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What will I learn?

Malay Studies enables students to cultivate scholarly knowledge and understanding of the Malays, in particular their history and cultural identity within the context of the modern world and its challenges.

The Department offers a broad range of multidisciplinary modules that deepen the students' understanding and appreciation of important areas in Malay life. These modules cover the broad topics of Malay cultural values, religious life, Malay politics and political economy, issues on development/modernization, Malay literature, myths and folklore, issues of leadership and the elite, Malay feudalism, the Malays and colonialism and other significant interests.

In the context of the department, Malay Studies simply means the academic and the scientific study of the Malays and major aspects of their lives. Hence the department focuses on their culture, religion, literature, language, development, politics and so on. To deepen our understanding of the Malays and their place in the modern world, we apply theoretical knowledge from the various disciplines and branches of the humanities and the social sciences.

Career Prospects

Malay Studies adopts a multidisciplinary and comparative approach covering broad issues of Malay society and Southeast Asia in general. Graduates of Malay Studies are well equipped to avail themselves of the various career opportunities open to graduates from other disciplines of the social sciences and humanities.

Students of Malay Studies enjoy particular advantage in careers requiring an intimate and in-depth understanding of the Malay/Muslim world of Southeast Asia, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore , be it in the private or public sector. They are also equipped with the knowledge to appreciate the dynamics of Muslim societies beyond the region.

Graduates of Malay Studies are to be noted among the present leaders of the Malay community, in government, public service, as well as in the private sector. They are significantly represented in the mass media industry and the education service.

This programme is aimed at providing an in-depth understanding of the contemporary Malay world, leading to an appreciation of the challenges faced by it in adapting and adjusting to the conditions of the modern world. The approach of the programme is multi-disciplinary, while emphasising the comparative dimension in relation to other societies and culture. Malay Studies enables students to cultivate scholarly knowledge and understanding of the Malays, in particular their history and cultural identity within the context of the modern world and its challenges. Graduates of Malay Studies are to be noted among the present leaders of the Malay community, in government, public service, as well as in the private sector. They are significantly represented in the mass media industry and the education service. The modules are Malays - Tradition, Conflict and Change; Islam and Contemporary Malay Society; Malay Culture and Society; Criticism in Modern Malay Literature (in Malay); Law and Malay Society; Malay Families and Households; The Malays in History; The Malays of Singapore; Modern Indonesian Literature (in Malay); Political Culture of the Malays; Classical Malay Literature; Ideology and Ideas on Malay Development; Malays and Modernization; Gender in Malay Societies; Political Economy of the Malays; The Religious Life of the Malays; Muslim Law in Southeast Asia; Malay Studies Internship; Theory and Practice in Malay Studies; Social Change 1900 - 1950; Malay Society in 19th Century; The Malay Middle Class; Malay Film; Honours Thesis; Independent Study; Topics in Malay Studies; Topics in Muslim Revival; Topics in Malay Culture and Globalization; Topics in Malay Narrative Art Forms.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
SG$17,650.00 (9,96,612) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

1 August 2022, 9 January 2023

Venue

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5,

5 Arts Link,

117570, Singapore

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants should have completed a high school. English Language Requirements: EL1119 minimum acceptable score C6; IELTS - 6.5 overall with 6.5 in Reading and Writing components; MUET-200; TOEFL - 580 for paper-based / 92-93 for internet-based.

For international students

If you are an international applicant seeking admission to NUS, you should have completed or are completing high school, that is, at least twelve years of general education by July of the year of application.

English Language requirement: IELTS - 6.5 overall with 6.5 in Reading and Writing components; MUET – 240; TOEFL: 92-93 for internet-based; EL1119 - C6; PTE Academic: 62 overall with 62 in Reading and Writing components; C1 Advanced / Cambridge English: Advanced - 180

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About National University of Singapore (NUS)

Along with the highest education standards, students at NUS benefit from an excellent overall experience with excellent research facilities.

  • Ranked 11th in the world (QS World rankings 2022)
  • Excellent graduation rate of over 97 percent
  • Leading research teams using cutting-edge facilities
  • Outstanding selection of courses across 17 faculties

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