Academy of Brunei Studies

Universiti Brunei Darussalam > Academy of Brunei Studies


The Academy of Brunei Studies (APB) was established in 1990 as a multi-disciplinary centre for study and research covering all aspects of life in Brunei Darussalam. Undergraduate programmes in Brunei Studies were first offered in 1996, graduate degrees followed in 2004. Today, the Academy offers Bachelor of Arts in Brunei Studies, Master of Arts by Research and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Despite being the smallest of UBD’s faculties, the Academy of Brunei Studies is also one of the most vibrant and dynamic, providing a lively, informed academic environment in which undergraduate and graduate students are able to thrive. All staff are experts in their subject areas and generally adopt a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching and research. They also place great emphasis on making the Academy a stimulating and friendly place to study.

The multi-disciplinary nature of the Academy is reflected in the diverse range of modules offered to undergraduate students in the following fields: Languages, Literature (traditional and modern), History, Technology Studies (traditional and modern), Material Culture, Politics, Education, International Relations, Geography, Fisheries, Malay Islamic Monarchy, Economics, Material Culture, Islam and Sociocultural Studies.

The Academy also has a growing community of about forty local and international students studying for Master of Arts by Research and Doctor of Philosphy degrees on a diverse range of topics that include comparative and multi-country studies. 


The Academy of Brunei Studies offers Bachelor of Arts, Major in Brunei Studies:                             


  • Asas Pengajian Brunei.
  • Bahasa-Bahasa di Brunei
  • Institusi-Institusi Pentadbiran Brunei.
  • Industri Perikanan di Negara Brunei Darussalam.
  • Islam di Brunei.
  • Isu-Isu Ekonomi di Brunei.
  • Melayu Islam Beraja (compulsory module for Brunei citizens).
  • Isu-Isu Pembangunan Brunei.
  • Kaedah Penyelidikan.
  • Kesusasteraan Brunei.
  • Komuniti dan Teknologi.
  • Masyarakat dan Budaya Brunei.
  • Pengenalan Kepada Ekonomi Maritim Negara Brunei Darussalam.
  • Perkembangan Pendidikan Brunei.
  • Perundangan Islam.
  • Academic Exercise (final year two-semester dissertation).
  • Brunei History and Sultanate.
  • NGO’S in Brunei.
  • Brunei’s Politics.
  • Brunei Foreign Policy.
  • Geography of Brunei.
  • Projects
  • Introduction to Brunei Darussalam
    (compulsory module for non-Bruneians)

Graduate opportunities at the academy of Brunei Studies

Graduate research is an important component of the Academy of Brunei Studies’ increasingly research focused outlook. The Academy currently has a growing community of about forty local and international students studying for Master of Arts (MA) by Research and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. As part of its research drive, the Academy aims to increase this number over the coming years.

Applications for MA by Research or PhD degrees are particularly encouraged in the following fields:


  • Development and Social Issues in Brunei.
  • Brunei International Relations.
  • Brunei History (Pre-modern to Modern)
  • Ethnohistory
  • Brunei Socioeconomics.
  • The National Concept of Malay Islamic Monarchy.
  • Brunei Material Culture
  • Brunei Customs and Traditions.
  • Brunei Literature
  • Islamic Law and Governance
  • Administration of Islamic Family Law in Brunei
  • Ethnicity in Brunei
  • Fishing and Fisheries in Brunei (Traditional and Modern)
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Deviance and Crime
  • Migrant Workers in Brunei
  • Gender and Society.
  • Comparative and multi-country studies that include Brunei are accepted in all fields.
  • Students can write in English or Malay.


The Academy of Brunei Studies is UBD’s main centre for social science and humanities research relating to Brunei Darussalam. In addition to research on Brunei, many staff members have strong academic and research interests in other parts of Borneo and Southeast Asia as a whole.

Academy staff are currently carrying out research in the following areas:                                         


  • Bandar Seri Begawan as a sustainable city: Commodification of Brunei’s local heritage and culture
  • Brunei textiles (textiles and identity, consumption of traditional woven textiles)
  • The effects and problems of population movements from Kampong Ayer to land
  • The literature of Brunei (traditional and modern)
  • Social aspects of migrant workers in Brunei
  • Deviance and crime in Brunei
  • Emerging social problems in Brunei
  • Development and social issues in Brunei
  • Historiography of Brunei titles
  • Ethnohistory of Brunei ethnic groups
  • Malay Islamic Monarchy
  • The pre-modern history of Island Southeast Asia with particular reference to Brunei and Sulawesi
  • The rise of complex society in Island Southeast Asia: Coastal Borneo and Sulawesi.
  • The transmission and transformation of Southeast Asian oral historical traditions and their relationship to the written register
  • Traditional medicine.
  • The administration of Islamic family law in Brunei
  • The development of commercial fishing in Brunei
  • Traditional fishing methods of Brunei Darussalam.
  • Peace and conflict studies in Asia
  • The new ASEAN way of conflict management
  • Pax Sinica (The Chinese model of peace creation in Asia)
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a conflict management regime

If you would like to learn more about research undertaken at the Academy, or are interested in carrying out collaborative research with any of its staff, please contact the faculty representative

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Academy of Brunei