Bachelor’s programme South and Southeast Asian Studies

In your first year you will follow core courses designed to give you a basic understanding of the history, cultures, and modern societies of South and Southeast Asia. In addition, you will also follow elective courses of your own choosing. Your most important choice will be between the four available languages, Hindi, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Indonesian, the study of one of which will make up one third of your study programme in both Year 1 and Year 2.

In your first year you will also choose between introductory courses on three major religions of the region, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

Examples of core subjects (Year 1):

Examples of elective subjects (Year 1):

More information about your first year at South and Southeast Asian Studies.

Second year

In Year 2 you will opt for one of two thematic specializations or ‘tracks’, ‘Modern South and Modern Southeast Asia’ and ‘Classical Cultures of South and Southeast Asia’, each with its own range of elective courses to choose from. It will also be possible to follow one course from the other track if you so wish. In addition you will attend a seminar in which you will learn to develop your academic skills, and of course continue with the language you chose in the first year.

Third year and BA-thesis

In the first half of their third year, those students learning Hindi and Indonesian will spend a semester abroad in (respectively) India or Indonesia, where they will take classes at a local university. This experience of linguistic and cultural immersion is a signature element of the South and Southeast Asian Studies programme. For students of Sanskrit and Tibetan, parallel options are available.

For more information, see choosing your own route.

In the second semester of Year 3, students write a 10,000-word thesis on a topic of their own choosing under the personal supervision of a member of the teaching staff. There is also a generous ‘discretionary space’ for elective courses, including courses from outside the South and Southeast Asian Studies programme.

Examples of thesis topics

SSEAS testimonial Simone Verkaik

The programme looks at a beautiful and dynamic region in terms of history, politics, economy and culture. It engages with all these different points of view and teaches you how they all interact with each other. Right now, the economies of South and Southeast Asia are growing rapidly which makes it a very interesting region to study.

Chat with us on Skype!

If you have questions about the South and Southeast Asian Studies BA programme, then a member of Siitaa, the programme’s student-run study association, will be pleased to chat with you via Skype. Please send Siitaa an e-mail to make an appointment.

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Please note: unfortunately, Siitaa cannot answer detailed questions about admissibility. If you have questions about admission to the South and Southeast Asian Studies Bachelor’s programme, please contact the Coordinator of Studies.