Department of Southeast Asian Studies
FAQ for the B.A. with specialization in Southeast Asian Studies

FAQ for the B.A. with specialization in Southeast Asian Studies


Which countries belong to Southeast Asia?

The following countries belong to Southeast Asia:

  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • The Philippines
  • Brunei
  • Vietnam
  • East Timor
  • Singapore

Courses in the following Southeast Asia languages are offered at the University of Passau

  • Thai
  • Vietnamese
  • Indonesian

Additionally, each semester, a course on India is given by the Department of Comparative Development and Cultural Studies (Specialization: Southeast Asia)

Category: SOA Bachelor
How is the specialization in Southeast Asian Studies integrated into the framework of Cultural Studies?

The study of the Southeast Asian cultural area draws on the content of social and cultural sciences. Students develop an understanding of the current social, political and cultural dynamics of the region, as well as acquiring the requisite background historical knowledge. Our aim is to develop students’ own capacity to analyse and interpret present-day processes and trends.

The Foundation Module focuses on general principles of social and cultural studies. Students should attend the introductory lecture course in the first (winter) semester, and the foundation course in the second (summer) semester. Students must also obtain credits from two seminars. It is recommended that students attend these seminars in parallel with the introductory lecture course or the foundation course.

For the Exam Modules, students choose between Cultural Studies and Social Studies. In each case students are required to take part in a seminar and attend a lecture course. The lecture course on Cultural Studies is generally given in the winter semester and the one on Social Studies in the summer semester. Students can only take the Exam Modules after having successfully completed the Foundation Module.

Category: SOA Bachelor
What are the formal requirements for written assignments?

Please refer to the document Advice on academic work as well as to the APA STYLE LITE and the Harvard Referencing Style.

Category: SOA Bachelor
How should I go about requesting an academic reference?

If possible, contact the person you are requesting the reference from well in advance and, in any case, at least two weeks before the date that the reference is needed. You should provide a copy of your CV, a transcript of grades and a short written request for a reference, explaining why you need it. Bear in mind that an academic member of staff can only provide a meaningful reference if s/he has had prior personal contact with you, for example if you have attended a lecture course that s/he has given.

Category: SOA Bachelor
Where can I get advice on study abroad?
  • Follow this link for information on cooperation agreements with universities in Southeast Asia
  • The International Office provides advice on Partner Universities, funding opportunities and entry requirements
  • The Intern Office of the Kuwi netzwerk international e.V. (University of Passau students and alumni association) regulates the recognition of one-month internships in Germany of abroad undertaken as part of the cultural studies program (only in German)
  • The Career Service provides advice for all stages of the internship: from the search for a position and the application process to writing and presenting the Internship Report (only in German)
Category: SOA Bachelor
How do I write a field trip report/research project report?

The examination regulations include the requirement that students undertake a Profile Module (a module individually tailored to their own interests) in the form of a field tips or research project lasting at least eight days. Students can either organize their own research project or take part in a field trip organized by the University. Each student is required to write a report of about10 pages on the research project or field trip s/he took part in. The report should be presented to the field trip leader or the Chair of the department.

The formal requirements for the report are the same as for written assignments. However in this case, students are not asked to write a literature review, but to analyse and reflect on their own data and experiences. The starting point is to define a research question, that can be analysed, leading to a conclusion. The research question can be theoretical, empirical or practical.

Example: Report of a field trip to a village of the Lisu ethnic minority in north Thailand

  • Theoretical research question: How do clan structure and related marriage rules, including dowry rules, influence gender-specific forms of division of labour?
  • Empirical research question: What are the reasons for the independence of Lisu women in matters concerning the household budget and crop selection?
  • Practical research question: Do Lisu women play a central role in the dissemination of agricultural innovation and therefore also for sustainable resource use?

In defining a research question, students should take account of current state of knowledge of the issue, and this should be summarized in the report. It is important that the report should compare the student’s own data with data from the scientific literature, drawing attention to any differences or contradictions etc. The data should first be presented and then analysed; the analysis will provide the basis for the student’s interpretation of the data. The choice of data and information to include in the report, and the analysis and interpretation, should all focus on the research question the student has chosen to investigate.

Category: SOA Bachelor
Can I get recognition for academic credits obtained overseas?

Basically, academic credits are recognized if they are directly related to cultural studies. The relation to cultural studies must be explicit in the title of the study module and/or the dissertation. The recognition of language course credits obtained overseas is handled by the Language Centre.

If the credit includes a grade, this will also be recognized by the University and included in your academic transcript. The formal requirements for recognition of academic credits are as follows:

  1. The title of the study module (or other work for which the credit was obtained) must be in English or German
  2. The type of study module (lecture course, practical training, proseminar etc.) must be explicit in the certificate
  3. The number of ECTS credits obtained must be known
  4. For accreditation towards the Exam Modules, it must be clear which grade for the degree course at Passau corresponds to the original grade obtained

Since academic transcripts are official documents, and grades obtained in the Exam Module are specified on the Degree Certificate, it is essential to comply with the formal criteria listed above. Please find out in advance whether or not your credits meet these criteria!

Please also note that the academic transcript must be written in a language the course Chair can understand. Professor Korff accepts transcripts in English, German and Thai, and Professor Padmanabhan in German and English.

Category: SOA Bachelor
How can I select an appropriate topic for my Bachelor’s thesis?

Students are encouraged to select a topic for their Bachelor’s thesis that is focused on Southeast Asia. Find out here about our ongoing research and discuss your ideas with academic members of staff.

Possible thematic areas at each department include:

A) Department of Comparative Development and Cultural Studies (Specialization: Southeast Asia)

  • Comparative developmental research, development policy and processes
  • Institutional analysis
  • Transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity
  • Gender studies
  • Social ecology, rural development
  • Social movements, civil society organizations, activism
  • Religion, Islam

B) Department of Southeast Asian Studies

  • Comparative developmental research, development policy and processes
  • Institutional and organizational analysis, network analysis
  • Conflict, catastrophes, nation building
  • Urbanization, urban life, medium-sized town, peri-urban areas, investment in housing
  • Media, state-media relations, new media, social networks, community radio
Category: SOA Bachelor