The Alphawood Scholarships at SOAS
The Alphawood Scholarships application process is now closed until November 2017.
The Alphawood Scholarships are part of the £15 million Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS University of London, which has been funded by the Alphawood Foundation, Chicago. The aim of the programme is to advance the understanding and preservation of ancient to pre-modern 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 employment, teaching, further study or any other relevant activity in the region. 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 Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam where Buddhist and Hindu art is prevalent. Over the five years of the scholarship programme students and alumni will make a significant and positive impact on the understanding and preservation of art and architecture in the region.
The Alphawood Scholarship will cover tuition fees in full, and a generous maintenance allowance towards the costs of living and studying in central London, as well as flights to and from the UK at the start and end of the course. Visa costs will also be covered. The maintenance allowance will be provided in line with the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) guidelines for London (Doctoral) and will be calculated pro-rata for programmes of less than a year. It is expected to cover the cost of accommodation.
The purpose of the scholarships programme is capacity building and therefore support will be available to successful candidates who require extra English language tuition at SOAS before they start their course. Requirements will be assessed on an individual basis after the scholarships have been awarded and will be based on the candidates existing English language abilities.
1. Candidate Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for these scholarships you should:
Normally be resident in one of the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam. Applications will be considered from candidates who are not normally resident in these countries as long as you can show your intention and capacity to return or relocate to the region to pursue employment, teaching, further study, or
- Otherwise intend to make a positive impact in the Southeast Asia region.
- Demonstrate your interest in ancient to pre-modern Buddhist and/or Hindu art of the above specified Southeast Asian regions, and your intention to pursue employment, teaching, further study or otherwise make a positive impact in the region after your studies at SOAS. When applying for your course please include evidence of this in your personal statement.
- MA applicants only: you must write your dissertation on a theme connected with ancient to pre-modern Buddhist or Hindu art of Southeast Asia. When applying for your course please include evidence of this in your personal statement.
To be considered for the scholarship you must have received an offer for your course before the scholarships are awarded in March.
2. Eligible Course of Study
Alphawood Scholarships are available for a range of postgraduate programmes in the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS.
Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas:
- Postgraduate Asian Art Course Certificate in Buddhist Art (running next in April 2018) or Southeast Asian Art (running next in April 2019).
- Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art (a combination of three modules).
Modules start in September, January and April every year. Each module is assessed by two essays and an exam. Applicants must have a BA or BSc to be eligible and can already hold an MA.
Taught Master’s (MA) Programmes:
- MA History of Art and Archaeology
- MA Religious Arts of Asia
The MA is made up of 3 taught course units and a compulsory one unit dissertation. The 3 units may be made up by any combination of full units or half units. Each course is assessed by written work and presentations. There are no exams. The dissertation of 10,000 words will be submitted in September 2018. Students must have a BA or BSc and in many cases a previous MA is desirable.
The scholarships are open to full-time MPhil/PhD applicants whose research topic focuses on ancient to pre-modern Buddhist and/or Hindu art of Southeast Asia.
For applicants who are considering applying for an MPhil/PhD degree we strongly recommend taking an MA first to adjust to the UK system and develop a strong research proposal that may form the basis of the MPhil/PhD application the following year.
3. English Language Requirements
Please note that successful candidates will be asked to provide approved English Language test results (IELTS or Pearson) to demonstrate that they hold the minimum UK Borders Agency requirement to obtain a Tier 4 (General) Student visa.
You must book your English Language test at a test centre that has been approved by UKVI. Please make sure that the test you take is valid for visa purposes (you should be issued with a UKVI reference number). If you do not take the right test your results may not be valid for your visa application. Successful candidates will be reimbursed for the cost of one IETLS test. Successful candidates will be asked to provide evidence of their English language test results by 20th April 2017.
Successful candidates may be offered support to ensure that they reach the English language requirements set by SOAS to study at Postgraduate level. These are the Presessional English language courses and the English Language for Academic Study course (ELAS), both are held at IFCELS Department at SOAS (International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies). The minimum English language level to join a programme at IFCELS is IELTS 4.5 (with 4.5 in writing) or Pearson PTE 41 (with 41 in writing). Please read our Step-by-Step Guide to the ELAS Pathway for more information on what is expected.
The candidates requirements will be assessed on an individual basis after the scholarships have been awarded and will be based on the candidates existing English language abilities.
4. Candidate Assessment
Candidates will be assessed:
- By a Selection Panel comprising relevant 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 the candidate’s intention to make a significant impact on the preservation and advancement of the field.
Academic references, transcripts and statements, and other relevant information in your application will be considered to assess the above criteria.
5. Scholarship Application Deadline
You must submit a scholarships application form and a complete application to your chosen programme of study (including references) by the application deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
The application process is now closed until November 2017.
6. Scholarship Application Process
There are 2 steps to the application process.
STEP 1 Apply for your course:
- If you are applying for the Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate, please down load and complete the application for admission as an Alphawood scholarship student form. Please send the completed form to Denise Acford (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If you are applying for a Taught Master's (MA) please complete the Postgraduate online application form (you will be asked to set up an account and upload documents using our online admissions system). Please read our Guidance Notes for the online application process carefully before you start your application, which are available in the Taught Masters application section.
- If you are applying for an MPhil/PhD, please complete the Postgraduate Research online application form (you will be asked to set up an account and upload documents using our online admissions system). Please read our Guidance for applying for MPhil/PhD carefully before you start your application.
You should use the Personal Statement section in your application form to demonstrate your interest in ancient to pre-modern Buddhist and/or Hindu Southeast Asian art. Please also demonstrate your intention to pursue employment, teaching, further study or otherwise make a positive impact on the preservation or advancement of Southeast Asian art in the region after your studies at SOAS.
STEP 2 Apply for an Alphawood Scholarship:
If you have submitted an application for your course you can apply for the Alphawood Scholarship via this link to the online application form.
7. Notification of Results
Successful candidates will be notified in February 2017. If you have not heard from us by the 27th February 2017 you should assume that your application was unsuccessful.
Successful candidates will be asked to provide evidence of their English language test results by 20th April 2017.
For more information about the Alphawood Scholarships or the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme please contact:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7898 4025