University of Heidelberg

M.A. Health and Society in South Asia

The Master of Arts Health and Society in South Asia (MAHASSA) is a two-year degree, focusing on Medical Anthropology and South Asian Studies. It is integrated with the curriculum at Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute, one of the world’s leading centers of interdisciplinary research and teaching on South Asia. This allows students to integrate South Asian languages, geography, politics, etc. into their plan of study. Most students base their master thesis on field research conducted in South Asia. The language of instruction is English.

MAHASSA combines Medical Anthropology with South Asian Studies. Medical Anthropology is the study of healing systems, not primarily in terms of scientific theories or health policies, but rather focusing on how they are practiced in concrete, socio-cultural contexts. MAHASSA students have observed and participated in health-related NGOs and development projects, worked in hospitals and with traditional healers, and conducted research on the health problems of South Asian migrants in Europe, just to name a few projects. They prepare for their research by studying not only the Medical Anthropology of South Asia, but also South Asian languages, history, political systems, economics and geography.

The program includes many health-related topics, including plural medical systems, Ayurveda and other forms of traditional Indian medicine, social justice and health, mental health, public health, global health, health and environment, the health of legal and illegal migrants, religion and healing, and fieldwork methods.

MAHASSA is designed for students who wish to pursue a health-related career in South Asia, and also for those who plan to go on to doctoral studies in Anthropology or related disciplines. Graduates of the MAHASSA program have pursued both of these options. We attract international students who work together in an interdisciplinary environment, where they benefit from each other’s academic as well as cultural background. We encourage South Asian students to apply.

Course Coordinator
Dr. Roman Sieler
South Asia Institute [R 510]
Department of Anthropology
Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: + 49 (0) 6221 548798
Fax: + 49 (0) 6221 548898

Secretary's Office
Sandra Joost
South Asia Institute [R 506]
Department of Anthropology
Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0) 6221 548931
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 548898

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

MAHASSA Examination Office


Mailing List
For announcements of upcoming lectures and other information about Medical Anthropology in Heidelberg, please subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email to Marcel Kamlesh Singhal:

Last modified 25th September, 2014

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