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South Asian Studies (MA) (60EC)

The MA South Asian Studies at Leiden University is designed for students with an interest in studying South Asia from a range of perspectives including its history, literature, art, media, culture, religions, philosophy and philology.

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Why study South Asian Studies in Leiden University?

This one-year master's in South Asian Studies offers you a world-class qualification that combines a comparative and global approach with specialised and in-depth expertise. You will learn about the countries or regions of South Asia from the perspective of a wide range of complementary disciplines including history, literature, art history, media and cultural studies, religious studies, philosophy and philology.

Learn more about the study programme

Customise your degree

A flexible degree format allows you to tailor your degree to reflect your interests or specific career goals. Choose from a broad range of electives, select your own area of research for your MA thesis, and focus your studies on a language and a single country, or on a specific discipline and region.

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?

Check the entry requirements

Learn a language

Knowledge of an Asian language is not required for this master’s programme, You do have the option of taking an intensive Hindi, Sanskrit or Tibetan language courses. These courses are taken instead of an elective in both the first and second semesters.

Jonathan Silk

Professor of Buddhist Studies

Jonathan Silk

“Leiden University has incredible strengths – it is possible, for instance, to study Buddhism across the whole of Asia. The library of our Kern Institute, the national centre of expertise for South Asia and the Himalayan region, is famous around the world for its excellent resources on South Asia and Tibet.”

Reading Buddhist texts

"I teach introductory courses on Buddhism, and advanced thematic seminars on various topics. And of course, I always love to read Buddhist texts with students in their original languages as well as in translation. The study of Buddhism should be a dynamic synthesis of factual knowledge and critical perspectives, and the Leiden master’s programme offers students just this approach."

Learn from internationally-acclaimed scholars

Expertise on Asia at Leiden University is internationally renowned and spans the whole of Asia. Small classes give you direct and regular contact with your lecturers. You will learn from some of Europe's best scholars in the field, many of whom are at the leading edge of Asia-related research.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 26 Government and semi-government
  • 14 Education
  • 12 Financial institutions
  • 7 IT
  • 7 Culture, sports and recreation
  • 7 Industrial sector
  • 5 Research
  • 5 Consultancy
  • 5 Information management
  • 14 Other

The graph above is based on alumni data from the MA Asian Studies 2016-2020.

Find out more about the career prospects

South Asian Studies degree

South Asian Studies at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a master’s degree in Asian Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).

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