Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (BA)

What is the degree programme about?

Vedic Sanskrit, Old Persian and Avestan? Pre-Hellenistic Greek, Old Latin and Proto-Germanic? Anatolian, Celtic and Tocharian? Is it still possible to learn these languages today? Of course – even though Indo-European and Indo-Iranian studies is not as widely studied as perhaps German studies or history. In this degree programme the aim is to describe these and other Indo-European and Indo-Iranian languages in detail, explain their similarities and differences, and reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European language and make new discoveries by doing so.

For this reason, language learning is a key part of the degree programme and there are introductory courses in languages such as Sanskrit, Proto-Norse and Hittite. But what use are languages if we don't apply them? You will apply these languages in seminars on topics such as the Old Persian inscriptions of the great kings Darius and Xerxes, Homer's epics or the Gothic Bible. In addition to language-based seminars, there are also courses on the mythologies and cultures of the regions where they were used.

What can I do with this degree?

Over the course of this degree programme, you will not only gain language skills and cultural skills in a specialist area, you will also learn methods of dealing with languages in general, no matter how differently they have developed. You will develop the ability to analyse, reconstruct and compare the emergence and development of languages and cultures.

By studying different languages, their texts, their history and their writing systems, you will learn how to interpret and reflect on unfamiliar content and structures, enabling you to think critically in other situations. Graduates of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies may pursue a career in research or in one of the following areas:

  • publishing and libraries (e.g. in combination with book studies)
  • public relations, cultural management or student travel agencies
  • international institutions
  • information processing
  • software development for language-related programs (e.g. in combination with computational linguistics or computer science)
  • adult education, including education for migrants
  • journalism (e.g. in combination with German studies)
What qualities and skills do I need?
  • an interest in where words, names and expressions in different languages come from and in investigating language (e.g. where do names like Gudrun and Thorsten come from?)
  • a general interest in how language works and interest in different writing systems and cultural history in general
Good reasons for choosing to study at FAU

Students receive intensive support and advice from lecturers at FAU. Lecturers are also happy to expand on topics that students are especially interested in and help them organise their studies.

Potential challenges

You need to be prepared to persevere, even if you experience difficulties to start with. You should also be prepared to take your own approach to texts and develop your own ideas without worrying about making mistakes in the beginning.

Combinable degree programs

Can be combined*

Archaeological Sciences (BA), Book Studies (BA), English and American Studies (BA), French Studies (BA), German Language and Literature (BA), Greek Philology (BA), Hispanic Studies (BA), Islamic-Religious Studies (BA), Italian Studies (BA), Cultural History of Christianity (BA), Art History (BA), Latin Philology (BA), Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (BA), Oriental Studies (BA), Education (BA), Political Science (BA), Chinese Studies (BA), Scandinavian Studies (BA), Sociology (BA), Theatre and Media Studies (BA)

*These courses are scheduled in such a way that the subjects can usually be combined without overlapping.

Can be combined after consulting a study advisor*

Computational Linguistics (BA), Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (BA), Cultural Geography (BA), History (BA), Japanese Studies (BA), Business and Economics (BA), Philosophy (BA)

As it is not guaranteed that there will be no overlap between teaching times in this combination, you will be required to submit proof of consultation with a study advisor when enrolling. Please contact the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) or the Student Service Centre of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology.

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Degree program start date and application deadlines

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Start date of degree program: Winter Term

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Degree type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Type of study: Two subject Bachelor's degree programme
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 6 Semester
Start date of degree program: Winter Term
Size: (currently 1-50 Students)
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions