APS Academic Content


The Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS) is an intensive academic study programme, targeted for young professionals from Asia. The programme runs for 18.5-21.5 months, depending on the level of English proficiency of each applicant. Academic study takes place in Costa Rica and The Philippines, and includes the following elements: 1) intensive language learning component, 2) M.A. at UPEACE, 3) M.S. at AdMU in Social Development, and 4) completion of programme requirements.

1) English Language Training

Students selected to the programme are accepted into either the Intermediate or Advanced English training course. Each group level is comprised of approximately 10-20 students.

The existence of an intermediate group provides the programme with more flexibility when faced with students who are highly motivated and hardworking but do not meet the level of English proficiency required to move directly into Advanced Academic English Training. Students in the Intermediate group begin their training in March, to be joined by their colleagues in the advanced group in June. All 30 students are present in the Advanced Academic English Training. 

Training is provided by the Ateneo Language Learning Centre (ALLC), a wing of the Ateneo English Department within the School of Humanities. The ALLC has over 50 years of experience in the field of English Language training, with nine years working experience with the APS. They specialise in teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) through the creation of curricula specifically designed for the needs of the students. In the case of the APS, the ALLC has designed curricula for both Intermediate and Advanced English students with the objective of increasing their proficiency for academic study at the graduate level.

2) M.A. Studies at UPEACE

For 9.5 months, APS scholars will undertake an M.A. degree of their choice at UPEACE Headquarters in Costa Rica. As an organisation authorised by the UN General Assembly to grant M.A. and doctoral degrees in the field of irenology (the study of peace), UPEACE focuses on providing high-quality teaching and training in critical areas of international concern. While all programmes maintain a focus on the core concepts of peace by drawing from these diverse areas, they also seek to provide students with robust frameworks of analysis that will enable them to understand the complex challenges now facing the international community. 

APS students are able to select from the following 8 MA programmes:

  • International Peace Studies
  • Media, Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Gender and Peacebuilding
  • Peace Education
  • International Law and Human Rights
  • International Law and the Settlement of Disputes
  • Environment, Development and Peace
  • Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development. 

3) M.S. Studies at AdMU

The Ateneo de Manila University Master of Science in Social Development programme offers solid theoretical grounding, conceptual tools, and practical skills in understanding and taking direct action on the complex issues of equity, justice, and peace confronting the communities and peoples of, in, and from the Global South. Through intensive academic trainings on sociologically and anthropologically-informed social analysis, applied research, and engagements with professionals, students will experience and learn the art and science of development work, formulating solutions and interventions, and conducting studies in international and local settings.

Learning experience is built around field exposures, workshops, hands-on project design and implementation, action researches, and modular class formats. These learning approaches are designed to provide students far more enriching opportunities in tackling diverse issues and knowledges surrounding the questions of resource mobilisation, access to rights of marginalised peoples, and equitable path towards social transformations.

The programme covers 36-units of coursework on research, theories and analysis, culturally sensitive and ethical development practice, electives, fieldwork, and practical applications. Teaching combines lectures by specialists and scholars in the field and classwork that includes small group discussions of texts and cases, writing essays, and presentations.

University for Peace

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