Health and Society in South Asia

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
42 place StudyQA ranking:8257 Duration:24 months

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The MAHASSA program 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 and analyzing 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.

Main themes

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

For whom is the program designed?

MAHASSA is designed for students who wish to pursue a health-related career in South Asia, as well as 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 others academic as well as cultural background. We encourage South Asian students to apply.

Study environment

Heidelberg is a comprehensive university (Volluni­versität) integrating the natural and social sciences with the humanities. It is one of Germanys top universities (Germanys leading university in QS World University Ranking 2013/14), and one of the ol­dest in Europe, with approximately 30,000 students from 130 countries.

The South Asia Institute is Europes leading centre for South Asian Studies, with departments of Eco­nomics, Geography, History, Politics, and classical and modern South Asian languages, in addition to Anthropology. Affiliated professors teach Art Histo­ry, Buddhism, and Media Studies. The South Asia Institute regularly offers courses in eleven South Asian languages, and has one of the worlds lar­gest libraries in South Asian Studies, as well as branch offices in different South Asian countries.

Research networks

We cooperate closely with other Departments in the South Asia Institute.

Our Medical Anthropology Working Group meets re­gularly for lectures and presentations of colleagues, guests, and students. Well-known experts have spoken here, but we also encourage younger scho­lars to present their work in progress, so as to foster a lively and stimulating learning environment.

The Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Glo­bal Context has supported a number of research projects related to health, and MAHASSA students have regularly benefited from the guest lectures and MA-level instruction offered there.

We regularly teach short courses in Medical Anthro­pology for Heidelberg Universitys Institute of Public Health.

We also have strong links to Edinburgh University in Scotland, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche sci­entifique) in France.

The Master program comprises of the following core modules:

* Introduction to Medical Anthropology
* Healing in South Asia
* Methods in Medical Anthropology

Students can further choose between a variety of optional courses which focus on South Asia and Medical Anthropology. We put great emphasis on teaching students presentation skills and offer an optional module in Academic English. The Master thesis should be based on a work placement or a short field work research in South Asia, however, it can also rest upon a literary research.

The first semester gives an introduction into the field of medical anthropology generally and the medical anthropology of South Asia specifically. All students take two core introductory modules: in medical anthropology and in systems of healing in South Asia. Students also begin to study a South Asian language. In addition, they must choose two of several thematic and regional modules that reflect on the one hand the thematic interest in medical Anthropology and on the other hand the regional interest in South Asia. Thematic and regional modules may vary from year to year. Proposed courses deal with:

* Mental Health
* Reproductive Health
* Medical Anthropology and Modernity
* Ritual Healing
* Traditional Medical Systems of South Asia (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Tibetan Medicine) and their transformation
* Health and Environment
* Health and Ethics
* Public Health
* Health Tourism

The second semester focuses on anthropological research methods and dynamic relations between traditional concepts of health/ suffering/ healing and the impact of modern developments and changes. Besides proceding in their South Asian language students choose another regional or thematic module.

The third semester focuses on the design and realization of a relevant research project. All students take a core module on Master thesis preparation, during which they choose a relevant topic for anthropological inquiry, do an intensive literature research on their proposed topic, and design a proposal and work-plan for its realization. They continue to study one South Asian language, and choose another regional or thematic module.

The summer vacations and the fourth semester are used for fieldwork or work placement and for writing the Master thesis. Former MAHASSA students have worked on research topics such as infertility in Pakistan, the experience of yoga as preparation for childbirth in Germany, the role of practiced Islam in mental health nosology in Bangladesh, or undocumented migrants' access to healthcare in Germany.

During the first three semesters students can optionally take a module in either academic English, or other courses that teach presentation skills.

Admission The program will start again in October 2015. The application deadline for international students is June 15th, German students can enroll until the start of the winter semester.Successful applicants should hold a Bachelors degree in a health-oriented discipline or in social science, cultural or regional studies. Candidates not fully meeting these criteria may nevertheless be considered. Students whose first language is not English must have TOEFL score 230 computer-based.We encourage South Asian students to apply.International Students You are required to submit a written application in due time and form to Heidelberg University in order to participate in the application and selection procedure. Students must apply for admission using the application form (available here). Please complete the application form and submit all additional documents according to the instructions on the form. This includes: * Certified copy of your higher education entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur, Highschool Diploma), if applicable a certified translation into English, German or French * Certified copies of all higher education diplomas (university, college, etc.), including a list of grades per semester (Transcript of Records), if applicable a certified translation into English, German or French * Curriculum Vitae * Letter detailing your reasons for applying * 2 letters of reference * Copy of your passport (identity page) * 3 passport photos (please write your name on the back side) * If applicable: your IELTS (or equivalent TOEFL) score. Test scores can be sent separately, as soon as available If the bachelor's degree has not been awarded yet at the time of the application deadline, you have to submit a provisional certificate issued by your current higher education institution, certifying the study achievements completed so far (Transcript of Records). Your higher education institution must also certify that your current study program is expected to be completed by the beginning of the semester you are applying for at Heidelberg University. The application form for admission including additional documents should be sent to the Akademisches Auslandsamt of Heidelberg University: Akademisches Auslandsamt Zulassungsstelle Masterprogramme Seminarstraße 2 Universität Heidelberg 69117 Heidelberg GermanyGerman Students German students must make an appointment with the course coordinator in October and show the following documents: B.A. certificate, higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), and an English language test score. Students will then receive an immatriculation confirmation from the MAHASSA office, with which they can enrol at the Central Student Advisory Office. Please note: German students who have obtained their B.A. degree outside of Germany should make an appointment with the course coordinator at least 4 weeks before the semester starts since the Akademisches Auslandsamt has to verify their certificates. Admission Regulations (in German)Notification of Admission or Rejection Four to eight weeks after the close of the application period, all candidates will receive one of the following letters informing them of the results of their application: Letter of Admission All students will be notified by letter as to the results of the admission procedure four to six weeks after the final application deadline. The letters of admission contain all necessary information regarding the formalities of study, deadlines for registration as well as a declaration of acceptance on the part of the applicant which must be returned immediately. Letter of Rejection Letters of rejection, including the reasons for the rejection, are sent out within 8 weeks after the conclusion of the application period. English Language TestThe International English Language Testing System (IELTS) The IELTS examination is organized by the British Council at least once a month upon request. Students are required to have a score of at least 6.5. Students should contact the nearest British Council centre in their home country to register for this test as soon as possible. For more information please visit The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) TOEFL is organized by the ETS (Educational Testing Service). It exists as a paper-based test (PBT) and as an online test (TOEFL iBT test). The format depends on the respective test center. For more information please visit English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 570 TOEFL iBT® test: 80
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