Japanese is unlike any language you have studied before. It could be your passport into a whole new culture, way of life and way of thinking that most Europeans never see. Knowing the language will also give you the key to understanding the country with the second largest economy in the world.

The UL course in Japanese allows you to combine study of Japanese language and culture with another major subject. This gives you a real advantage, as you will be able to integrate language skills into other fields of study as well as broaden your understanding of different cultures.

The Japanese classes are small, allowing the teachers to give you the maximum opportunity to use the language. Our Language Resource Area allows you to take the study of Japanese as far as you want to.

UL is the only institution outside Dublin offering Japanese as an elective or part of a degree programme.


Spoken Japanese is not difficult. Students’ main challenge is learning to use a new writing system, just as you have to do with Russian, Arabic and Chinese. Our first years are able to read and write using all three Japanese scripts by the end of first semester, so it can’t be that hard! As with any foreign language, students need motivation and organisation to succeed. Students studying Japanese regularly achieve high results, and a number of students say that results in Japanese have helped their overall results.


UL has been placing Japanese students in work placements in Japan for many years. This gives you the chance to live and work in the language you have been studying. It also helps you to apply what you are learning in your major subject to a Japanese context.
In addition, opportunities for university study in Japan are increasing, as UL increases exchange agreements with Japanese universities.


Graduates with good Japanese language skills are still a select few in Ireland. Employers recognize that students who pursue Japanese are not the average prospective employees. In other words, when you study Japanese, your CV will get noticed. Employers will see you as someone who is flexible and motivated with skills and qualities they want. Something else to consider is that there are over 50 Japanese companies in Ireland at the moment, and a rapidly-growing number of Irish companies exporting items ranging from salmon to software to Japan. These companies will need Japanese skills.
Japanese has begun to be taught at 2nd level in Ireland. It is currently being taught as a Transition Year module in about 60 schools, and is a Leaving Cert subject in 10 schools. Teaching opportunities can be expected to open up in this sector for graduates with Japanese in their degrees.

Courses in which you can study Japanese
LM029 - Bachelor of Laws (Law Plus) (with English Language Teaching and another subject)
LM050 - BBS with Japanese
LM044 - BA Applied Languages


Erika Marcet
Phone: +353 61 20 2992
Email: erika.marcet@ul.ie