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) MTSDev at AdMU, and 4) field project implementation.

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) MTSDev Studies at AdMU

The Master in Transdisciplinary Social Development (MTSDev) at the Ateneo de Manila University provides students solid grounding, relevant theoretical and practical tools, and innovative thinking skills needed in taking direct action on and creating high-impact solutions to the complex issues of equity, justice, and peace confronting the communities and peoples of the Global South. MTSDev underscores the transdisciplinary value of cooperatively producing knowledge, participatory means of building capacities, mutual modes of determining ownership, and inter-generational sharing of benefits with and among the subjects of development.

Learning experience is built around local and global field exposures, fieldwork activities, workshops, project design and implementation, action research, engagements with multilateral institutions, and modular class formats. These pedagogical approaches offer students engaging opportunities in tackling diverse issues surrounding the questions of resource mobilization, access to public wealth, rights and tenure concerns, human security, and equitable pathways in benefiting from 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.