Study South Asia

Study SA


In this multi-disciplinary programme, there is an emphasis on contemporary and recent historical studies, the aim of which is to give a basis for an appreciation of the developments which have taken place in these nations since the end of the colonial period in the mid-20th century, and the opportunities they have for change in the future. The multidisciplinary base of the programme links economics and development studies, historical and political studies, social and cultural studies, and philosophical, literary and linguistic studies. Considerations of gender also inform these disciplines. Students are encouraged to develop connections among these areas in the light of their interests and goals. SASP offers A- or A/O- pass holders in Tamil the possibility to pursue studies of Tamil language and culture at an academic level.

Over its ten years of growth, SASP has evolved an integrated undergraduate curriculum, anchored in four sub-disciplinary strengths:

  • History and Politics
  • Political Economy and Development
  • Religion and Culture
  • Diaspora and Transnational Studies

Modules in the above areas provide a specialized learning experience through a sustained study over four years. A comprehensive list of South Asian Studies modules can be found in the modules page.

The Programme has also worked closely with the Centre for Language Studies in making sure that language learning options are built into its curriculum. This has ensured the availability of language training in Tamil right from the Programme's inception. The teaching of Hindi was introduced in NUS in August 2008 and has had a successful start.


At SASP, we offer degrees by research and dissertation at both the MA and PhD levels. The scope for research is extensive and the interests and backgrounds of the supervising teaching staff are wide-ranging and eclectic. Fluency in English is essential, as all theses work must be presented in that language, but the Programme encourages and supports the use of research materials which draw upon South Asian languages.

SASP has a particular focus on topics which relate to contemporary South Asia. The academic staff includes specialists working in the disciplines of Contemporary History, Political Economy and Development, Religious Studies and Anthropology and Diaspora and Trans-national Studies. An idea of the scope of the Programme's range of interests may be gained from its list of faculty members and their specialities. The cohort of students in SASP is highly cosmopolitan and students have come to pursue graduate studies from South Korea, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Germany, the USA and India.

The University's Central Library has extensive holdings on South Asia. There is also a significant collection of digital and microfilm holdings, in addition to a significant collection of secondary materials which include printed books and journals.

The University operates a generous, but highly competitive, scholarship program that covers tuition and living costs for students doing graduate studies in Singapore. Students from non-English speaking countries must attain a minimum TOEFL score of 600 to qualify for scholarship consideration. Theses are written in English and students entering NUS are expected to have an excellent command over written and spoken English.

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