MA Asian Art Histories

Advance your knowledge of the histories of Asian modern and contemporary art.

The MA in Asian Art Histories is a path-breaking programme focused on grooming a new generation of art historians, curators, art writers and exhibition-makers focused entirely on Asian modern and contemporary art histories and practices. It is the first MA programme in any tertiary institution worldwide to focus on Asian modern and contemporary art.

The programme adopts a liberal attitude to nurturing the appreciation of art from Asia, attracting a diverse and rich community of participants who seek to make a difference in their various fields, countries and art. It provides a rare opportunity for historians-in-the-making to work and study alongside artists and their art-making practices and engage with the College’s curatorial division, the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore.

Through the acquisition of research skills and study on theoretical and historical frameworks, you will engage with living artists, field experts, curators, and collectors drawn from Singapore and Asia’s rich visual arts ecology. The rigour of the programme prepares students to pursue PhD studies.

The programme provides you with the art historical and theoretical resources as well as the opportunity to undertake original research in largely under explored fields, investigate recently emerged artists and movements, and contribute to art historical discourse and scholarship. It also encourages you to establish and expand your professional practices and networks, developing your potential to become leading thinkers and cultural producers in the field.

The burgeoning success of the visual arts industry in Asia means that researching and studying this area is timely and relevant. The MA in Asian Art Histories programme allows you to take advantage of these emerging networks by offering opportunities to participate in conferences, publications and research projects alongside industry leaders. 

The MA Asian Art Histories Programme draws on Singapore's vast resources on Southeast Asian art by including in its curriculum regular off-site visits to galleries and other cultural institutions, as well as one overseas study trip to an area of relevance and interest. Previous trips have included visits to artists’ studios, galleries, archives, museums and collections in countries including China, Hong Kong, India and Vietnam.

Course Details

MA AAH course details

1.5 years (3 semesters)



Programme structure

This full-time programme spans three consecutive semesters within a 1.5-year duration. Semesters 1 and 2 each have two 30-credit modules. In Semester 2, a 30-credit elective module option is made available to you with a choice to take the module offered by your respective programme or, in consultation with your Programme Leader, select a module offered by another MA programme. The 60-credit module in the final (3rd) semester will support you to develop a thesis based on your research interests.

Semester 1

Research Methods in Creative Arts (30 CP)
Histories and Theories on Asian Art (30 CP)

Research Methods in Creative Arts
This module is an introduction to arts research through a thorough study of research methods and analytical techniques informing artistic and critical practices at the MA level. Research operates within a critical context and this module aims to prepare you to confidently articulate your practice, formulate your own critical arguments, and formulate methods to investigate and probe issues.

Histories and Theories on Asian Art
This module examines the multiple intersections between art histories and critical theories in the 20th century that are used to frame the development of Asian art discourses. In the last two decades, scholars in the eld of Asian art have developed theoretical frameworks and perspectives that critiqued the monolithic Euro-American paradigm of art history. This module will give emphasis to histories and theories that are specific to the Asian context such as postcolonial theory, as well as more recent cultural theories that deal with identity and difference.

Semester 2

Exhibitions and the Making of Art Histories in Asia (30 CP)
Society and Politics in Asian Art (30 CP)

Exhibitions and the Making of Art Histories in Asia
This module examines the history of exhibitions as one of the primary drivers of Asian art histories through a series of detailed case studies starting from the 1980s to the present day. It will discuss the issues that surrounded art academies as well as galleries and museums in Asia, before focusing on the phenomenon of the exhibition. It will discuss different approaches to exhibition-making by Western and Asian curators as well as the reception of exhibitions on Asian contemporary art in the West. This module will also analyse the role of artist-curators in the shaping of art histories in Southeast Asia, as well as issues surrounding the art market and new exhibition formats such as biennales.

Society and Politics in Asian Art
This module investigates the ways in which new paradigms in artistic practices are influenced by local and regional issues and events as well as the critical engagement of artists with those developments.

Semester 3

Final Research (60 CP)

Final Research
The thesis is a major component of the programme that is a consolidated application of the skills and knowledge that you have acquired throughout the programme. In the thesis, you will demonstrate your ability to undertake academic and scholarly research by your critical engagement with historical and theoretical issues in modern and contemporary Asian art within an appropriate methodological framework.

More Information

Postgraduate research

LASALLE has a long tradition of practice-led research in art and design. The College aims to assume a significant role in Singapore for practice-led research in visual, performing and literary arts, and aspires to add the distinctive viewpoint of Singapore to research into artistic practice in the 21st century.

The Research Methods in Creative Arts module is a common module which all students are required to undertake. You will have the opportunity to interact with one another in the first term, to network with peers in other MA programmes and foster a stronger community of research practice that enhances your respective discipline of study as well as within the College.

You will be introduced to relevant professional methods of research and creation which may include profiles of and/or dialogue with creative professionals, critical/theoretical discourse, action research, visual object analysis, textual analysis, case studies, historical and ethnographic research, interviews, life-stories/autobiographies, etc. You will also be introduced to research practices such as literature reviews, process-based discovery, bibliographical searches, quantitative and qualitative methods, citations and the construction of research questions

Postgraduate students are constantly exposed to first-hand experience in current practices of research and creation, leading to the acquiring powerful knowledge and of a wide set of skills by the time you graduate. You will have opportunities to develop expertise in accordance with your research interests.

Programme highlights

Study Trips
A study trip will be organised to one of the countries in the Asian region, during which you will learn how artists and art communities respond to differing social and cultural contexts in the production of art. Harnessing the benefits of experiential learning, this study trip will include visits to artists’' studios, collectors' homes, galleries, biennales and art spaces. At the same time, it offers invaluable research opportunities through networking with local art communities.

