Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Academic Office
  1. College of Asia Pacific Studies

Seminar Courses

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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.

Overview of AY 2025 Spring Semester Seminar System and New Applications

Coming Soon

Details of Undergraduate Seminar System and New Applications

Coming Soon

AY 2025 Spring Semester New Applications – Screening Results

Coming Soon

Related Information

Coming Soon

Graduation Thesis

Coming Soon

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 2023 Spring Semester =Whole Image= 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(PDF)

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

APS Seminar Course List(PDF)

  • *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.)
Application Schedule
Regular Pattern & for Students Returning from AOL/Exchange Program

Consultation Period: Wed, 2nd Nov, 2022 – Wed, 14th Dec, 2022

Application Period: Wed, 30th Nov, 2022 – 16:30 (JST), Wed, 14th Dec, 2022

Announcement of Screening Result: Wed, 25th Jan, 2023

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

Consultation Period: ~ Wed, 8th Feb, 2023

Application Period: Wed, 25th Jan, 2023 – 16:30 (JST) Wed, 8th Feb, 2023

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

*This refers only to students who will be in APU from Spring 2023; students who came to APU in 2022 Fall or before will be treated as regular students

How to Apply via manaba
Cancelling/Changing Seminars
For Irregular Patterns etc.

Screening Result for AY 2023 Spring Semester

Related Information

Undergraduate Thesis

How to Submit Your Undergraduate Thesis

Undergraduate Thesis schedule

10:00 (Japan Starndard Time), Fri, 6th January, 2023 - 16:30:00 (Japan Standard Time), Wed, 18th January, 2023

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

Thesis should be submitted online via manaba.
It is expected that accessing manaba 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 (PDF)

Undergraduate Thesis Graduation Research II Final Research Output Format

Undergraduate Thesis Graduation Research II Final Research Output Format (PDF)

List of Outstanding Theses in the AY2022 Fall Semester

College Year Semester Title
APS 2022 Fall Environmental Impact of Green Art Exhibition: Case Study of Paradisi Exhibition Project in Beppu, Japan
APS 2022 Fall Language Learning and Integration: A Case Study of Myanmar Migrant Workers in Samut Sakhon, Thailand
APS 2022 Fall The Hyperfeminine Costume as Masquerade: Costumes as a Medium for Female Gaze in Female Idols The case of AKB48
APS 2022 Fall エスニック雑貨市場に関する一考察 ―経済人類学における交換論の視点から ―
APS 2022 Fall 奈良観光における課題と魅力向上に向けた方策 〜なぜ人々は観光において奈良ではなく京都を選ぶのか〜
APS 2022 Fall 観光プロモーション手段としての物産展の役割 ~物産展は人々の観光動機に影響を与えるのか~
APS 2022 Fall The Impact of the Rana Plaza Collapse on Industries other than the Apparel Sector in Bangladesh: Investigating Three Channels for Impacts to Spillover
APS 2022 Fall 中東地域におけるLGBT ムスリム難民と人権保障 ―複合マイノリティと共に生きる―
APS 2022 Fall Investigating consumer sentiment on ethical practices by fast fashion brands
APS 2022 Fall 日本語訳の変遷から見る新改訳聖書の検討  ―訳語選定とひらがなに着目して―
APS 2022 Fall 望ましき廃棄物処理とは
APS 2022 Fall 写真的知覚の進化:「現代写真論」現代写真芸術 のゆくえ 消費社会における写真家のテーゼ、杉本博司の作品を通した考察
APS 2022 Fall 3つの防衛問題に見る朝日と読売のフレーミング 社説分析と報道記事分析からみる2 紙の政治的立場の違い
APS 2022 Fall なぜ現代にまでパレスチナ問題は続いているのか
APS 2022 Fall 学生による地域活性化 大分県別府市亀川地区を例に
APS 2022 Fall Eco-DRR導入 は、 タイ山岳民族の防災・ 減災策として効果的か? タイ山岳地帯のDoi Pui村 を事例に
APS 2022 Fall 広島が目指すべきグローバルなまちづくりの方策 〜福岡との比較にもとづき〜
APS 2022 Fall 共生社会を生き抜くために「楽しい裁判」は障害のある人のわがままではない主張を繰り返す ―JR九州駅無人化反対訴訟に挑む者たちの生の声を聞いて―
APS 2022 Fall 文化遺産の表象と世界遺産登録の是非 四国遍路を事例にして
APS 2022 Fall 日本人と亀にまつわる文化研究 ―日本の歴史資料を比較して―
APS 2022 Fall 風邪薬CM に見るジェンダー 女性は家事のために男性は仕事のために薬で治す
APS 2022 Fall テレビドラマにおける男性同性愛の表象 〜ドラマ『おっさんずラブ』のテクスト分析から見る現代社会〜
APS 2022 Fall Fear of Abandonment: Disclosing a Rationale Behind the Moon Jae-in Administration's Rapid Defense Budget Increase
APS 2022 Fall サステナブル未来予想図 ~夢の海上都市~
APS 2022 Fall 半導体を中心とした先端産業を巡る覇権争い――新古典派現実主義のアプローチから日本の経済安全保障を考察する

List of Outstanding Theses before the AY 2022 Fall Semester


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