This course will introduce you to the study of the unique human faculty of language and to the investigation of the world's languages. You will explore a number of fascinating topics such as the ways in which dialects differ, how languages arise, change and die, how children acquire their first language, differences between the speech of men and women, how we communicate as individuals and within groups, and what happens when speakers of different languages come into contact. You will also discover how language can be used to shape and manipulate ideas and opinions, looking in detail at how language and thought interact in fields such as politics and advertising. In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation. We aim to provide students with a firm grounding in the Japanese language along with understandings of Japan in historical, cultural, social and global contexts. Students will be studying Japanese throughout the course. The core language teaching enables students to develop various linguistic skills: speaking and writing accurately; understanding and analysing audio, video and written materials; using different registers; speaking to a group with confidence; and translating with appropriate sensitivity. Students follow a Japanese Studies curriculum through which they will learn about Japan-related topics in historical, linguistic, cultural, religious and other contexts, drawing on the wide range of research carried out by staff in Japanese Studies. The course centres around a core framework in year 1 but some choice of modules from year 2 onwards will enable students to focus on particular areas of interest in the study of Japan and East Asia. Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive and that a great deal of time is required for this throughout the course (extending through the summer period between years one and two, particularly for beginners). The first few weeks may be particularly intensive for those who have not encountered Japanese script and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned at least the hiragana script prior to Week One of teaching; guidance on materials to help with this can be obtained from the language tutors.