Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Academic Office
  1. Chapter 8: College of Asia Pacific Studies
  2. 7. APS Major Education Subjects

7-2. Seminar Subjects

Share on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LINE

APS offers 2nd Year Seminars, 3rd Year Seminars, and 4th Year Seminars as Major Seminar courses.
Under the 2023 Curriculum, 3rd and 4th year seminars are required, and students aim to write a graduation thesis as a culmination of their 4 years of study.
In 3rd and 4th year seminars, students study under the same faculty supervisor for 2 years from their 5th to 8th semester, based on the results of the application made in their 4th semester.
An overview of the system is shown below, but details of the seminar application method, application period, etc. will be updated soon.

232023 Curriculum

  • Students who enrolled as new (1st year) students in AY 2023 or later.

2nd Year Seminars

2nd year seminars are Introduction to Research in Asia Pacific Studies and Research Methods. An overview of each course is shown below.

Introduction to Research in Asia Pacific Studies

To prepare for writing a graduation thesis in their 4th year, students try carrying out the process of writing a graduation thesis in their 2nd year by writing a thesis to completion based on a specific topic.
To prepare for writing a thesis in the humanities and social sciences field, students will choose from topics in the 3 categories below, and topics should be selected with the intention of emphasizing one of these three categories.

  • Theory and Philosophy-related: Develop a framework for thinking
  • Social Problems in Social Science-related: Consider how to identify social problems and how to solve them
  • Research-related: Actually research and consider

To write a thesis, students will carry out all of the steps including (1) Learning topic discipline (theories / methodology / ethics, etc.); (2) Formulate a question; (3) Confirm the significance of the research (significance to research or social significance); (4) Create the thesis structure: (5) Analyze and consider; and (6) Reach a conclusion.

Research Methods

This course aims to have students learn various research methods used in social science. Focusing on sociology, political science, and economics, students will comprehensively study research methods in each discipline in detail, take up specific research topics, and attempt to carry out practical analysis and consideration using various methods.
In addition to research methods, students will also deepen their knowledge of how to set a research topic, collect data, analyze it, summarize results, and of research ethics. As a result, they will gain the skills necessary for writing a graduation thesis.


3 rd Year Seminars

In 3rd year seminars, students clarify their research topics based on their studies and interests up to their 2nd year.
The content differs based on the seminar, but the goals of the course are to: (1) deepen understanding of a specific field through case studies, reading of the literature, and discussion, and (2) acquire the specialized knowledge necessary for writing a graduation thesis.

【Grade Evaluation】
Letter Grade (A+, A, B, C, F)

APS [Major Seminar]

Major seminars are required seminar-style courses that provide guidance for writing a graduation thesis. Through small-group instruction, students deepen their specialized learning of concepts, theories, methodology, etc. for analysis and consideration related to their topics, as well as participate in discussions, give presentations, and write reports.

4 th Year Seminars

This course aims to have students make the most of the knowledge and techniques they have gained up through their third year to write an undergraduate thesis as a culmination of their 4 years of study.
Students spend a year researching a topic they are interested in, and complete their theses in the second half of the year. In the first half of their 4th year, students take “Graduation Research I” (2 credits), and in the second half of the year they take “Graduation Research II” (2 credits) and “Undergraduate Thesis” (2 credits).

【Grade Evaluation】
Letter Grade (A+, A, B, C, F)

Graduation Research I

Graduation Research I is the course taken before students write their graduation thesis in Graduation Thesis II. As a culmination of their four years of study, students select their own research topic under the guidance of the course instructor and research specific matters, concepts, and theories in line with their topic to prepare for writing their graduation thesis.

Graduation Research II

In Graduation Thesis II, students summarize the research they carried out in Graduation Research I in a graduation thesis or report.
By writing a graduation thesis or report, students can gain the ability to analyze and consider research topics in greater depth, as well as learn how to express themselves more appropriately in their thesis or report. In other words, as undergraduate students, they are expected to gain and improve their ability to select an appropriate issue to research (topic, research question, etc.), collect information, analyze and consider the issue, and express their research results appropriately. Students must earn credit for this course to graduate from the College of Asia Pacific Studies.

【Overview of 3rd and 4th Year Seminars】
4th Semester 5th Semester 6th Semester 7th Semester 8th Semester
New Application Major Seminar Major Seminar Graduation Research I [Required]Graduation Research II
(Graduation Report)
2 Credits 2 Credits 2 Credits 2 Credits
Graduation Thesis
2 Credits
  • *3rd and 4th year seminars are all registered by the university.

