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What will I learn?

Our Coursework M.A. programme is a unique graduate degree option designed for those who aspire to internationalise their career and enrich their life experience through continued study in the social sciences. For over a decade, our programme has catered successfully to the needs of working professionals in Singapore, and is now available to students from all over the world. With a one-year investment, you can earn a Master of Arts degree awarded by Asia’s premier academic institution, the National University of Singapore.

Our department’s teaching staff represent the breadth of the social sciences and humanities, and regularly conduct original research in Southeast Asian Studies. Our inter-disciplinary approach promotes a critical regional methodology specific to the study of Southeast Asia. The NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences also boasts the highest concentration of Southeast Asia specialists in the world, and M.A. students have the option of taking classes with experts in other departments.

As one of our Coursework M.A. students, you will thus be exposed to a variety of scholarly perspectives, giving you a deeper and more focused understanding of the myriad political, social, economic, cultural, and other issues that define Southeast Asia as a region. Country-specific courses also offer in-depth exposure to national issues and challenges within ASEAN.

As a graduate of our Coursework M.A. programme, you will be equipped with the knowledge base and analytical skills you need to raise your professional profile and deepen your participation in ongoing global conversations about the key issues of our dynamic region.

The Department of Southeast Asian Studies is a department under the Asian Studies Division of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. As a department located in a university which has some of the best expertise and resources in the field of Southeast Asian Studies, we offer unique advantages to those who are interested in studying the region. Our location within the region also enables us to develop distinctive programmes that maximise our proximity to other Southeast Asian countries for our undergraduate and graduate research and curricula.

Our department aims to offer a truly inter-disciplinary approach which draws on different disciplinary perspectives and methodologies from the humanities and social sciences. We emphasise inter-disciplinary learning that is thoroughly informed by local experience and knowledge; this is accompanied by a fluency in a Southeast Asian language (currently, Bahasa Indonesia, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese). We offer BA, BA (Hons), MA by coursework, MA by research and PhD degrees. The Department of Southeast Asian Studies offers an ideal alternative to students who find conventional approaches unsatisfactory or who prefer a more subject-oriented curriculum.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the department are employed in a wide variety of jobs in the private and public sectors. They have an advantage in cases where a job requires familiarity with Southeast Asia, and in particular, an ability to communicate in a Southeast Asian language. Local and multinational corporations based in Singapore with interests in Southeast Asia find that the department’s graduates are able to function effectively in the region.

Southeast Asian Studies graduates have built successful and exciting careers in a wide range of areas including statutory boards and government ministries, business and tourism, journalism and other media, teaching, research, and academia, public relations, finances and market research, museums, cultural centres, arts festivals, arts councils, diplomatic work, and international organizations (e.g. aid agencies, NGOs and philanthropic foundations).

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
SG$35,450.00 (20,01,694) per year
Start date

Expected August 2022

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 require a Bachelor’s degree with honours or equivalent, in a relevant discipline; or a Bachelor’s degree with a relevant Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate with a minimum CAP of 3.00. English Language Requirements: TOEFL score is required: 85 for the internet-based test (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or 580 for the paper-based test; or 237 for the computer-based test; an IELTS score of 6.0.

For international students

Applicants should have: a good NUS Honours degree (second class and above) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelors degree with at least an average grade of B or equivalent) in related disciplines such as the humanities, social sciences, area studies, and other inter-disciplinary studies with evidence of having read subjects related to Southeast Asia or Asia; or a good Bachelors degree (at least an average grade of B equivalent) in related disciplines such as the humanities, social sciences, area studies, and other inter-disciplinary studies with evidence of having read subjects related to Southeast Asia or Asia and successful completion of a placement test or exceptionally, other relevant qualifications and experience, and successful completion of a placement test; however, admission is subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies.

English Language Requirements:

Internet-based test (iBT): Minimum score of 85 (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); Paper-based test (PBT): Minimum score of 580; Computer-based test (CBT): Minimum score of 237; minimum IELTS score of 6.0.

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