The one-year Master’s in Asian Studies specialisation Southeast Asian Studies at Leiden University is specifically designed for students interested in one or more aspects of Southeast Asia. During the programme you will learn about countries or regions in Southeast Asia from the perspectives of history, literature, art and art history, media and cultural studies, religious studies, philosophy or philology. Expertise at Leiden University is concentrated on Indonesia but extends to other Southeast Asian countries.
Students have the option of taking an intensive modern Indonesian language course. Knowledge of the Indonesian language is required for some, but not all, courses.
“A characteristic of our study is that it is strongly empirical: we offer factual material as well as comparative historical perspectives.”
“In 1992 I obtained my doctorate with my dissertation on Tembang in Two Traditions, a study of the handing down of the recital of Javanese poems in two different traditions, the tradition of a Javanese court in Central Java, and of the countryside in the far eastern part of Java, towards Bali. I placed ancient Javanese traditions in a modern context. My specialist field is modern media, music and Javanese theatre. My fascination can be traced back to my youth when I first came into contact with gamelan music, and played in a gamelan orchestra.
There are very few departments anywhere in the world which can measure up to the one in Leiden. Leiden has a long tradition in the field of studying Indonesia. The book collection of the University Library is unparalleled anywhere. Also outside the university, students have access to unique sources, such as the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). The staff corps also has eminent and active researchers.
A characteristic of our study is that it is strongly empirical: we offer a lot of factual material as well as comparative historical perspectives. This approach attracts students from all parts of the world.”