[skip to content]


The Alphawood Scholarships at SOAS

Deadline: 14 March 2014
Borobudur, Java, Indonesia ©Pia Conti

The Alphawood Scholarships are part of the £15 million Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS funded by Alphawood Foundation, Chicago. The aim of the academic programme is to advance the understanding and preservation of Buddhist and Hindu art in Southeast Asia through study and research, and to build and support a network of organisations and individuals in the Southeast Asian region who share and support this vision.

It is intended that the greatest impact of the scholarship programme will be felt in the Southeast Asian region. The scholarships panel will therefore look to make awards to students who intend to support the aims of the programme through teaching, further study or any other relevant activity in the region. It is hoped that the cohort of Alphawood Scholarship students will use their learning, skills and talents in galleries, museums, heritage organisations, universities, government departments and other institutions in the Southeast Asia region, particularly in the countries of Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam where Buddhist and Hindu art is prevalent, and that over the five years of the scholarship programme, its students and alumni will make a significant and positive impact on the understanding and preservation of art and architecture in the region.

Up to 13 Alphawood scholarships will be available in 2014/15. Of these, it is likely that 10 will be for postgraduate taught courses (Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate or Master’s), while up to three will be available for research degrees (MPhil/PhD).  

The Alphawood scholarships will cover tuition fees in full (at the overseas rate), a generous stipend to cover the costs of living and studying in central London, as well as flights to and from the UK and provision of English language or other pre-course training (at SOAS), if deemed necessary.  

Living expenses will be provided normally in line with, or above, AHRC( Arts and Humanities Research Council) guidelines for London (Doctoral).  For 2014-15, the AHRC stipend is £15,863. The cost of up to two return flights from Southeast Asia to London may also be provided for applicants who are resident in the Southeast Asia region. The stipend will be calculated pro-rata for programmes that last less than a year.       

Eligible Courses of Study                                    

Postgraduate Taught Courses 

Scholarships will be available for students applying for the following programmes within the Department of History of Art and Archaeology:

  •  Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art; combination of three modules from the Diploma, must include the Southeast Asian art module. Modules are three months in length and start September 2014, January 2015 and April 2015. Each module is assessed by two essays and an exam. Applicants must have a BA or BSc and can already hold an MA to be eligible to apply
  • Postgraduate Asian Art Course Certificate (Southeast Asian Art module only) Module starts April 2015
  • MA Arts of Asia and Africa
  • MA Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa
  • MA History of Art and/or Archaeology
  • MA Religious Arts of Asia

In addition, the scholarships are open to those taking the following MA programmes where the major course relates to Southeast Asian art:

  • MA South East Asian Studies
  • MA Asian Pacific Studies

There are three course units for the MA degrees which may be made up of six half units; two terms, the first beginning late September 2014. Each course is assessed by written work and presentations. There are no exams. A dissertation of 10,000 words is written from late May and submitted 15 September 2015. It must be on Southeast Asia. Students must have a BA or BSc and in many cases a previous MA is desirable.
Depending on the combination of courses, the degree may vary such as Religious Arts or Contemporary Art.

Postgraduate Research

The scholarships are open to any full-time MPhil/PhD student (new admissions only) whose thesis topic focuses on Southeast Asian art.

If it is felt that students require additional language or academic preparation prior to taking up these postgraduate studies, scholarships may also be awarded to students undertaking the FDPS Premasters (Foundation Diploma for Postgraduate Studies) or Presessional English Courses in the IFCELS (International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies) Department at SOAS. These requirements will be decided on an individual basis during the selection stage and candidates will be informed accordingly.

Candidate Eligibility Criteria 

To be eligible for these scholarships you should:

  • Normally be resident in one of the following countries: Burma (Myanmar), Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam. Applications will be considered from candidates who are not normally resident in these countries as long as they can show their intention and capacity to return or relocate to the region to pursue teaching or further study or that they otherwise intend to make a positive impact on the study, preservation or advancement of Southeast Asian art, particularly Buddhist or Hindu art, in the Southeast Asia region
  • Write your dissertation on a theme connected with Southeast Asian art (for the Masters scholarships only). Please include evidence of this in your statement.
  • Demonstrate your interest in Southeast Asian art and your intention to pursue teaching, further study or otherwise make a positive impact on the study, preservation or advancement of Southeast Asian art in the region after your studies at SOAS.
  • Additional English Language Support
    In addition to the postgraduate diploma and degree programmes available, students may also be eligible for English language or academic preparation courses at SOAS under the Alphawood scholarship programme. These are the Presessional English Courses and the Foundation Diploma for Postgraduate Studies held at IFCELS (International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies) at SOAS. IFCELS courses may be taken by students prior to taking up their postgraduate studies. Requirements will be assessed on an individual basis during the selection stage. The start date and duration of these courses will depend on the courses agreed with scholarship award holders.

Candidate Assessment

Candidates will be assessed:

  • By a Selection Panel comprising three academic members of staff.
  • On academic merit and promise; financial need may also be taken into consideration.
  • On past experience in the field of Southeast Asian art, as well as your intention to make a significant impact on the preservation and advancement of the field after your studies.
    Academic references, statements and other relevant information in your application will be considered to assess the above criteria.

Scholarship Application Deadline

Applicants applying for scholarships must submit a complete application for admission as soon as possible and then submit an application for a scholarship. The Selection Panel will be considering your scholarship application TOGETHER with your on-line application for admission.  Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to four weeks to be considered
Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 14 March 2014.  Late or incomplete applications will not normally be considered.

Notification of Results

Successful candidates will be notified by the end of April. If you have not heard from us by the end of April, you should assume that your application was unsuccessful.  

Scholarship Application Procedures

The application process requires two steps:

STEP 1: Please apply for the relevant programme

STEP 2:  Once you have submitted your application for admission, you can then apply for this scholarship via this link to the on-line scholarship application. 

For enquiries, please contact: 

Email: scholarships@soas.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7074 5094/5091

Scholarships Officer
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
United Kingdom