Graduate Studies & Scholarships


The Institute of Asian Studies (IAS) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei’s national university, was established in January 2012. The IAS’s inaugural research programmes include Borneo Studies, South China Sea Studies, Popular Culture, Economic and Financial Integration in Asia, and Human/ Capital Movements in Asia but has since been changed into 3 main clusters:

  • Asian Imaginaries: Narratives, Texts and Contexts;
  • Asian Diasporas and Migration; and
  • Borneo in Transition: Bio-culture, Heritage and Tourism. 

The IAS is also home to the Wednesday Seminar Series wherein UBD academics and distinguished practitioners from the world of government, the private sector and civil society engage in lively discussions and debates on Asian affairs. The topics debated range from human and food security, ecological concerns, sociology of knowledge and the global academic politics of classic studies on Southeast Asia to issues in early childhood education and the geopolitics of the South China Sea as well as regional economic sustainability and integration. Speakers have included Professor Hans-Dieter Evers, Eminent Professor at UBD and Emeritus Professor of Development Planning, University of Bonn; Professor Solvay Gerke, Professor and Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Professor Victor T. King, Eminent Professor at UBD and Emeritus Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Leeds University, Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid, Head of International Affairs, South East Asian Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) IDEAS and Dr Rommel Curaming of the History Programme at UBD. The Institute lauched a Working Paper Series in 2012 and these can be accessed and downloaded in the IAS website. Other papers are in the pipeline and the Institute plans to encourage presenters in its Wednesday Seminar Series to place their papers with us. Copyright remains with the authors. 

The inaugural year at the IAS culminated in a workshop entitled “Borneo Studies: The State of the Art and Future Directions” (30 Nov – 1 Dec 2012) and the ASEAN Inter-University Conference on Social Development (9-13 Dec 2012), entitled “Human Insecurities in Southeast Asia: Causes, Cost and Challenges”, held at UBD under the joint-sponsorship of the IAS and the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. 

The Institute of Asian Studies offers the following:-

Programme type

PhD in Asian Studies

Start date

August and January


The PhD in Asian Studies by research programme is intended for talented and highly motivated students who have a strong academic background at 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 current knowledge and understanding of Asian Studies and engage with prevailing global epistemological, theoretical, and methodological issues and approaches relevant to the topic of the candidate’s research.

Entry requirements

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

  • demonstrate they have sufficient background and 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:
    • A credit 5 in GCE O Level
    • 6.0 score for IELTS (obtained in the last 3 years)
    • 550 for TOEFL

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 Ph.D. 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
  • Historical Studies


Semester commencement date

  • August for Semester I
  • January for Semester II

Online submission date

(Tentative months the online application is open. It may vary from time to time)

  • December– February for Semester I (August) intake
  • July– September for Semester II (January) intake





Fill out the Application form by clicking the link

For scholarship, please click the link 


Contact us

For general inquiries:

Institute of Asian Studies (