Project Description

Doctor of Philosophy (Arts)

(N/210/8/0017 (MQA/PA5488) 02/21)

Programme Synopsis

The Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) programme is a generic Ph.D programme offered by the Cluster of Education and Social Sciences, Open University Malaysia (OUM).It is a programme that links a variety of disciplines in social sciences, humanities, education and languages. This programme focuses on specialised areas where OUM has a wide range academic expertise that will add value to the learning experience of each candidate.

The objectives of the Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) are:

  • To produce more graduates at Ph.D level in various fields of knowledge and expertise in tandem with the national development policy;
  • To produce more graduates who are able to come up with authentic researches, current, and self-contained at the higher level; and
  • To produce graduates who can integrate various theories and knowledge in contributing to the society and national development.

Fields of Study:

  • Islamic Studies
  • Akidah and Thought
  • Psychology (including Counselling)
  • Disability Studies
  • History
  • Malay Studies (Pengajian Melayu)
  • Social Work
  • Communication
  • Political Science
  • English Studies
  • Measurement and Testing

Application Requirements:

  • Every applicant must send a research proposal together with his/her application; OR
  • Every applicant must send a research proposal 2 weeks after his/her application.

Important Skills for Ph.D Candidates

In order to successfully complete a Ph.D programme, learners will need a diverse set of skills. A Ph.D candidate needs to:

  • Practise independence and self-reliance:
    A Ph.D programme requires a learner to study and conduct research with the assistance of a supervisor. While the supervisor will provide support and guidance in all areas of the programme, a learner needs to be aware of all stipulated guidelines and expectations and determine what needs to be achieved in different stages of study and research.
  • Have determination:
    A learner must have the determination and commitment to keep going and not give up, as preparing a Ph.D research thesis will take up to four years.
  • Know how to manage time:
    This is especially crucial for candidates taking up a Ph.D programme in open and distance learning (ODL) as it is up to the learner to prioritise and manage study-related tasks with personal and professional commitments to ensure that each task can be completed.
  • Know how to accommodate challenges and seek solutions:
    A learner will face many obstacles and challenges throughout a Ph.D research project. Thus, each learner needs to be flexible enough to adapt to these challenges and find solutions to issues that may appear during the project.
  • Have good verbal and written communication skills:
    A learner needs to leverage on communication skills in all areas of research, not only for discussions with peers and supervisors, but especially in research proposal defence and viva voce. A learner also needs to know how to communicate clearly and effectively in the writing of the Ph.D thesis.
  • Pick up new skills along the way:
    The PhD journey is long and challenging, and while the University will do its best to help, each learner must be open to learn new skills and develop new approaches and perspectives, such as in critical thinking, managing the research and ensuring personal effectiveness.

Programme Facts

Language of instruction:English and Bahasa Melayu
Mode of study : Part-time
Mode of delivery:

  • 1. Self-Managed Learning
  • 2. Online Learning
  • 3. Face-to-face Sessions

Method of delivery : Open and Distance Learning
Supervisor : Provided by OUM
MQA Accreditation : N/210/8/0017

Kemasukan Biasa
a. Ijazah Sarjana (Tahap 7, KKM) dalam bidang yang berkaitan; atau

b. Kelayakan lain yang diiktiraf setara dengannya oleh Kerajaan Malaysia

NOTA: Pengambilan pelajar adalah tertakluk kepada kelulusan Jawatankuasa Pasca-Siswazah Kluster.

Normal Entry
a. Master degree (KKM Level 7) in related field; or

b. Other qualifications recognized as equivalent by the Malaysian Government.

NOTE: Intake is subject to the approval of the Post-Graduate Committee of the Cluster.


  1. The provisional offer of admission will be revoked if the candidate:
    1. Fails to submit evidence of qualification within the stipulated date; or
    2. Does not meet the entry requirements of the University.
  2. Entry requirements are subject to change as stipulated by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Sem 1 RM3,678 RM2,200 RM2,200 RM2,200
Sem 2 RM2,200 RM2,200 RM2,200 RM2,200
Sem 3 RM2,200 RM2,200 RM2,200 RM2,200
Total RM27,878

* Fees applicable to Malaysians and Permanent Residents only.
* International students are required to pay registration fees of RM1,000 and an additional 20% for the tuition fees.
* The University reserves the right to revise the fees without prior notice.