Graduate career paths

Curator, academic, gallery manager, art writer, researcher, arts administrator, art consultant.


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Tap into the illustrious minds of our faculty members who are movers and shakers in their own disciplines. They will impart, challenge and encourage, as they share their invaluable expertise and experiences with you.

Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Media & Creative Industries
Programme Leader, MA Asian Art Histories
Senior Lecturer, Fine Arts

Admission Information

Important Dates

January 2023 Intake

MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice
MA Arts and Cultural Leadership
MA Asian Art Histories
MA Creative Writing
MA Design
MA Fine Arts

Start of semester: Jan 2023
Applications have closed.

August 2023 intake

MA Art Therapy

Start of semester: Aug 2023
Applications have closed.

Entry requirements


You must fulfil the following requirements: 

Academic requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree from a recognised local or international institution.
  • A minimum of IELTS 7.0, TOEFL iBT 100 or PTE Academic 65 for applicants from countries where English is not the first language or whose qualifications are obtained from institutions where English is not the medium of instruction.

Statement of Purpose

  • In 500 – 1,000 words, highlight your reasons for applying to this programme and how they relate to your future plans. You should also include a brief description of your research intention / interest(s) that you are keen to explore. You are required to submit your Statement of Purpose online.

Reference letter

  • Provide a reference letter to support your application. You are required to upload your reference letter online during your application.


  • If available, you are invited to submit samples of your academic writing and published work. These will need to be uploaded online.


  • Shortlisted applicants will attend an interview. During the interview, you are required to participate in a dialogue regarding the purpose of your application. Please be prepared to talk about your background, what inspires you and your influences. We would like to find out what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment in your areas of interest. You should also share how you think the programme will benefit you in your future career choices or develop your research interests.
  • International applicants: if you are unable to attend the interview at LASALLE, an online interview will be arranged for you.

Tuition fees


Programme Duration Fees per semester Total fees
Years Singaporeans Singapore PR International Singaporeans Singapore PR International
MA Art Therapy 2 S$10,397 S$10,397 S$11,769 S$41,874 S$41,874 S$47,403
Note for postgraduate fees:
  • Total fees include 8% GST in 2023 and 9% GST in 2024.

Application fees

A non-refundable application fee (inclusive of 8% GST) is chargeable per application. Please ensure your application fee is paid and documents are submitted within seven working days from the submission date of your online application.

Singaporeans / Singapore Permanent Resident applicants International applicants
S$60 S$120


Basic materials for learning are provided by the College.

Students as developing artists are required to have certain items that are particular to them and cannot be shared. Such items include books, dance shoes, rehearsal clothes, safety boots, portable musical instruments, paints, canvas, basic tools, design software, cameras, etc., that will support students through their three-year learning journey. The College does not encourage the purchase of extravagant or costly materials or equipment. Lecturers will provide students with affordable suggestions.

Students are encouraged to have their own laptops for their education. For those who are unable to, computer labs are available on campus with requisite software for them to undertake their work.

There may be opportunities for students to undertake extra-curricular study trips to enhance their overall learning. Trips are not compulsory and may incur additional costs to students.

More information

Fee Protection Scheme (FPS)

Fee Protection Scheme (FPS) serves to protect students’ fees in the event a Private Education Institution (PEI) is unable to continue operations due to insolvency and/or regulatory closure. The FPS also protects students when the PEI fails to pay penalties or refund fees to the students arising from judgements made against it by the Singapore courts.

In seeking to be an EduTrust-certified PEI, LASALLE is required to adopt the FPS to ensure full protection to all fees paid by their students. Therefore, the FPS is compulsory for students who are taking BA(Hons), MA and Certificate programmes at LASALLE.

Diploma programmes offered by LASALLE are exempted from FPS under the EduTrust requirements of the Committee for Private Education (CPE).

More information on the Committee for Private Education

Medical Insurance Scheme (MIS)

All full-time students of LASALLE are required to be covered under the Medical Insurance Scheme (MIS). The annual coverage of S$20,000 includes school-related activities throughout the programme duration.

The current premium rate is $29.70 payable each semester. This premium rate is subject to change based on the prevailing premiums charged by the insurer.

Accepted modes of payment

All payment to LASALLE must be made in Singapore Dollar. In line with the Singapore government's move towards a cashless society, online payments are strongly encouraged. Below are the payment modes acceptable by LASALLE:

Payment method Payment mode

Online payment

  • Flywire
  • iBanking
  • PayNow/ DBS PayLah!
SAM (kiosk, web or mobile) / Singapore Post
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • AMEX
  • NETS
Scholarships & financial support


In recognition of outstanding academic excellence, leadership potential, and a passion for creativity and innovation, LASALLE offers a variety of scholarships to new and current students.

Application dates for scholarships will be reflected in the various scholarship page. Other externally sponsored scholarships are also available to students. Enquiries and applications may be directed to the respective organisations.

Please note that miscellaneous fees are not covered by scholarships, bursaries or the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS).

View scholarships offered


We are committed to providing a quality education for all our students, and believe that no deserving student should be denied admission because of financial difficulty.

A range of financial assistance schemes, grants and loans are made available to help meet a portion of the educational expenses of students.

Please note that miscellaneous fees are not covered by scholarships, bursaries or the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS).

View bursaries offered


Frequently Asked Questions

Download Prospectus

Postgraduate Prospectus
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MA Asian Art Histories Prospectus
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Take the next exhilarating step with our MA Asian Art Histories Programme.