The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Major in Philosophy, History and Languages at Ahmedabad University is the only interdisciplinary degree of its kind in India. The programme involves a vibrant community of students and faculty who share a concern for questions that are cross-disciplinary. Acquainting students with major intellectual trends in the Humanities, the course of study is problem-based or theme-based and draws upon diverse theoretical orientations. PHL teaches precision of scholarship and encourages students to chart new critical approaches to areas of study that span Philosophy, History and Languages. A central component is the study of languages relevant to a chosen theme or problem.

Depending on the theme chosen, students have the option to enrol in a wide range of courses such as ethics, intellectual history, post-colonial studies, and political philosophy. The major equips students with rigorous critical thinking and writing skills required in any future career.

For Admissions 2020, Click here

Programme Outcomes

Students of the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, History and Languages will:

  • Have the unique opportunity to tailor an interdisciplinary course of study
  • Gain fluency in a language of their choosing
  • Study an area of interest from multiple angles. For example, a student studying the freedom movement can learn not only about its history, but also the philosophical ideas that underpinned it and the writing of participants involved in it in Hindi, Urdu or Gujarati
  • Learn how to think critically, read with sensitivity and effectively communicate their ideas in writing

Course Structure

All incoming Undergraduates at Ahmedabad University start with the Foundation programme, an interdisciplinary course that covers fields from Mathematics to Literature through project-based learning.

With its commitment to independent study, the course structure of the PHL major is very open-ended. The major offers students the opportunity to study a specific area in history, philosophy and languages, or to chart the connections between them. Students enroll in introductory courses, language courses and electives, in which they have the freedom to tailor their studies to their areas of interest.

Introductory Courses

Four introductory courses introduce students to broad and specific themes that they will encounter throughout the major. The introductory courses are:

Introduction to Humanistic Enquiry
Interpreting Texts
Research Methods
PHL Colloquium

Languages will be offered at three levels: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. The elementary level has no prerequisites and it begins with basic grammar and phonology. At the Intermediate level, students begin to engage with the larger context in which a text was produced as well as its reception history. The Intermediate level is divided into two semesters that introduce students to different genres. The Advanced level builds upon and reinforces the grammatical and textual analysis developed at the Intermediate level and prepares the student for advanced competency. The primary object is to enable students to make sense of a text through its own categories and engage with the problems that questions raised by it. The languages offered for the 2019 intake are:


Students entering with advanced competency or fluency in their language or interest may also devise their own plan, in consultation with faculty, for fulfilling the language requirement.

Discipline Electives

In the later part of the degree, students can take a range of discipline electives, which will be determined by individual faculty members. The electives will largely focus on Greater India and Eurasia. Electives are divided into Lower-division, Upper-division and Seminar courses. Sample electives might include:

Global Intellectual history
Moral philosophy
Ideas of Kingship Across Eurasia
Indian Ocean Networks
Reading Across Early Modern Asia
Comparative Philosophy
Post-colonial theory
Subjectivity and Objectivity
Undergraduate Thesis

As with all majors at Ahmedabad University, students pursue their own interests with an Undergraduate thesis in PHL which they complete in their final year. The thesis is taken as a seminar course, designed to teach students the research and writing skills necessary to complete their Bachelors thesis. Students discuss research problems and critique each other’s preliminary drafts and sections of their theses. The seminar culminates in the production of a Bachelors thesis, an original research paper in which students explore their own research questions.


Faculty Spotlight

Professor Samuel Wright specialises in the intellectual history of South Asia, particularly the pre-modern period dating from the 15th to 18th century. He is completing a book about the intersection between arguments in Sanskrit logic and epistemology and the social context within which they were made. He explores how Sanskrit intellectuals were patronised by new zamindars (landlords) in the early modern period. In doing so, he examines how this interaction informed and influenced the intellectuals’ ideas about, for instance, social identities, political values, property, and religion.

Professor Wright is interested in using digital techniques in the humanities, and is currently using digital tools to map networks of scholars in 18th and 19th century India.

Career Pathways

Graduates of the degree in Philosophy, History and Languages will be prepared for a wide range of careers. Strong critical thinking, writing and language skills together with the ability to analyse and interpret texts will enable graduates to succeed in law, media, politics, the development sector, government service, the civil services, publicity and marketing, journalism, translation, and research.

Graduates acquire a demonstrable record as scholars and researchers with the capacity to complete original and innovative work. They are ideally placed to pursue higher studies in Philosophy, History or Languages, and a range of disciplines across the Humanities.


The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, History and Languages is open to anyone who has completed class 12 or the equivalent.
To know more about the admissions calendar and the selection process - Click here

Your browser is out-of-date!

For a richer surfing experience on our website, please update your browser.Update my browser now!