to produce correct and well-expressed Japanese sentences, and to undertake efficient and effective research related to the topics for translation.
  • 20.701 Contemporary Japanese 9: Advanced Japanese 1
    This paper aims to improve your communicative skills while learning new sentence structures and grammar. The students will be given opportunity to practise and improve their language skills so as to be able to understand mostly the everyday language in Japanese.
  • 20.702 Contemporary Japanese 10: Advanced Japanese 2
    This paper aims to develop your language skills up to the level of basic 500 Kanji with Kana-majiri reading and writing. It also aims to enable the students to read and write short paragraphs explaining their ideas and opinions with accurate syntax and gain confidence in communicating skills in common situations in writing that people encounter in everyday life.
  • 20.703 Contemporary Japanese 11: Advanced Japanese 3
    This paper further develops your communicative skills in Japanese, casual and formal language for daily life situations, such as sending messages, customer inquiries, and giving a formal talk. The Japanese language is sensitive to situations where social hierarchy exists, therefore, the mode of the language always requires participants to distinguish between formal and casual language forms.
  • 20.704 Contemporary Japanese 12: Advanced Japanese 4
    This paper further develops your language skills, especially, writing / reading skills. The translation method will be also introduced to deepen your understanding of the language. For writing, the style is more restricted and rigid in its form than the spoken language and it is also sensitive to the situation where social hierarchy exists, therefore, the mode of the language always requires participants to distinguish between formal and casual forms. The students in this level should aim to achieve JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level 2.

Other Japanese Language papers for special topics 

  • 20.605 Japanese Skills 2 A, B, C, D
  • 20.606 Japanese Advanced II A, B, C, D
  • 20.705 Japanese Skills 3 A, B, C, D
  • 20.706 Japanese Advanced III A, B, C, D


These papers are designed for individual students in conformity with the IPU New Zealand philosophy of customising study programmes where possible, to meet the specific needs or goals of individual students. For example, it may be used to strengthen general oral or written language skills or to allow the student to focus on the acquisition of defined skills for specific purposes, or to prepare a student to start working in Japan, or take the internationally recognised Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

(e.x.)

  • 20.706A Japanese Advanced III A
    This paper is taught to those who have already acquired the intermediate and/or above level of Japanese language proficiency and wish to extend their language skills in practical use. Through the scope of spoken and written Japanese in an actual working environment, we will explore the aspects of social behaviour which is considered to be unique to the Japanese society. English and Japanese are used as the medium of instruction to introduce, explain and then involve the students in initial individual practice of the grammar and culturally sensitive usage of vocabulary and syntax as in Keigo.


Japanese Studies elective paper descriptions

  • 10.511 Intercultural Communication
    This paper examines cultural and linguistic factors influencing communication in a wide range of contexts, and looks at situations in which intercultural miscommunication arises. Issues such as worldviews and value systems, non-verbal communication, address systems, greetings, taboos and euphemisms are considered.
  • 10.513 Advanced English Skills
    You will be exposed to a variety of styles of writing in this paper. In developing your critical thinking skills you will gain experience in evaluating and critically analysing the writing of others, and your own.
  • 10.611 The Study of Language
    In this paper you will explore the uniqueness of human language, its structure, acquisition, and functions in society. Differences between languages are examined and described through their sounds and patterns, word and sentence structures, meanings and writing systems.
  • 20.511/611 Japanese Civilisation
    In this paper you will gain an overview of the history, society, and culture of the major periods throughout Japanese historical development, and have an understanding of the indigenous and imported influences on change and continuity in Japan, which have lead to Japan's importance in the world today.
  • 20.512/612 Japanese Business
    You will learn practical aspects of Japanese work culture from a variety of perspectives; practical knowledge and manners required, such as characteristics of work behaviour; and linguistic features in and outside the working environment.
  • 20.709A Japanese to English Translation 3
  • This paper teaches the basic skills and attitudes required for commercial Japanese-to-English translation. Commercial translation requires the ability to read and understand Japanese source texts plus the ability to communicate well in English.
  • 20.709B Japanese to English Translation 1
    This paper is designed to introduce students to the basic skills and attitudes required for commercial Japanese-to-English translation.
  • 20.711 Social Conflict in Modern Japan 
    The purpose of this paper is to introduce present-day Japanese society from the perspective of social conflict (Japan's significant social problems and issues).
  • 20.713 Japanese Foreign Policy
    An historical and contemporary understanding of Japanese government and politics is provided, then there is a discussion of the evolving Japanese foreign policy and relationships with other countries, especially Pacific Rim and Asian states. 
  • 30.611 Asia-Pacific Business Environment
    The purpose of this paper is to introduce students to the business environment of the Asia-Pacific region. This course covers the recent business and economics development of the region and its emergence as a global power. It also explores the industrial foundations on which certain key countries have developed as their future growth sectors.
  • 50.514/614 NZ-East Asian Relations
    This paper considers the development of New Zealand's own identity on the world stage through the establishment of its relationship with Asia. You will look into the structure of NZ Foreign Affairs & Trade and discuss the shifts in strategic and defence links with Asia.
  • 50.615 South East Asia
    This is a fascinating region in terms of political arrangements, race, language, culture, and history while still achieving a surprising level of cooperation. How have they achieved this success, what lessons can they teach the rest of the world. Time will be spent on orthodox ‘western' views of international institutions, globalisation, democracy and human rights compared to South East Asia.
  • 50.713 North East Asia
    This paper examines the political, economic, military and social aspects of North East Asian countries, including China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and North Korea in the context of modern international relations theory.
  • 80.502 Introduction to Ecotourism  
    The theory and background of the ecotourism industry are discussed in this paper. Questions such as what is ecotourism, does tourism eventually destroy what tourists came to discover, is ecotourism the answer, and what are the problems and future for developing a NZ ecotourism industry will be explored.
  • 90.602 Internationalism
    This paper will enable you to explore the global challenges such as free trade vs. fair trade, south -south cooperation, sustainable environment, poverty reduction, third world/global development, democratic governance, the impact of globalisation on indigenous people and universalising human rights. Examine changes to international politics and sweeping globalisation.

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