Oriental Studies (BA)

What is the degree programme about?

When it comes to the Orient, people think of culinary delights, exotic music or stories from Arabian Nights, but also of the oppression of women, despotic rulers and 9/11. Oriental Studies looks behind the scenes. Fundamental knowledge in the history of the Islamic world and the religions, languages and rich literature of the Orient forms the basis for addressing and classifying both historical and current Orient-related topics.

In your studies, you will discover all sorts of surprises: the German language uses Arabic words, Muslim rulers saved some of the most significant antique scripts from disappearing, the Koran repeatedly refers to biblical stories, and important inventions come from the Orient. In addition, you will need to study Arabic because it is crucial to investigating and understanding the culture of the Orient.

What can I do with this degree?

You can work:

  • in intercultural fields, where economics, politics and culture meet (tourism, public relations or national/international institutions)
  • in administration, associations and companies, in areas concerned with European and Middle Eastern aspects
  • in development aid, as a business or politics consultant, in security policy, migration and integration
  • as a regional analyst in public institutions, private foundations, companies, banks and international organisations
  • in language teaching and politics education
  • in research, specialising in a particular aspect of the subject (after postgraduate study)
What qualities and skills do I need?
  • interest in getting to know foreign cultures
  • interest in philological, historical and theological topics
  • talent in languages
  • perseverance and interest in working diligently on texts
Good reasons for choosing this degree programme
  • For this two-subject Bachelor's degree programme you choose another subject from a variety of Orient-related subjects at FAU such as political science and economics.
  • We have outstanding lecturers, who offer excellent seminars in diverse subjects such as Arabic dialectology and Islamic philosophy and calligraphy and support students in their studies.
  • FAU hosts the annual Bayerisches Orientkolloquium (oriental studies colloquium) which is attended by internationally recognised experts on the Orient.
  • Our institute looks beyond studying and university life and organises international conferences.
  • The Chair of Oriental Philology and Islamic Studies and the Chair of Semitic and Arabic Studies are well connected with partner institutes in the Orient, making it possible for you to spend a year studying at the German Jordanian University and soon also at the Hebrew University. You can also participate in one of the language courses at institutes abroad.
  • We have a well-equipped specialist reference library.
  • FAU's Department of Oriental Studies has an excellent reputation and over 270 years of history.
Potential challenges
  • In the seminars you have to be actively involved and prepare and revise the contents very well.
  • Arabic, the main language of the subject, is a very elegant yet demanding language. Learning it is time-consuming, hard work.
  • In the higher semesters, you are expected to invest quite some time in the preparation of difficult texts in foreign languages.
Can I study abroad?

As a student of Oriental Studies you can spend a year studying at the German Jordanian University and soon also at the Hebrew University. Moreover, you can attend language courses in Arabic countries. As an alternative to a language course abroad, you can complete a two-semester translation course at the Department.

Combinable degree programs

Can be combined*

Archaeological Sciences (BA), English and American Studies (BA), French Studies (BA), German Language and Literature (BA), History (BA), Greek Philology (BA), Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (BA), Italian Studies (BA), Japanese Studies (BA), Art History (BA), Latin Philology (BA), Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (BA), Business and Economics (BA), Philosophy (BA), Political Science (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*

Book Studies (BA), Computational Linguistics (BA), Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (BA), Cultural Geography (BA), Hispanic Studies (BA), Cultural History of Christianity (BA), Education (BA), Chinese Studies (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.

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