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):
- Pre-Modern History of South and Southeast Asia
- Seminar I: Classical Cultures of South and Southeast Asia
- Histories of Modern South and Southeast Asia
- State, Politics and Economy of Modern South and Southeast Asia
Examples of elective subjects (Year 1):
- Indonesian Language 1
- Tibetan 1
- Sanskrit 1
- Hindi 1
- Introduction to Buddhism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Introduction to the Study of Islam
More information about your first year at South and Southeast Asian Studies.
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
- Tourism and Cultural Change in Bali and Tana Toraja
- Rapes, Reportage and the Crisis of Masculinity in Contemporary India
- The International Security of Small States in South Asia
- Mughal Miniatures in the Akbari Period (1556-1605)
- Social Media, Politicians and Sex Scandals in Indonesia