Graduate Studies at IAS

IAS offers a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Asian Studies by research. These programs will challenge and guide students with ambition and talent. The programs are tailored for students with a strong desire to work in an international and competitive environment among our competitive researchers in the social sciences, humanities, and multi-disciplinary studies.

Our staff comes from a multi-disciplinary background, including sociology, anthropology, environmental studies, history, and economics. They are research-active and able to supervise innovative research in Asian Studies.

With the guidance of their supervisor, students are expected to explore niche areas of research on Asian Studies that engage current global theoretical and methodological approaches.

The Programs and their Requirements

Programme Type:

Master of Arts in Asian Studies (By Research)

Entry Requirements:

Specific Entry Requirements:

     • A first degree with equivalent to second class honours in a relevant discipline from the Universiti Brunei Darussalam or a university recognised by UBD.

     • A research proposal outlining the scope of work should be submitted. The proposal should include, but may not be confined to: Introduction to subject; Research aims and objectives, any working hypotheses if applicable; Literature review; Methodology, including any data requirements; Resource requirements, and; Timeline of work. The research proposal should be approximately 1,500 words in length.

Programme Type:

Phd in Asian Studies (By Research)


The PhD in Asian Studies by research programme is intended for talented and highly motivated students who have a strong academic background at the MA level suitable to the proposed topic of research. The proposed topic must demonstrate readiness to pursue rigorous and innovative interdisciplinary research on Asia, both contemporary and past. Comparative, multidisciplinary and transnational or trans-regional approaches are highly encouraged.
The PhD in Asian Studies is a programme of independent supervised research resulting in a major thesis. The thesis should make an original and significant contribution to Asian Studies and engage with prevailing global theoretical and methodological approaches relevant to the topic of the candidate’s research.

Entry Requirements:

To be considered for a PhD in Asian Studies, applicants must:

     • Demonstrate sufficient experience in independent supervised research for postgraduate study.

     • Hold a Master’s Degree in an appropriate discipline from a recognised institution of higher learning OR a first class undergraduate degree in an appropriate discipline.

     • Provide a clear and detailed research proposal of between 1,500 to 2,000 words.

     • The minimum requirement for English Language proficiency is:

          • Grade C6 in English Language on the GCE O Level Examinations
          • Grade B in IGCSE English (as a Second Language)
          • 6.0 score for IELTS (Academic)
          • 550 for TOEFL PBT (Note: TOEFL-ITP [Institutional TOEFL Program] is not accepted in UBD English language entry requirement)
          • Band B2 in UBD English Proficiency Test (UBD-EPT)

Candidates may be subject to an interview prior to admission.

PhD Duration of Study:

• Full time = Maximum 36 months
• Part time = Maximum 72 months

Possible PhD Research Areas:

While any topic relating to Asian Studies will be considered, the Institute would like to encourage research in the following areas:
     • Migration & Diaspora
     • Culture
     • Bio-Culture
     • Diversity
     • Tourism
     • Heritage
     • Ethnic Minorities
     • Religion
     • Borneo Studies
     • ASEAN
     • Historical Studies

Semester Commencement Date:

• August for Semester I
• January for Semester II

Next Deadline:

29 February 2024

Information & Scholarships:

Click here for general information about Graduate studies at UBD, including entry requirements. For scholarship information, select “Fees & Funding,” and then “Scholarships.”

Contact Us:

For general inquiries, please contact the Institute of Asian Studies at