172017 Curriculum

  • Students who enrolled as new (1st year) students in AY 2017 or later.
  • Students who enrolled as 2nd year transfer students in AY 2018 or later.
  • Students who enrolled as 3rd year transfer students in AY 2019 or later.

2nd Year Seminars

APS offers "Introduction to Research Methods" and "Preliminary Seminar (Research Methods)" as 2nd year seminar subjects.
In "Introduction to Research Methods," together with studying research methods for the social sciences, students conduct basic surveys and analyses, write reports, and give presentations. "Preliminary Seminar (Research Methods)" further develops the skills students cultivated in "Introduction to Research Methods" for their particular fields of expertise and serves as the link between "Introduction to Research Methods" and the 3rd year seminars students will be taking.
This is why taking this subject during the 4th semester is preferred and why "Introduction to Research Methods" is desirable as a prerequisite. "Preliminary Seminar (Research Methods)" courses for each of the four Areas of Study have been established, with classes offered in Japanese during the Fall Semester and classes offered in English during the Spring Semester. Please check the syllabus for detailed information because the area of training emphasized differs depending on the Area of Study (e.g., focus on reading documents, focus on field work, focus on hands-on practice, etc.).

* Subject titles enclosed in parenthesis refer to subjects from the AY 2011 Curriculum.

3rd Year Seminars

Any students interested in advancing to graduate study or finding employment in Japan are strongly encouraged to register for a small-group 3rd year seminar.
Although the contents of each individual seminar vary greatly, the main aim of all 3rd year seminars is the same: deepen understanding of a specific field through case studies, journal articles and debate, and master the specialized knowledge and skills necessary for writing an undergraduate thesis.

【Grade Evaluation】
Major Seminar I/II: Regular grading (A+, A, B, C, or F)

APS "Major SeminarⅠ&Ⅱ"

The main aim of the APS Major Seminar is to deepen students’ academic understanding of specific economic social issues, including the background and the structure of those issues, affecting the Asia Pacific region through research and discussion. Students also write academic reports on a chosen topic, which is essential training for further studies. The main fields are ″Environment & Development,″ ″Hospitality & Tourism,″ ″International Relations & Peace Studies″ and ″Culture, Society & Media.″ During their studies, students will further develop the fundamental research methods they acquired during their first two years and deepen their knowledge through analyzing a range of information. Some students may also take part in surveys, interviews or fieldwork in Japan or overseas.

4th Year Seminars

4th year seminars form the culmination of students’ four years of study at APU. This highly specialized subject allows students to select a topic of interest and conduct focused research over a one-year period.
Students take Research Seminar (2 credits) in the first half of their 4th year. Students who successfully pass this subject are then able to take Undergraduate Thesis (4 credits) the following semester. Only students who pass Research Seminar are able to register for Undergraduate Thesis.

【Grade Evaluation】

Research Seminar: Pass (P) / Fail (F)

Undergraduate Thesis: Regular grading (A+, A, B, C, or F)

AY 2024 Spring Semester =Overview= of Seminar System and New Application

Seminar System and New Application =Detail=

Recruitment information
Class・Syllabus list
Regular Pattern & for Students Returning from AOL/Exchange Program

APS Seminar Course List

For Students who are Re-enrolling, Transferring to APU, & Exchange Students (from RU, domestic or international universities)

APS Seminar Course List (Re-enrolling, Transferring, RU)

  • *To view the syllabus, click on the symbol beside the instructor name
  • *The class schedule for 3rd-year seminar ('Major Seminar I/II') on the Syllabus System is set to ‘3rd period Saturday’ by default.
    Please be informed that this is a “dummy” schedule.
    (Click here for details.)
Undergraduate Seminar Booklet
Application Schedule
Regular Pattern & for Students Returning from AOL/Exchange Program

Consultation Period: Wed, 15th Nov. 2023– Wed, 13th Dec. 2023

Application Period: Wed, 29th Nov. 2023 – 16:30:00 (JST) Wed, 13th Dec. 2023

Announcement of Screening Result: Wed, 24th Jan. 2024

For Students who are Re-enrolling, Transferring to APU, & Exchange Students (from RU, domestic or international universities)

Consultation Period: ~Wed, 7th Feb. 2024

Application Period: Wed, 24th Jan. 2024– 16:30:00 (JST) Wed, 7th Feb. 2024

Announcement of Screening Result: Late Feb. *Announced by email from the Academic Office

*This refers only to students who will be in APU from 2024 Spring; students who came to APU in 2023 Fall or before will be treated as regular students

How to Apply
  • Apply via RISING FDC
Seminar Application Form
  1. 3rd Year Main Seminar Application(1st Choice)
  2. 3rd Year Main Seminar Application(2nd Choice)
  3. 3rd Year Main Seminar Application (Sub-seminar)
  4. 4th Year Main Seminar Application(1st Choice)
  5. 4th Year Main Seminar Application(2nd Choice)
Cancelling/Changing Seminars
For Irregular Patterns etc.

