APS Academic Content
The APS takes the format of a dual-degree, 18.5 - 21.5 month (depending on entry English proficiency level) intensive academic study programme targeted for young professionals from Asia. Academic study takes place in Costa Rica and The Philippines and is made up of the following elements: 1) an intensive language learning component, 2) MA at UPEACE, 3) MA at AdMU in Political Science, major in Global Politics, and 4) the implementation of a field project.
1) English Language Training
Students selected to the programme are accepted into either the Intermediate or Advanced English training. 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) MA at UPEACE
For 9.5 months APS scholars will undertake an MA degree of their selection at UPEACE Main Campus in Costa Rica. As an organisation affiliated to the UN system authorized to grant degrees, 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
- Specialisation in Sustainable Food Systems
- Specialisation in Climate Change Policy
- Specialisation in Environmental Security and Governance
- Specialisation in Natural Resource Management
3) MA at AdMU
Students spend approximately 7 months in total undertaking an MA degree in Political Science, major in Global Politics (non-thesis track) at AdMU. Their studies are split into two phases: 1. MA Coursework before departing for Costa Rica and 2. MA Coursework after completing studies in Costa Rica.
While the students are completing the last portion of their Advanced English training with the ALLC, they are also enrolled in MA seminars in Political Science at ADMU. These courses are designed to prepare the students for their MA coursework throughout the programme and provide the foundation for their MA coursework in Political Science, major in Global politics at AdMU.
The second phase of the MA Coursework at AdMU begins in June, when students return to Manila, and includes a preparatory course for their project implementation. One of the courses students take during this period includes a field engagement activity in Bukidnon, Malaybalay, Philippines. Additionally, academic are held addressing academic themes relating to current conflicts and development issues in the Asian region.
4) Field Project Implementation
As their final graduation project, APS students design and implement a group field project. They combine their various specialisations and skills in project planning, management, and implementation, in order to further their practical skills in the field of peace and development work.
The field projects are conducted principally in the Philippines, with exceptions in accordance with the AdMU network in Asia. Partnerships are made by AdMU with organisations within their working network and students work in close collaboration with the organisations to design and implement their field projects.
For example, students who are specialised in Media, Peace, and Conflict Studies may create a project in the form of a documentary (or another information dissemination strategy) through social media for their host organization. Specialists in International Law may provide consultation or training for workers in the field of Refugee Law or Human Rights Education. Gender and Peace Building specialists may partner with an organisation and assure that Gender mainstreaming is applied throughout the organisation.
The various stages of planning the final field project takes place over the course of the programme. Throughout their time at UPEACE and AdMU, students receive training and guidance on how to plan, manage, and eventually implement their project at the end of the programme
For your reference, you can view video presentations of the reflections on the field project implemenation from APS scholars: