Southeast Asian Studies

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.

Choose Southeast Asian Studies at Leiden University:

  • Choose the areas in which you specialise, thanks to a modular programme format that offers elective courses throughout the programme and an individually supervised thesis.
  • Develop your classical or modern language fluency or gain new skills, knowledge and fluency in a different, relevant modern language.
  • Broaden and deepen your knowledge of South Asia across a wide range of complementary disciplines.
  • Learn from some of Europe’s best scholars in the field at Leiden University, offering you the very best of Asia-related research in North-West Europe.
  • Tailor your area of expertise by choosing to focus either on language and a single country, or on a specific discipline and region, with many courses that examine regional issues beyond the study of a country or language.

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.

Check out the programme in Southeast Asian Studies.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Asian Studies
  • Degree Master of Arts in Asian Studies
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 1 year
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60839

Prof. Bernard Arps

Bernard Arps

“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.”

Find your master's at Leiden University