Screening Result for AY 2023 Fall Semester

Related Information

Undergraduate Thesis

2023 Fall Semester

Undergraduate Thesis schedule

10:00(Japan Standard Time), Tue, 9th Jan, 2024 - 16:30:00(Japan Standard Time) Mon, 22th Jan, 2024

  • *Theses are to be submitted to the Academic Office via Moodle.
  • *Theses submitted to other office or by post etc. will not be accepted.
Thesis Requirements

Thesis should be submitted online via Moodle.
It is expected that accessing Moodle just before the deadline will be difficult so all students are strongly advised to submit their thesis well in advance.

Instruction Manualfor submitting the thesis

How to Submit your Thesis

Undergraduate Thesis Graduation Research II Final Research Output Format

Undergraduate Thesis Graduation Research II Final Research Output Format

List of Outstanding Theses in the AY 2023 Spring Semester

College Year Semester Title
APS 2023 Spring Zhejiang Province Residents’ Attitudes and Behavioral Changes after the Plastic Restrictions Issued in China in 2020
APS 2023 Spring The Socio-Emotional Behavior and Development of Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study of Siblings of Children with ASD in Indonesia & the Philippines
APS 2023 Spring Escaping Your Reality Through an Alternate Universe: The Socio-Psychological Effect of Isekai (異世界) on Indonesian Teenage Readers
APS 2023 Spring Mapping Out the Success of Democracy in Indonesia: Fukuyama’s Theory of Liberal Democracy
APS 2023 Spring The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) as a Form of Resistance to Gender Norms
APS 2023 Spring The horrors of teen monsters and rage: Investigating the patriarchal nature of women representation in Jennifer’s Body (2009)
APS 2023 Spring 大分県全域の均衡ある観光の発展 〜おおいた遺産を活用した方策〜
APS 2023 Spring 愛知県における若年層方言  -尾張方言と三河方言との比較研究を中心に-
APS 2023 Spring Identifying environmental consciousness and environmentally responsible behavior among young people visiting wetland parks: A case study of the Xixi wetland in China
APS 2023 Spring Indonesia through the Lens of Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Children with Hearing Parents: An Empirical  Study to Identify the Influence of Language Acquisition in Forming a Deaf Cultural Identity
APS 2023 Spring Education and Social Development of Elementary Students With Autism:  Inclusive School Promotes Better Social Skills Than Segregated School in the Case of Medan, Indonesia
APS 2023 Spring The Role of K-POP as a Soft Power in Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Japan: How could Korean Popular Culture affect the Current Young Generation of Japan?
APS 2023 Spring ダチョウは気候変動削減貢献の鍵となる存在であるか  ~畜産の面から、牛肉の代替になるのか~
APS 2023 Spring 多和田作品における越境経験を通した言語観について ―二作品に見られる言語創造に着目して―
APS 2023 Spring Framing Police Brutality:  CNN vs. Fox News on African Americans in the USA
APS 2023 Spring How did the Japanese refugee assistance system work from 2011 to 2021?
APS 2023 Spring Pyeonghwa: Finding peace on a belligerent peninsula
APS 2023 Spring Legitimacy of Global Private Sustainable Certification Scheme: An Assessment of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
APS 2023 Spring WTO Appellate Body Crisis: analysis of alleged causes, the role of shaken legitimacy and MPIA’s contribution in this crisis
APS 2023 Spring The Barriers for Chinese Citizens to Reduce the Use of Disposable Plastic Bags: A Case Study of Nangang District, Harbin City
APS 2023 Spring 日本仏教界はインドネシア仏教をどう描いたか ―戦前、戦中の仏教関係雑誌、書籍の分析を通して―
APS 2023 Spring Soil to Stomach: A comparative analysis on organic agriculture in Oita and Tamil Nadu

List of Outstanding Theses before the AY 2022 Fall Semester


Please enter search keywords