Philip Seaton degree icon


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Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University

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Prospective Students

I welcome enquiries from prospective students who would be interested in undertaking postgraduate research under my supervision at Hokkaido University. I supervise in the areas of my research (please see my “research map” here). Before considering accepting any students I need to see: i) a CV, including evidence of Japanese language ability, ii) a research plan, and iii) the type of course you wish to apply for (see below). I will not finally accept students without an interview by telephone or skype.


Programme Types

There are four main ways to enter Hokudai as a postgraduate under my supervision:
1) MA course in the Faculty of Education, Kokusai Tagen Bunka Kyoikuron Koza (International and Multicultural Education Course).
2) PhD course in the Faculty of Education, Kokusai Tagen Bunka Kyoikuron Koza (International and Multicultural Education Course).
3) PhD Course in a faculty other than the Faculty of Education (e.g. Law, Media and Communication, Literature etc.). It is possible to enter another faculty and request that I am your second or third supervisor. However, this requires finding another supervisor and then negotiating my role with that supervisor.
4) Research student/kenkyusei: For people wanting time to prepare for entry to a postgraduate course, or for those wanting to spend time at Hokudai while not officially enrolled on a course (for example, doing fieldwork while being enrolled on a PhD programme elsewhere), there is always the possibility of being a kenkyusei, research student.


English and/or Japanese?

For all postgraduate courses (MA and PhD) it is mandatory to have sufficient Japanese to cope with postgraduate level research and department administration in Japanese.

For the MA, a pass at level 1 of the Japanese proficiency test (Nihongo Noryoku Shiken) is effectively the minimum Japanese language ability you will need. In the past, even people who have passed JLPT N1 have failed the language test given as part of the MA entrance exams. It is possible to write an MA thesis in English, but the thesis defence must be conducted in Japanese.

The language requirement is less strict if you are applying to do a PhD on a topic that can be researched using English-language literature only and you are planning to write the thesis in English. From 2015, the Graduate School of Education (International and Multicultural Education Course) has offered an English track, so the exam, thesis and thesis defence can all be conducted in English.


Photo: The University Library


Other Information

The Hokkaido University website has general information about  admissions to the Graduate School of Education. From there you can access the Graduate School’s website.

The Japanese government offers generous scholarships. Please contact the Japanese embassy in your country for details. As part of the application pack you will receive a document to be signed by a supervisor at a Japanese university. The final decision is made via a competitive application process in each country. It is also possible to be a self-funding research student.