Gain fascinating insights into Japan’s rich language, culture and society

Let your love of languages give you an edge in the international job market.

  • Level

  • Graduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Duration

  • Available for part-time study over two years or more
  • International

  • Available for international students via distance learning
  • Other

  • Not all courses are available in any one year.

A Massey Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to get the equivalent of a major in Japanese.

Massey’s GradDipArts (Japanese) will equip you with upper-intermediate and above language skills in spoken and written Japanese. You’ll also gain a valuable understanding of aspects of the social and cultural background of this complex and powerful society.

You can expect to acquire competence equivalent to Level Three and above of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

The starting point is 200-level Japanese language courses. If you do not have prior proficiency you will need to take 100-level Japanese courses first, outside the Graduate Diploma structure. To establish your level of Japanese you may be required to take an online placement test. Please consult the programme coordinator for advice. The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) is not suitable for native Japanese speakers.

Learn a globally relevant language

The increasingly multicultural nature of society means it is important to learn about new languages and cultures, as well as how they interact with your own. Massey’s Japanese programme shows you the world from the Japanese perspective and how Japan has interacted with the rest of the world. You’ll gain skills applicable to your own communities.

Interactive study and supportive staff

Whether you study on campus or by distance you will learn from supportive, passionate staff who produce digital study materials. These are complete with exercises, audio, videos and presentations. Your instructors also deliver regular live online language tutorials for distance students. They ensure that you don’t have to learn on your own and that everyone can practise speaking Japanese in a shared environment.

Combines culture and language

Language doesn’t exist in isolation. It becomes more powerful when it is learnt in a cultural context. Although you may take mostly language courses, they are your lens for understanding Japanese culture and society better.  The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) will help you also explore your own culture and identity.

Careers and further study


With a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese), you’ll have career prospects in many areas, including:

  • trade and commerce
  • education
  • the Japan Exchange and teaching programme (JET)
  • foreign affairs
  • military and strategic affairs
  • border security
  • tourism
  • disaster management
  • creative arts
  • website localisation.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Endorsement courses from the Schedule – 90 credits
  • Electives from the Schedule – 30 credits

Endorsement courses must include at least 60 credits at 300 level.

Electives must include at least 15 credits at 300-level.

Courses for this specialisation

242201 Japanese 2A 15
242202 Japanese 2B 15
242203 Japanese Language and Society 15
242205 Japanese Cinema 15
242301 Japanese 3A 15
242302 Japanese 3B 15
242304 Reading and Writing about Current Japan 15
242305 Readings in Modern Japanese Literature 15
242307 Japanese-English Translation Techniques 15
242390 Individual Research Project in Japanese Studies 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

Full-time study comprises eight 15-credit courses for a total of 120 credits in one year. 

Please note that the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) cannot be completed in one year full-time because of the prerequisites for the language courses. It takes a minimum of two years, unless you start at 300-level Japanese.

If you already have prior knowledge of Japanese, you may enter at higher levels, subject to successful completion of an online placement test. You will need to contact the Programme Coordinator using the Enquire button on this page before you embark on language courses, so that you commence your studies at the most appropriate level for you.

The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) is not suitable for native Japanese speakers.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.

A good fit if you:

  • are interested in different people and cultures
  • are keen to improve the level of your Japanese
  • want skills that can take you all over the world.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.


Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships