Faculty of PhilosophyJewish Studies – Bachelor 50%

The degree programme in Jewish Studies considers the Jewish religion, history and culture from the Antique period to the present day. Building on good language skills, it draws on a range of subdisciplines to offer students a comprehensive academic course.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeBachelor of Arts
Type of programmeUndergraduate
Start of programmeWinter semester only
Standard period of study6 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman
Fees and contributions151.05 € / Semester
Application procedureStudienanmeldung für Fächer ohne Zulassungsbeschränkung und ohne Aufnahmeprüfung Jüdische Studien, BA
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
Teaching degree optionYes

Course Content

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Jewish Studies offers students a wide-ranging introduction to Jewish religion, history and culture. It explores the origins of Judaism, including religious texts and their interpretation over time, the history of the Jewish people, Jewish philosophy, art and literature, as well as numerous additional aspects of Jewish life in the present and past. Throughout the degree programme, students develop advanced language proficiency (in modern Hebrew, biblical Hebrew, and a choice of either Aramaic or Yiddish). The degree programme qualifies graduates to continue on to a Master’s degree, for example a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies at the Heidelberg College for Jewish Studies. The degree programme is non-denominational and does not require pre-existing specialist knowledge.

Course Structure

The degree programme is modular. It includes introductory and advanced modules, as well as a specialised module. These consist in compulsory and compulsory elective modules, as well as modules relating to the examination prerequisites from the elective segment, and cross-disciplinary skills.

At the beginning of the academic course, students focus on improving their language proficiency (in modern Hebrew and biblical Hebrew). Students also gain an overview of the various subdisciplines within Jewish Studies. They receive an introduction to the principles of conducting academic work, and an introduction to Judaism from a rabbi.

In view of the fact that beginner-level language courses and other introductory courses are provided in the winter semester only, the degree course should be begun in the winter semester. Individual exceptions to this are possible, in particular where students already possess the requisite language skills.

Building on the linguistic and methodological knowledge they have gained, students complete advanced modules. Conceived as an interdisciplinary course component, students gain insight into two of three thematic modules - “culture and literature”, “Jewish experiences” and “religion and philosophy”.

The specialised module enables students to select their own area of specialisation, in which they complete one of the three thematic modules. Where Jewish Studies is studied as a major subject, students’ choice of specialism also determines the subdiscipline in which they will later complete their Bachelor’s thesis.

In the cross-disciplinary skills module, students develop key skills for the job market, as well as interdisciplinary and intercultural competencies.

Students may complete a semester abroad and achievements enabled by the relevant timetable of study will be recognised where possible. It is not mandatory to complete a semester abroad.

If Jewish Studies is chosen as a major subject, students must demonstrate their specialist subject knowledge and methodological skills through independent production of a Bachelor’s thesis. Students select the topic for their Bachelor’s thesis in discussion with a departmental lecturer. The topic must align with their chosen area of specialism, and sit within a subdiscipline of Jewish Studies.

They also select another subject from those offered by Heidelberg University, which they study with a 50% weighting. Suggested subject combinations:

  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • History
  • European Art History
  • Slavonic Studies
  • Semitic studies
  • Christianity and Culture

The polyvalent Bachelor's degree opens up two qualification options: the academic training can serve as the basis for the Master of Education in the Lehramt Gymnasium profile if the career goal is to become a teacher. At the same time, the polyvalent Bachelor can be the basis for a Master of Arts or Master of Science. This study decision can be made during the Bachelor's degree programme.