MA Asian Art Histories

Gain a finer appreciation for the rich histories of Asian modern and contemporary art.

The MA in Asian Art Histories is the first MA programme in any tertiary institution worldwide to focus on Asian modern and contemporary art. While Asian art history programmes generally focus on classicism or the grand traditions, this programme gives you the art historical and theoretical resources and the opportunity to undertake original research in largely under explored fields, investigate recently emerged artists and movements, and thereby contribute to art historical discourse and scholarship.

In addition, the programme encourages you to establish and expand your professional practices and networks, developing your potential to become leading thinkers and cultural producers in the field.

These are exciting times for Asian art and artists, many of whom have attained international stardom buoyed by market demand and greater visibility in the international art circuit. At the same time, Asian countries have been transformed into major centres for the arts.

The success and visibility of Asian art means that researching and studying in this area is all the more 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 programme is also committed to supporting innovative individual and collaborative research projects by making available a number of grants for current students and alumni. This includes various alumni grants such as the Winston Oh Art Histories Travel Grant and the Chinese Art and Cultural Research Grant.

By studying at LASALLE, you will benefit from being located in Singapore, the arts and cultural hub of Southeast Asia, with an arts infrastructure that is unmatched by any other country in the region. The MA Asian Art Histories Programme takes full advantage of 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 artist's studios, galleries, archives, museums and collections in countries including Hong Kong, Vietnam, India and China. Students wanting to undertake in-depth field research will also benefit from Singapore's strategic proximity to resources around the region.

Expanding the purview of conventional art histories, the programme encourages analysis of Asian modern and contemporary art from Asian perspectives rather than through Euro-American approaches alone. By studying Asian Art Histories in the practice-based environment of LASALLE, you will also experience an immersive environment within which to engage with practitioners and artworks, fostering interdisciplinary approaches towards the study and writing of art histories.

The programme will equip you with the appropriate expertise and academic rigor to undertake a higher level of independent research work such as a PhD.

Course Details


Full-Time: 1.5 Years
(3 Semesters)
Part-Time: 3 Years
6 Semesters


Full-Time or Part-Time

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 con dently 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.

Part-time mode

In the part-time mode, the programme spans six consecutive semesters within a 3-year duration. You are required to complete one 30-credit module each in Semesters 1 to 4. The Final Research 60-credit module will span the last 2 semesters in the final year. Part-time students will begin with the Research Methods in Creative Arts module as this establishes core principles and skills necessary across all MA programmes, while also introducing techniques of research, and enables you to present and write analytically and critically across relevant issues in your eld of study. You will undergo academic guidance from your Programme Leader to organise your course of study.

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 (7 weeks), 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 & 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

Our graduates have gone on to work as Curators, Academics, Gallery Managers, Art Writers, Researchers, Art Administrators and Art Consultants. You will be invited to participate in seminars both regionally and internationally. With the strong demand for Asian art in the art market and the anticipated continued growth of the visual arts sector, the potential employment opportunities for graduates of this programme are on the rise.


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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
Head, McNally School of Fine Arts
Programme Leader, MA Asian Art Histories
Lecturer, MA Asian Art Histories

Admission Information

Important Dates

January 2020 Intake

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

  • Apply By: 31 October 2019

August 2020 Intake

MA Art Therapy

  • Apply By: 15 Mar 2020
  • Start of Semester: AY2020/2021 Aug Intake
Entry Requirements


Admission to the programme is determined through an interview as well as the submission and fulfillment of the following:

  • A Bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognised tertiary institution.
  • A minimum of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL iBT 100 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.
  • A 300-500 word statement of interest highlighting the candidate's reasons for choosing to enrol in the Programme and research interest in the area of Asian art histories.
  • A reference letter (either an educational reference from the student's university or a character reference from an employer).
  • Samples of academic writing or published work (where available).

Tuition Fees (per annum)


Programme Duration Fees Per Semester (S$) Total (S$)
Programme Years Singaporeans Singapore PR International Singaporeans Singapore PR International
MA Art Therapy 2 10,000 10,000 11,000 40,000 40,000 44,000
MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice 1.5 10,000 10,000 11,000 30,000 30,000 33,000
MA Arts and Cultural Leadership 1.5 10,000 10,000 11,000 30,000 30,000 33,000
MA Asian Art Histories 1.5 10,000 10,000 11,000 30,000 30,000 33,000
MA Creative Writing 1.5 10,000 10,000 11,000 30,000 30,000 33,000
MA Design 1.5 10,000 10,000 11,000 30,000 30,000 33,000
MA Fine Arts 1.5 10,000 10,000 11,000 30,000 30,000 33,000
All MA Programmes (Part-Time Mode*) 3 5,000 5,000 5,500 30,000 30,000 33,000
Note for Postgraduate Fees:
  • * With the exception of MA Art Therapy – only available in full-time mode.
  • Fees include 7% GST.
  • Fees are subject to change. Correct as at 31 October 2017.

Application Fees

A non-refundable application fee (inclusive of 7% 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$60.00 S$120.00


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. The coverage includes $20,000 annually for school related activities throughout the programme duration.

The current premium rate is $18.20 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. Below are the payment modes acceptable by LASALLE :

Payment Method Payment Mode

Online Payment
Electronic payment at the end of the online application   

  • MasterCard
  • VISA

Walk-in Payment at LASALLE McNally Campus
LASALLE College of the Arts
Finance Counter
Block E, Level 2
1 McNally Street
Singapore 187940

Operating Hours:
9am to 3pm (Mon – Fri)

Closed on public holidays and weekends

  • MasterCard
  • VISA
  • Cheque*
  • Bankdraft*
  • NETS
  • Cash
Mail-in Payment
LASALLE College of the Arts Division of Admissions
1 McNally Street
Singapore 187940
  • Cheque*
  • Bankdraft*

* Cheques and bankdrafts must be made in Singapore Dollars (S$), crossed and made payable to “LASALLE”. Please do not send in post-dated cheques. Kindly write your name, NRIC/passport number, online application number and contact number on the reverse side of your cheque/bankdraft.

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.

Applications for scholarships open from March to May and October to November for new MA students. 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.