• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History, Asian Studies, Security Studies More...
  • Major code SEAS-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate


Southeast Asia is known for its role as an economic hub, as well as its political and cultural diversity. Students in the Southeast Asian Studies major at ANU have access to a wide range of scholars and courses on language, history, cultures, and politics in the region. By completing coursework as prescribed by the major, students will gain a deeper understanding of regional issues, such as power, globalization, ethnicity and gender, as well as processes and issues specific to their country or area of interest. These can include religious systems, economic networks and cross-cultural contact. Current major strengths are in Burmese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese studies, and some of our staff also support work relating to other ethnic nationality and trans-border issues. In addition to developing a critical, analytical understanding of Southeast Asia, past and present, students gain significant knowledge and skills which will boost their qualifications for finding employment, or alternatively, further study for a higher degree program.
The Southeast Asian studies major is designed to complement the Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese language majors, and the Burmese and Tetum language minors, though knowledge of these languages is not required for courses in the Southeast Asian studies major.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Understand and evaluate historical and current events and developments that have shaped Southeast Asia,
2. Identify and critique the contemporary socio-cultural and political systems of Southeast Asia, with detailed understanding of differing trajectories across Mainland and Island Southeast Asia,
3. Analyse current debates relating to regional cooperation and unity, including with supra-national groups, namely ASEAN, in the context of tensions in traditions,
4. Analyse the global significance of events and developments in Southeast Asia,
5. Understand the processes and disciplinary approaches through which current knowledge about Southeast Asia Studies has developed.  

Areas of Interest

  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Asian Studies
  • Security Studies
  • Asia Pacific Studies
  • Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Politics
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Major Requirements


This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ASIA1025 Asia and the Pacific: Power, diversity and change 6
ASIA1030 Asia and the Pacific in Motion 6

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ASIA2041 Mainland Southeast Asia: Colonial and Postcolonial Predicaments 6
ASIA3030 History of the State System in Southeast Asia 6

A minimum of 18 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ANTH3014 Indonesia Field School: Contemporary Change in Indonesia 6
ARCH2050 Archaeology of Southeast Asia 6
ARTH2056 Art and Architecture of Southeast Asia: Tradition and Transformation 6
ASIA2039 Burma/Myanmar - a Country in Crisis 6
ASIA2060 Southeast Asian Security 6
ASIA2070 Democracy in Southeast Asia 6
ASIA2090 Study Tour: The Political Economy of Myanmar 6
ASIA2165 Islam in Southeast Asia 6
ASIA2167 Borders and their Transgressions in Mainland Southeast Asia 6
ASIA2516 Indonesia: Politics, Society and Development 6
ASIA3035 Indonesia in the Malay World: Culture, Media and Everyday Life 6
ASIA3014 Study Tour: Southeast Asian Frontiers – Thailand and Burma/Myanmar 12
ANTH2135 Vietnam Field School 6-12
INTR2028 Regionalism, Rights and Order in Southeast Asia 6
ASIA2111 Indonesian Foreign and Security Policy 6
WARS2002 The Vietnam Wars: 1941-1989 6

A maximum of 6 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ASIA2016 The Mongol Empire in World History 6
ASIA3029 Reconciliation and the memory of conflict in Asia 6
ASIA2045 Lies, Conspiracy and Propaganda 6
ASIA3021 Engaging Asia: Australia and the Asian Century 6
ASIA2093 Natural Resource Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific 6
ASIA2307 History of Empire in Asia 6
ASIA2304 What is Literature? Asian Perspectives 6
ASIA2067 Economies of Emerging Asia 6
ASIA2065 Asian Politics: From Concepts to Causes 6
ASIA2301 Human Migration and Expansion in the Rise of the Asia-Pacific 6
ASIA2302 Culture and Modernity in Asia: Anthropological Perspectives 6
ASIA2001 Language in Asia and the Pacific 6
ASIA2103 Language in Asia and the Pacific (L) 6
ASIA2311 Gender and Cultural Studies in Asia and the Pacific 6
INTR2047 Human Security: Conflict, Displacement and Peace Building 6
INTR2014 Indian Foreign and Security Policy 6
INTR2012 Chinese Foreign and Security Policy 6
INTR2016 US Foreign and Security Policy in Asia 6
INTR2010 International Relations in the Asia-Pacific 6
ASIA3053 The Death of God in the Asia-Pacific 6
STST2001 International Security issues in the Asia Pacific 6
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