Degree structure

Students are required to complete a minimum of 124 credits to graduate.  Credits are split into foundational courses, liberal arts and languages, major subjects, and elective credits.  Students are required to complete a minimum number of credits in each section in order to graduate.    


Lectures form the basis for undergraduate courses.  These allow students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the field by taking instruction from leading scientists in their fields. One credit is the equivalent of ten 75-minute lectures, with 2-hours of self-study for every hour of class time.  Most lecture courses are 1 or 2 credits.  

Assessment is normally by a mix of in-class reports and a final exam.  However, in some cases, instructors set an assignment or other work to be completed by students.

Practical Classes

Practical classes (lab and field classes) allow students to develop a hands-on understanding of the subject and practice the skills required to become a functional scientist. Lab courses are nominally rated at ten 3-hour sessions per credit.  Field courses at Shimoda marine research center and Sugadaira montane research center are intensive and run during C sessions or holidays.

Generally, students will be evaluated on the basis of a lab or field report completed during the course.

Final Year Project

Students are required to complete a research project under the direction of a faculty member during the final year of their degree.  Projects last a full year, and students are expected to work on it full-time.  At the end of the project, students present their results to their peers in a departmental seminar.  Students have access to well-equipped labs, and are advised by qualified, experienced researchers. 

Students are evaluated on the basis of their participation and effort during the research and their final presentation.

Structure and duration

Our degree starts in September, and students are expected to complete approximately 110 credits in six taught semesters, before completing a full-year research project in their fourth year.

Each semester is 15 weeks long, and split into three 5-week sections: A, B, and C.  Generally, lectures run in A and B, with intensive practical classes in section C.


Examples of final year research project titles

Research Project Advisor(s)
Analysis of Proteosome Associated Protein ECM29 in Immunoproteosome function Tomoki Chiba
Anti-Melanoma Effect of Caffeic acid and Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester through the alleviation of Oxidative Stress Kazuichi Sakamoto
Artificial Induction of Olfactory Memory in Fruit Flies Katsuo Furukubo-Tokunaga
Carbon and nitrogen interactions between Phtheirospermum japonicum /Orobanche minor and host Trifolium pratense Louis John Irving
Effect of Ocean Acidification on Coastal Plankton Communities Takeo Hama
Plasticity of thermal noiception induced by ambient temperature in Drosophila melanogaster Katsuo Furukubo-Tokunaga
Spermatogenesis in the Japanese spiny rock lobster Kazuo Inaba
The function and expression of anthocyanin pigments in the carnivorous plant, Drosera rotundifolia Louis John Irving