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India and South Asia Studies

The study of the extraordinary diversity within South Asia in terms of social, cultural, and political life, combined with comprehensive language training in Hindi.

About the programme
Quota 1 2019: All admitted   |   Quota 2 2019: -  
: Danish (and partly English)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: Week 35


This programme is only offered in Danish.

South Asia Rising

South Asia is a name for the region that includes the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. Together, these countries account for almost 1/4th of the world’s population. South Asia is also the site of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, birthplace of Gandhi, home to Bollywood (the world’s biggest film industry), and an important centre of global culture and commerce.   

Studying South Asia

In the India and South Asia studies programme, students will acquire extensive knowledge of South Asia, its social, cultural, political, and economic life, and the varied—and changing—patterns of everyday life in the region. Although the focus is on India, the programme also touches on regional similarities and social and political conditions in countries such as Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Students will also learn to speak, read, and write in Hindi, South Asia’s most widely spoken language. No prior knowledge of Hindi is required.

Small class sizes allow for concentrated teacher–student and student–student engagement. Teaching takes both a theoretical and applied approach, making use of lectures, classroom discussion, practical exercises, study group activities, and student presentations.

Live in India for a Semester

Students spend a semester in India, where they receive advanced immersion training in Hindi, enhance their cultural competency, and gain first-hand familiarity with globalizing India as both a regional powerhouse and a developing country facing pressing challenges of poverty, limited infrastructure, and changing aspirations.

Career Opportunities

With one of the youngest populations in the world, a rising middle class, and fast-paced economic growth, South Asia is a region with tremendous economic potential. As the region becomes increasingly prominent, it generates significant opportunities and careers all across the globe, and comprehensive knowledge of the region and familiarity with Hindi is a major asset for job seekers working with, on, and in the region. Most graduates of the Bachelor’s programme in India and South Asia studies go on to do a Master’s degree. Studying in the India and South Asia Studies can then open doors to careers in consultancy, diplomacy, teaching, translation, tourism, cultural exchange, development, and communication.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:

qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B
  • An additional language at A level (or B level in case of an advanced language).

*The requirement of an additional language qualification may be replaced by an introductory course in connection with the degree programme.

If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).

The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission.

Quota 2

Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.

Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of: 

  1. a grade average calculated on the basis of the particularly relevant subjects (Quota 2 subjects), listed below
  2. other particularly relevant documented qualifications.

Read more about Aarhus University's quota 2 criteria.


Quota 2 subjects:

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B

Programme structure

The courses on the South Asia studies programme focus on two main areas. You will primarily learn and acquire skills in the Hindi language. In addition, you will learn about the history, culture and social conditions of India and the other regions in South Asia. The degree programme thus has both a practical and theoretical focus.

Academic regulations

In the academic regulations for the Bachelor’s degree programme in South Asia studies, you can find more information about the individual subjects, the programme structure and the requirements you must meet as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.

The degree programme diagram gives an outline of the entire Bachelor’s degree programme in South Asia studies. You can click on the different courses to read the course descriptions.


Student life

Teaching on the programme in South Asia studies

By far the majority of the teaching at South Asia studies takes place as classroom teaching, where you and your fellow students actively participate through class discussions. You will also become acquainted with lectures, where your lecturer reviews the assigned texts. On the South Asia studies programme, you will be part of a study group and do presentations together, as well as sparing with one another in connection with exams.

Below is an example of a timetable for a week during the first semester. You will find that South Asia studies is a full-time degree programme, where you will spend a lot of time preparing for the individual lessons.

10:00 - 12:00 Practical exercises: Hindi 1
12:00 - 16:00 Preparation time
16:00 - 18:00 Practical exercises: Hindi 1

08:00 - 13:00 Preparation time
14:00 - 16:00 Classroom instruction: Hindi 1
16:00 - 18:00 Lecture: Hindi 1

8:00 - 11:00 Classroom instruction: South Asian History
12:00 - 16:00 Preparation time

08:00 - 12:00 Preparation time
12:00 - 14:00 Lecture: Hindi 1
14:00 - 16:00 Practical exercises: Hindi 1

08:00 - 10:00 Practical exercises: Hindi 1
10:00 - 12:00 Classroom instruction: Hindi 1
12:00 - 16:00 Preparation time

Social life on the South Asia studies programme

At South Asia studies, you will be part of a social community with students from the other area studies, such as Arab and Islamic studies. During your studies you have the chance to get become involved in a number of social associations:

Asian Friday bar
Once a month the Asian Friday bar organises a specially themed bar, where you can have a good time with your fellow students over a cold beer or soft drink. The Asian Friday bar also organises the annual Christmas party.

The Film Club
The Film Club offers you the chance to spoil yourself with films that are not only entertaining, but also strengthen your academic skills.

The Discussion Club
If you feel like discussing current social or cultural issues in India, then you should join the Discussion Club at South Asia studies.

Studying abroad

At South Asia studies, taking a semester in India to strengthen your Hindi and experience the South Asian culture is an obvious choice. South Asia studies at Aarhus University collaborates with other Nordic universities on the Varanesi language programme, which gives you the opportunity to take part in an exchange programme in India during the second semester. Read more about the programme here: http://cisca.au.dk/study-in-india/hindi-programme-varanasi/.

Commencement of studies

Your time at Aarhus University will begin with an introductory week in week 35 (the last week of August). During this week, you will get an introduction to IT systems, exam forms and degree programme structure and opportunities as well as meeting your teachers. You can read more about your commencement of studies and the introductory week here. On this page, you will also find tips and good advice for new students at Aarhus University.

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Your job opportunities as a Bachelor of South Asia studies depend on the supplementary subject you choose and also what Master’s degree programme you chose later on.

With a Bachelor’s degree in South Asia studies you will be able to communicate orally and in writing in modern Hindi. You will also have broad knowledge of South Asian history, culture and social conditions, including current social and political conditions. The degree programme will primarily focus on India, which is the region's most important and largest country, but you will also learn about other countries in the region – including Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

A degree in South Asia studies gives you the opportunity to work with export and outsourcing between Danish and Indian companies or institutions. You can also go on to work with international development and collaboration in South Asia, or to teach at night schools, folk high schools and language schools.

Supplementary subject

As part of the fourth year of the BA degree programme in South Asia studies, you must choose a supplementary subject. You can choose between a wide range of subjects. Here are some examples of supplementary subjects other South Asia studies students have chosen:

  • Supplementary subject in Aesthetic Communication
  • Supplementary subject in Anthropology
  • Supplementary subject in Globalisation and Cultural Identity 



Master’s degree programmes

Having completed your Bachelor’s degree programme in South Asia studies, you can continue your studies on a number of different Master’s degree programmes. However, you should be aware that admission to some programmes requires specific supplementary subjects:

  • The Master's degree program in Asian studies (India and South Asia studies), where you build on the academic foundation from your Bachelor’s degree programme, and also gain a deeper insight into the ever-changing society and culture of India and South Asia.
  • The Master’s degree programme in international studies, which adds a broad international perspective to your degree programme.
  • The Master's degree programme in anthropology, in which you study the world’s cultures and communities.