Specialising on the world’s largest democracy, global economic powerhouse and most populous region?

The MA in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies) equips students to work with, on and in this dynamic region. The programme offers a deep and interdisciplinary understanding of the rapidly transforming society and culture in India and South Asia and its entangled history with Asia and the West. It gives students an opportunity to learn Hindi, which is the most common language in South Asia, on an advanced level (language track) and to acquire skills to deal with the Indian subcontinent in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world (international/non-language track).

Today almost 25% of the world’s population live in South Asia (ca. triple the size of the EU). India's population is expected to overtake that of China by 2025, while other South Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh are already the sixth and seventh most populous countries in the world. The population growth coincides with the rise of India as emerging economy and other potential “development stars” (e.g. Bangladesh), but also with an increasing political assertiveness on the global stage.

Yet, India differs from countries like China by being a stable democracy. With two nuclear powers and several unresolved border conflicts (including India-China), the region will take centre stage in an ever more globalised world. The MA in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies) counts as two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits) and has two tracks: Track A1: “language specialisation” Track A2: international specialisation.


The MA in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies) counts as two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits) and has two tracks:

Track A1: language specialisation

Track A2: international specialisation

Download and print a short presentation of the MA programme in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies) 2017.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degree programmes qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Asia studies (India/South Asia studies):

  • Bachelor’s degree programme in South Asia studies at Aarhus University (legal entitlement to admission)
  • Bachelor’s degree programme in modern India and South Asia studies (University of Copenhagen)

The following Bachelor’s degree programmes also qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Asia studies (India/South Asia studies), A2 track specialising in social studies:

  • Bachelor’s degree programme in Asia studies (Indology) at the University of Copenhagen, providing that applicants have studied modern India (or South Asia) corresponding to at least 30 ECTS credits on the Bachelor’s degree programme
  • Bachelor’s degree programmes in the humanities or social sciences with a supplementary subject in South Asia studies (45 ECTS)

Subject to individual assessment, the board of studies may admit students with other Bachelor’s degrees with a similar focus on the society and culture of India and South Asia (track A2) or with a knowledge of Hindi corresponding to Danish Bachelor’s level (track A1).

Legal entitlement to admission

Students of the Bachelor’s degree programme in South Asia studies at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master’s degree programme in Asia studies (India and South Asia studies) if they apply for admission with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor’s degree programme to the Master’s degree programme. This legal entitlement only exists if applications are received on time by Aarhus University.

Language requirement

In addition to the above requirements, admission to the Master’s degree programme in Asia studies (India and South Asia studies) requires English at upper-secondary ‘B’ level or the equivalent.


See the general documentation requirements.

Please note that applicants are NOT required to upload course descriptions.

Programme structure

Master Degree Programme in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies)

  • A Study Diagramme with links to Aarhus University's Course Catalogue will be available as soon as The Study Regulations are approved.

Students have an opportunity to choose an individual profile in the third semester of the programme, in the form of:

  • Study abroad (30 ECTS)
  • Profile courses (30 ECTS)
  • Internship (30 ECTS)

Studying abroad

An obvious choice is to take a semester at a university in India or South Asia. Aarhus University has agreements with many universities in India and South Asia, and we can help you if you wish to study abroad.

You can also choose to carry out field work abroad. You will spend a minimum of three months abroad, and here you must independently collect and process ethnographic material. Typically, you will continue to work with the collected empirical data for your Master's thesis in the fourth semester.

You may also choose to complete the entire field work or part of it as an internship (work placement) at an institution, a company or a project - for example at a research institution, a museum, a private enterprise, a development project or at state or local government institutions.

The Study Portal Arts has collected relevant information regarding study abroad, so don’t hesitate to drop by, get inspired and travel abroad!

Profile courses

Profile courses are interdisciplinary courses with a strong professional orientation for Master's degree students on humanities degree programmes. Profile courses are placed in the third semester of all Master's degree programmes governed by the academic regulations from 2011 and 2012 and onward. You can choose between five profiles:


By choosing an internship, you get the opportunity to view your theoretical knowledge in a practical perspective, you create a network and get business experience. As part of the preparation for the internship, you must get in touch with the company/organisation/institution which you wish to collaborate with. Concurrently with your internship/work placement, you follow teaching and/or supervision. Upon completion of the internship programme, you will be required to submit an assignment. Please see The Study Portal for more information.

As a student it is important to know the regulations for your chosen subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you. You can find this information in the academic regulations.



Student life

Asian Studies at Aarhus University provide you with a lively study environment and a wealth of opportunities for participating in both academic and social activities.

You may, among other things, participate in:

The degree programme committee: This is the students’ political body, where everything from academic regulations to Christmas lunches and excursions are discussed. The degree programme committee consists of students from both Chinese and Japanese studies, and it is a great place to meet other students. The degree programme committee is also responsible for organising parties and Friday bars, and for showing Asian films to the students.

Generally, the Faculty of Arts and Aarhus University organise many events for students – e.g. lectures, student fairs, career days, seminars, celebrations and sports days. For more information, please see s. Read more at

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.


The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.


Competence profile

With a Master Degree in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies), you are proficient in:

  • Hindi: You can read, write, speak and understand modern Hindi.
  • History and culture: Having studied India’s history, society and culture, you are able to analyse specific events and incidents in the light of history, religion or society, and to relate them to each other.
  • Intercultural communication: Your thorough knowledge of Indian culture, etiquette, history and society makes you skilled at communicating information between India and Denmark, and at understanding cultural communication between Asia and the West.
  • Structuring: In the course of your studies, you learn to use a structured, analytical approach and to work independently in academic contexts, on assignments and in searching for information.
  • Written and oral phraseology: In addition to your skills in Hindi, you learn to communicate your results in correct Danish.

Job profile

A degree in Asian Studies (India and South Asia Studies) prepares you to work in the following areas:

  • Export and outsourcing: Collaboration between Danish and Indian companies and institutions.
  • International development and collaboration: There are many development projects in India that are supported by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) or different NGOs, and India also plays an important role in the UN, the WTO and other international organisations.
  • Teaching: at universities, evening classes, folk high schools and language schools.
  • Translating/interpreting: in UN contexts, private companies or integration projects, for example.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.