Graduate Certificate in ASEAN Studies

The framework of the program was jointly developed by five Open Universities in the ASEAN region, namely, Universitas Terbuka (Indonesia), Open University of Malaysia, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (Thailand), the Hanoi Open University (Vietnam) and the UP Open University (Philippines).

Program Description

The ASEAN Studies Graduate Program consists of a Graduate Certificate and a Master’s Degree. It is intended to promote regional and global understanding about ASEAN Countries from the perspective of ASEAN; increase the ASEAN community’s consciousness of its common historical, cultural, and regional identity; and obtain a balanced perspective in ASEAN studies.

The program is designed for post-baccalaureate individuals, professionals, practitioners (diplomats, policy analysts, educators, business people, public servants, NGO staff, development workers) and others who are interested, qualified, and academically competent to pursue a graduate level education.

Program Goals

The Graduate Certificate program aims to develop graduates who are able to:

  • Demonstrate comprehensive understanding, insights, and mastery about ASEAN and the countries comprising it; and
  • Contribute to an enhanced and heightened ASEAN community’s consciousness and awareness of its ties of history, culture and bound by a common regional identity but celebrating diversity.


Applicants should be a graduate of a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic institution.

Mode of Instruction



Course Code

Course Title

Course Description

Number of Units

ASEAN201 ASEAN Studies I Introduction to the field of ASEAN studies: the region’s geography, cultures, history, politics, economies and record of interactions; and selected current issues facing the region. 3 units
ASEAN202 ASEAN Studies II ASEAN regionalism, regional order, regional integration and community building through various theoretical perspectives. 3 units
ASEAN203 The ASEAN Organization The ASEAN as an organic entity established by the individual and collective will of the member organizations. History, organizational, structural and functional changes and developments, influence of intra-ASEAN and extra-ASEAN factors and dynamics to the developments and organizational evolution. 3 units

Course Code

Course Title

Course Description

Number of Units

ASEAN211 ASEAN in Transition Various phases of organizational transition of ASEAN from its early period of establishment to the years of organizational changes in the ASEAN declared governing principles and charter, membership expansion, functions, and organizational directions that have transitioned in the nearly half a century of history and existence. 3 units
ASEAN212 The Positioning and Contribution of ASEAN in the Regional and Global Context The dynamic positioning and role that ASEAN in the Asian region and in the international arena socio-cultural interactions partnerships with counterpart entities and organizations. 3 units
ASEAN221 ASEAN Cultural Heritage Cultural program, objectives and past initiatives of the ASEAN organization, issues on cultural heritage in the ASEAN member countries. 3 units
ASEAN222 Art in the ASEAN Region The culture and belief systems that unify the arts in the nations of the ASEAN and the specific cultural traditions that led to the development of the diverse national identities of the nations in the ASEAN region; arts as viewed in the context of the past, existing and emerging artistic movements and the history in which time they were created. 3 units
ASEAN223 Music in the ASEAN Community A survey of the many varieties of music in the ASEAN region focusing on musical exchanges from ancient times to the present, and highlighting the achievements of the ASEAN communities for the past 45 years in the fields of music and the performing arts. 3 units
ASEAN224 Food Culture of the ASEAN Food across ASEAN cultures and societies, its function, patterns, and classifications, food habits and preferences, cultural practices and/or food behavior. 3 units
ASEAN231 Communications and Media in the ASEAN Context The role of communication programs, information and communications technologies, mass media and media systems in the development and evolution of the ASEAN. 3 units
ASEAN232 Health, Social Welfare and Education Issues in ASEAN Comparative analysis of the issues, challenges, policies and solutions to the health, social welfare and education concerns in ASEAN countries. 3 units
ASEAN233 ASEAN Economic Development and Business Community Overview of the ASEAN economic and business community 3 units
ASEAN234 Politics and Governance Dynamics in ASEAN The political and the governmental dimensions of ASEAN from a comprehensive perspective, the systems of governance, political institutions adapted by the regional members, and the issues and prospects viewed from the realities of governance and nation-building. 3 units
ASEAN241 Environmental Issues in ASEAN Analysis of natural, climate and human-induced environmental issues unique to the ASEAN region, the application of environmental technology and environmental policy, environmental administration and management. 3 units
ASEAN271 Country Study (Indigenous Peoples in ASEAN Region ) Issues affecting Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Communities and their role in the development of the ASEAN region. 3 units
ASEAN271 Country Study (Agriculture and Food Security in ASEAN) ASEAN’s agriculture, its structure, potentials and economic relevance to regional and global food security. 3 units
ASEAN271 Country Study (ASEAN Labor Economy and Human Resources Development) Emerging ASEAN labor economy as envisioned in the ASEAN Charter and as a consequence of regional economic integration including review, design and evaluation of HRD policies, strategies, tools and practices. 3 units
ASEAN271 Country Study (Diasporas in the ASEAN) Factors shaping ethnic and racial identities as informed and mediated by political, social, and cultural conditions and interactions in the ASEAN countries, effect of respective diasporic origins/roots and contact of transnational communities in the ASEAN countries. 3 units
ASEAN281 Special Topics (Gender Dimensions of Development in ASEAN) Description and analyses of the cultural, social, economic, and political barriers to the advancement of women in ASEAN as well as regional efforts to address these barriers. 3 units
ASEAN281 Special Topics (ASEAN Science & Technology) Strategies and policies of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) in the area of science and technology (S&T), S&T infrastructure across the members countries, S&T indicators in terms of their contribution to the ASEAN as a whole. S&T development in each AMS complementation, synergy and cooperation in science and technology in the whole of the ASEAN Region. 3 units
ASEAN281 Special Topics (Peace and Security in the ASEAN) 3 units

Program of Study

The Graduate Certificate consists of 15 units of course work, with 9 units of core courses and 6 units of elective courses.

Students are expected to take the courses in the following sequence:

Year First Semester Number of Units Second Semester Number of Units
1 ASEAN 201 3 units ASEAN 202 3 units
Elective 3 units ASEAN 203 3 units
Elective 3 units

Program Policies

A Student who completes the Graduate Certificate may opt to graduate with the degree and seek admission into the Master’s program within three years of earning the Graduate Certificate and provided that he/she has a general weighted average (GWA) of 2.0 or better.   The admission policy of the program and the UP rule on crediting units shall apply.

For admission related details, please visit UPOU website.

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