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South Asian Studies

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Application: not required
Course commences : winter semester only
Standard course duration: 6 semesters
Focus options: 100%; 75%; 50%; 25%
Format option: full-time / part-time
Language requirements: none
Languages of instruction: English, German, occasionally South Asian languages


Faculty of Philosophy


Course outline

This B.A. course is an interdisciplinary, practically oriented course at the South Asia Institute dedicated to imparting to its students practical language proficiency, philological expertise and a factual education geared to cultural studies and the social sciences.

The programme takes place at the South Asia Institute in an environment unique in all Germany for its interdisciplinary teaching and research and the precision with which it reflects the regional diversity of South Asia. For over 40 years, the scholars working at the South Asia Institute have specialised in the countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, dealing with subjects like development economics, anthropology, modern languages and literatures of India (Modern Indology), the cultural and religious history of South Asia (Classical Indology), the history of South Asia, its geography and political systems.

The South Asian Studies B.A. course provides intensive instruction in Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, modern Tibetan, classical Tibetan and Urdu. In addition students can select Dari, Nepali, Newari, Pali and Singhalese as supplementary languages. The specific knowledge acquired from the B.A. course is supplemented by special cross-disciplinary skills tailored to South Asia. One special feature of the B.A. programme is the mobility window in the 5th semester enabling main-course students to put their theoretical knowledge to the test. They can spend at least three months on an internship in South Asia, study at a South Asian university or accompany research projects.

For more information, go to the website of the South Asia Institute.

Main research interests

Since its establishment in 1962, the South Asia Institute has profited from its interdisciplinary approach and its restriction to one specific region to develop a plethora of scholarly interests within a well-defined research field. The SAI was (and still is) the first institution of its kind in Germany to dovetail cultural-studies subjects like Indology, South Asian history and South Asian art history with economics, social sciences and geography. Since the early years, the research focus, alongside classical Indology and the investigation of historical and geographical aspects of South Asia, has broadened to encompass observation and analysis of cultural, economic and social development, the cultivation of regional languages and their literatures and the investigation of reception problems affecting the acceptance of European public and constitutional law and western business practices in countries with different cultural backgrounds.

Formal requirements


There are no admission restrictions to the course. Click here for information on how to enrol.

International applicants

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2).

Subject combinations

Possible subject combinations are listed in the Catalogue of Subjects.

Study and examination regulations

Examination regulations B.A. (22 April 2013)
Examination regulations B.A. (06 July 2016)

Module Handbool

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.

M.A. course

The South Asia Institute offers a consecutive M.A. course in Development, Environment, Societies, and History in South Asia and M.A. courses in South Asian Cultural and Religious History, Health and Society in South Asia, and Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures.

Academic advisor / Examinations office

Lars Stöwesand
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330,
Office 224
D-69120 Heidelberg
Mondays 10 - 12 am, Wednesdays 2 - 4 pm
phone: +49 (0)6221 544313
fax: +49 (0)6221 544998

Student representation:

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 2018-09-19
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