Home > Courses >

Modern Languages and Literatures of South Asia / Communication, Literature and Media in Modern South Asian Languages

Degree Master of Arts
Application required access-restricted
Course commences winter semester / summer semester
Standard course duration 4 semesters
Format options full-time only
Language requirements English C1 (on application), German B1 (on application;
Bengali or Hindi or Urdu or Tamil (on application)
Language of instruction German and English
Other features postgraduate / consecutive

Faculty of Philosophy


Course outline

In its scholarly engagement with the modern languages of South Asia, the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literature takes a largely philological approach. However, it focuses not only on literature in the stricter sense of the term but also on original non-literary sources that cast light on the history of ideas and on historical/political aspects of this pluricultural area.

The core programme encompasses classes on Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Tamil. Where possible, the curriculum is broadened by offerings pertaining to other South Asian languages.

For more information on the course, go to the website of the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literature at the South Asia Institute. When - or preferably before - embarking on the programme, students are strongly advised to take advantage of the student counselling services available.

Course structure

This M.A. course is an initiation into scholarly engagement with its subject matter and forms the foundation for later research work. Standard course duration including completion of the M.A. thesis is four semesters.

The precondition for admission to the programme is advanced knowledge (corresponding to approx. 20-30 hours study time per week) of at least one of the languages taught at the Institute (Bengali, Hindi, Tamil or Urdu). Students majoring in the subject will attend courses in one other language or enhance their knowledge of a second language they have already learned.

On the way to their M.A. thesis, students will develop a study focus of their own after attending various advanced (literature) seminars. In consultation with their academic advisor, they can also attend subject-related classes offered by other departments.

The examination consists of a 60-minute oral part and a written, research-oriented essay that must be embarked on two weeks after the oral exam at the latest. The essay should be approx. 55 pages long and be completed within 4 months.

Subsidiary (minor) subject

In this programme, 20 CP are obtained in a subsidiary (minor) subject. Click here for a list of all subsidiary subjects available.

The M.A. course Communication, Literature and Media in Modern South Asian Languages can be studied as a subsidiary (minor) subject of 20 CP. As a subsidiary (minor) subject, the course can be taken without previous linguistic credentials.

Main research interests

Modern Indology is concerned mainly with linguistic and textual studies focusing on modern South Asia. The relevant literatures and languages are regarded in their cultural contexts (in the fullest sense of the term) with special importance attached to their interactions with their societal, historical/political and religious environs. In the near future there will also be more intensive engagement with Islamic and other modern religious currents in South Asia.

Formal requirements


Access to the course is restricted. The current Admission Regulations are available here.

Prospective students from Germany

Prospective students from Germany can enrol without prior application at the Central University Administration building by the beginning of the lecture period. To matriculate, they are required to show a written statement of admission issued by the representative of the Master’s programme they wish to attend, confirming that the requirements set out in the Admission Regulations have been met. Please apply to the South Asia Institute for further information on how to proceed.

International prospective students

Prospective students from other countries must apply in writing, so that their previous academic record can be verified. The deadline for international applicants is 15 June for the following winter semester. Applications must be addressed directly to the International Relations Office. Please use the M.A. application form here and enclose the necessary documents.

Further information

Current information on procedure


Study and examination regulations

Examination regulations M.A. (4 April 2007)
Examination regulations M.A. (28 November 2014)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

Academic advisor

Arian Hopf
Südasieninstitut - Neusprachliche Südasienstudien
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
69120 Heidelberg
Office hours: Tuesday, 2-4 p.m.
Room 215
Phone: +49 6221 54 8799
Elizaveta Ilves
Südasieninstitut - Neusprachliche Südasienstudien
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
69120 Heidelberg
Office hours: Wednesday, 2-4 p.m.
Room 215
Phone: +49 6221 54 8799


South Asia Institute
Department of Modern Indology
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
D-69120 Heidelberg


Britta Cierniak, Office 217
phone: +49 (0)6221 548837
fax: +49 (0)6221 548841


Editor: e-mail
Latest Revision: 2018-04-10
zum Seitenanfang/up