MA (Coursework) in Asian and Global History

Candidates pursuing the programme will study the history of diverse cultures and societies across Asia and the world. They will also acquire in-depth knowledge of Singaporean history and understand the dynamic narratives that shape the nation-state’s national identity. The broad mix of modules will help to hone graduates’ cross-cultural empathies and tolerance for difference, enabling them to thrive in different cultural settings.

Admission Criteria

Applicants for the MA coursework programme should have the following qualifications:

  • NUS honours degree (Merit/Second Class and above) or equivalent (e.g. a four-year bachelor’s degree with at least an average grade of B) in relevant disciplines such as history and area studies, and disciplinary or interdisciplinary academic programmes in the humanities and social sciences that give the major a measure of competence in historical subject matters; or Bachelor’s degree with a relevant Graduate Diploma with a minimum CAP of 3.00; or Bachelor’s degree with a relevant Graduate Certificate with a minimum CAP of 3.00.
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant disciplines such as history and area studies, and disciplinary or interdisciplinary academic programmes in the humanities and social sciences that give the major a measure of competence in historical subject matters with at least two years of relevant work experience.
  • Candidates with other qualifications and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the BGS.
  • Applicants whose native tongue and medium of University instruction is not English must complete the TOEFL or IELTS and obtain the results set by the particular programme. Exceptions may be allowed on an individual basis. CELC’s Diagnostic English Test and the taking of English Proficiency modules remain as a provision to help establish a student’s level of English and improve his/her language ability.

TOEFL or IELTS Score Report

Applicants whose native tongue and medium of university instruction is not English should submit TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as evidence of their proficiency in the English language

The min TOEFL score required is as follows:

  • Internet-based test (iBT): Minimum score of 85 (with minimum of 22 for the writing section)
  • Computer-based test (CBT): Minimum score of 237

A min IELTS score of 6.0 is required.


Applications to pursue the programmes must be submitted online.  There is a non-refundable fees of SGD$50 (inlclusive of GST) for each application. The application and fees must be respectively submitted and paid by the relevant deadlines. Refer to the application period below:

Programmes Intake Application Period Outcome
MA & Grad Dip Sem 1 1 November (year preceding the intake ) to 15 Jan (same year as intake) Late May

For more information on the application process and the supporting documents required for MA and Graduate Diploma programmes, please check here.


The tuition fee for AY2021-22 is SGD$36,400 (incl GST) for those pursuing the MA programme full time and part time irrespective of nationality. Candidates shall pay a SGD$3,600 non-refundable deposit upon acceptance of the offer of admission.

Students are also required to pay other miscellaneous student fees as decided by the University.

International Students
Non-refundable upon Acceptance Year 1 Year 2 Total (incl GST)
Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 1
Full-Time SGD3,600 SGD16,400 SGD16,400 SGD36,400
Part-Time SGD3,600 SGD10,934 SGD10,933 SGD10,933 SGD36,400

* GST is charged at a prevailing rate of 7%.

Continuation and Graduation Requirements

Students need to pass at least 40 MCs

  1. Pass core modules HY5305 and HY6101
  2. Pass at least 16 MCs, subject to a max of 28 MCs from the primary field.
  3. Read a max of 16 MCs from the electives
  4. The 10,000-word thesis accounts for 2 modules or 8 MCs. Only full-time candidates with a CAP of 4.0 and above at the end of the first semester and part-time candidates with a CAP of 4.0 and above at the end of the second semester are permitted to write the thesis. The rest are expected to read graduate modules.
  5. To earn the MA degree, candidates will read a combination of core, primary, and elective modules, and/or the 10,000-word thesis to earn a total of at least 40 MC.

Candidates pursuing the MA degree by coursework must complete and earn 40 MCs, and obtain a minimum CAP of 3.00 to be eligible for graduation.

To continue in the MA programme, candidates may not obtain:

  1. CAP below 3.00 (but ≥ 2.50) for 3 consecutive semesters; or
  2. CAP below 2.50 for 2 consecutive semesters.


The majority of candidates will likely be able to complete the programme in 2 semesters if they read it full-time. Those pursuing it part-time are likely to complete the programme in 4 to 6 semesters. International students on student visa must be enrolled in the programme full-time. Students residing in Singapore may enrol for part-time study.

The maximum candidature periods are as follows:

 MA (full-time) 36 mths
 MA (part-time) 48 mths
 Graduate Diploma 36 mths
 Graduate Certificate 36 mths


The module descriptions can be found here, and the timetable can be found here.

Module Code Module Title
Core Modules
HY6101 Historiography: Theory and Archive
HY5305 Approaches to World History
Primary Field Modules
HY5210 Approaches to Modern Southeast Asian History
HY5211 Approaches to Modern East Asian History
HY5303 Problems in Cultural History
HY5304 Imperialism and Empires: Historical Approaches
HY5401 Historiography on China
HY5402 Reconsidering the Cold War
HY5403 Interpreters of Southeast Asian Pasts
HY5412 Studying Singaporean History
HY5413 Special Topics in Asian and Global History
HY5660 Independent Study
Elective Modules
HY5207 Approaches to American History
HY5208 Approaches to Modern European History
HY5301 Internship in History
HY5302 Approaches to Military History
HY5405 Applied and Public History: Theory, Method and Practice
HY5406 Archives and Knowledge of the Past
HY5407 Theory and Practice of Oral History
HY5408 History and Memory
HY5409 Museums and Museology: Critical Perspectives
HY5410 Historical Reasoning: The Past and Decision-making
HY5411 Special Topics in Applied and Public History
HY5414 Master's Thesis (Coursework Program)