Study in Japan



Japanese Government (MEXT) Postgraduate Scholarships


The application window for the 2016 - 2018 MEXT Postgraduate Scholarships is now closed.

Applications for 2017 - 2019 will be available in April 2016.

Please note that the application system for the MEXT Postgraduate scholarships has changed slightly from previous years. It is essential that candidates have looked into suitable Japanese universities where they can conduct their research/studies and that these are listed on the attachment form at the time of application to the Embassy. Applicants who pass the Embassy selection stage of the application procedure will be expected to contact the universities listed on the attachment form to try and gain admission.

Annual Schedule

This is an example of the usual schedule. However, please note that these dates may vary slightly year to year.

Application period  

April - early June

UK interviews  

Mid - late July

Results of UK interviews*

Early August

Results of MEXT selection (Tokyo)*

Expected to arrive late December - January


Late February - early March

Pre-departure orientation

Early March

Departure for Japan      


*Please note that although candidates may be successful up until this point, the final result depends on confirmation of your university placement

The following website may be helpful in researching universities in Japan:

Do you have a subject specific question for a former MEXT Scholar? Or perhaps you just want to hear first hand what the scholarship experience was like? If so, send your questions to



For more information on the MEXT Scholarships and its Alumni Association, please see

For more information on the Global 30 project to attract foreign students to Japan:


For comprehensive information about study in Japan:


International students talk about their experiences of studying in Japan following the earthquake:

This award is offered on an annual basis to those with a minimum of a bachelor's degree, under the age of 35, who wish to continue their studies in Japan. The scholarship is offered for both research and taught postgraduate courses. With regard to a taught course, any additional entry requirements specified by each particular university must be met. No knowledge of Japan or the Japanese language is necessary.

Grantees can pursue research or study in any field as long as it is related to their field of expertise or previous study. It can be difficult, however, to place students who wish to study visual and performing arts. Candidates are encouraged to establish contacts with Japanese academics in their field when applying for the scholarship.

Scholarships are tenable from either April or October each year. Those leaving in April will hold their award for a minimum of two years, whilst those departing in October will hold theirs for a minimum of 18 months. The Japanese Government provides return air fare, school fees and a monthly grant of ¥150,000 (subject to change).


All enquiries should be directed to:

MEXT Postgraduate Scholarships
Japan Information and Cultural Centre
Embassy of Japan, 101-104 Piccadilly
London W1J 7JT





Nationality:Applicants must have British nationality. Applicants with a nationality other than British should contact the Embassy of Japan in their home country. Applicants who have Japanese nationality at the time of application will not be eligible.

Age: Applicants must be under the age of 35 as of April of the year they wish to depart for Japan.

Academic Background: Applicants must be university graduates or those who will graduate from a university or college by March or September of the year they wish to depart for Japan.

Study Area: The study area must be within or related to the field that the applicant has previously studied (or is now studying).

Japanese Language: Applicants do not need to have any knowledge of the Japanese language unless they wish to study subjects such as Japanese literature, law etc.

Health: In view of the expected psychological challenges due to cultural and environmental changes, mental as well as physical health is an essential prerequisite.

Arrival in Japan: Applicants must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan between the 1st and 7th of April or between the 1st and 7th October.


  • Military personnel and military civilian employees registered on the active list are ineligible.

  • The Scholarship may be cancelled if grantees fail to arrive in Japan by the appointed date.

  • Applicants who have been awarded a Japanese Government Scholarship in the past will not be selected as Grantees unless they have had a few years of research or teaching experience after returning to their home country. However, former "Japanese Studies" scholarship students may apply for admission to the MEXT Postgraduate Programme once they have completed their undergraduate programme after returning to their home countries.

  • Applicants who are already enrolled in a Japanese university are not eligible to apply.

  • Applicants who have been awarded another scholarship which coincides with the term of the Japanese government scholarship are not eligible.
Scholarship Benefits
  • University matriculation and tuition fees paid.

  • Allowance: ¥148,000 (subject to change) per month will be given to each Grantee during the term of his/her scholarship, with the understanding that the Scholarship will be suspended if the Grantee is absent from university for a lengthy period of time.

  • Return airfare to Japan

  • School Fees: Fees for the entrance examination, matriculation and tuition at universities will be exempted.

  • 6-month Japanese language course (if deemed necessary by the university)

  • Help finding accommodation
Term of Scholarship

Applicants may choose one of the following two categories:


  1. Two years from April to March. Including 6 months study of the Japanese language, to be given to those whose knowledge of the language is deemed insufficient to pursue their studies.

  2. One year and a half from October to March. Including 6 months study of the Japanese language, to be given to those whose knowledge of the language is insufficient to pursue their studies.
Application Process
Applicants should complete and submit the prescribed application forms (these usually become available to download from this webpage from April of each year) along with university transcripts from each academic year, a certified photocopy of degree certificate if already graduated or a letter from the university stating expected date of graduation if not, as well as two references. As part of the application documents, candidates will have to submit a detailed research proposal or explanation as to why they have selected a particular taught course.

Candidates can specify three university preferences on the application form. It is not necessary to have made formal contact with universities in Japan at the time of application to the Embassy, however it does make for a stronger application if there is evidence that research has been conducted into suitable universities and departments prior to the application. Only those who are selected after the Embassy interview stage are required to formally contact and gain acceptance into a Japanese university.



The Embassy of Japan in London will select preliminary candidates by inviting short listed candidates to interview. Those who have been selected as preliminary candidates will be recommended to MEXT through a screening committee. Final selection will be made by MEXT after the university placement has been confirmed.


  • In principle, applicants who wish to pursue such fields of study as Japanese linguistics, Japanese literature, Japanese history, Japanese law etc., will not be selected as Grantees unless they have sufficient knowledge of the Japanese language to follow these courses.

  • As part of the preliminary selection, an assessment test in Japanese will be given to all applicants. Candidates may also opt to take an English examination, in which case the highest result will be forwarded to MEXT.
Placement and Education at University
Candidates recommended for a scholarship will be required to gain admission as a research student or regular student at a university in Japan. In some cases MEXT will help with the placement. Final placement confirmation will be made by MEXT after consultation with the universities concerned. No objection by the Grantee can be made regarding the university placement.

A Grantee whose knowledge of the Japanese language is insufficient will be placed on a 6-month language training course upon arrival in Japan.

A Grantee whose knowledge of the Japanese language, at the time of application, is recognised by MEXT as sufficient to conduct his/her studies may be placed at a university without a preparatory course in the Japanese language.

Fields of Study

Humanities and Social Sciences: Literature, History, Aesthetics, Law, Politics, Economics, Commerce, Pedagogy, Psychology, Sociology, Music, Fine Arts, etc

Natural Sciences: Pure Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Fisheries, Pharmacology, Medicine, Dentistry, Home Economics, etc.

* Students majoring in medicine or dentistry will not be allowed to carry out clinical studies by conducting medical examinations or performing operations, unless they are permitted by the Minister of Health and Welfare under the provisions of the Japanese laws concerned.

** Fields of study must be one of those available at Japanese universities. Traditional entertainment arts, such as kabuki and Japanese dancing, as well as practical training given by factories or companies is excluded.





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