Discount for the Physically Challenged Learners (OKU) and Senior Citizens

The University offers 50% discount for:

  • Senior citizens aged 60 and above on registration date; and
  • Physically challenged learners – a valid Orang Kelainan Upaya (OKU) is required.

These discounts are for subject fees only and are not applicable for research and other fees. The discounts are also not valid for second time registration and repeating of subjects.

Learners who receive this discount are not entitled to other discounts and promotions.


Processing fee:

  • RM50 (Malaysian) & RM100 (International Students)

Re-registration fee of RM220 per semester is chargeable for extension of Masters Projects

Financial options:

  • EPF (Account 2); or
  • Education or Personal Loan from commercial banks; or
  • HRDF (subject to employer’s eligibility); or

Payment Mode:

  • JomPAY; or
  • Internet Banking; or
  • Debit/Credit Card.

Part 1: Compulsory Core Courses

Course title Credit Hours
APRM7104 Research Methodology 4
APDS7104 Doctoral Seminar: Literature review 4

Part 2: Thesis Writing

After completing the required courses (Part 1) learners will begin the research and thesis work (Part 2) under the guidance of a supervisor. Each learner will meet the assigned supervisor at least 4 times in a semester and achieve satisfactory progress in the research / thesis work before being allowed to register in the subsequent semester.

Areas of specialisations in research / thesis:

  • Islamic Studies
  • Akidah and Thought
  • Psychology (including Counselling)
  • Disability Studies
  • History
  • Malay Studies (Pengajian Melayu)
  • Social Work
  • Communication
  • Political Science
  • English Studies
  • Measurement and Testing

Part 3: Thesis Examination

When the learner has completed the thesis and is ready for examination, an examining committee consisting of an internal examiner and an external examiner will be appointed to assess the thesis (Part 3). The learner will be examined in the Viva Voce session.

Doctor of Philosophy In Arts (Phd Arts) FAQs

  1. What is OUM PhD Arts?
    OUM PhD Arts Programme is an extensive, independent research project on an agreed topic, supported by a minimum of two expert academic supervisors (internal and external) in the field of humanities and social sciences.
  2. What is PhD Arts entry requirement?
    Candidate should have a master’s degree in the related field of studies from an accredited university and recognized by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).
  3. How long is the PhD Arts study duration?
    It is a four-year-programme of studies. PhD students spend the first two years of the programme completing valuable coursework, doing extensive reading and writing literature reviews, working closely with their supervisors in finalizing their proposals (Chapters 1,2 and 3), and sitting for their Proposal Defence. The final two years will be doing their data collection and reporting, and working on their Chapters 4 and 5. However, candidates may take up to a maximum of eight years to complete their doctoral studies.
  4. What is the medium of instruction of the programme?
    The medium of instruction is in English. However, students may write their assignments and theses in English or Bahasa Melayu (Malay language).
  5. When is PhD Arts intake?
    January or May or September intake.
  6. How much are PhD Arts fees?
    Kindly refer to the OUM portal. The fees will subject to OUM policy. You will get 20% discount for early registration. In addition, you are not required to pay in full in the beginning of each semester. You can make partial payment and need to settle the balance payment before the final examination in each semester.
  7. What are the field of studies offered in the PhD Arts programme?Here is the list of fields of studies offered:
    • Islamic Studies
    • Akidah and Thought
    • Psychology (including Counselling)
    • Disability Studies
    • History
    • Malay Studies (Pengajian Melayu)
    • Social Work
    • Communication
    • Political Science
    • English Studies
    • Measurement and Testing
  8. Can I apply as a student using my working experience?
    Yes, your working experience would be an added value to be considered together with your master’s degree.  
  9. What is the assessment structure in this program?
    Students need to register and pass these two mandatory courses offered in the first semester. APRM 7104 (Research Methodology – 4 credit hours) and APDS7104 (Doctoral Seminar: Literature Review – 4 credit hours). The two courses offered in the first semester shall carry 100% grade. There are no final exams for those courses.
  10. How do the courses in PhD Arts conduct?
    It is a blended learning (face to face tutorials, online or e-tutorial learning support and self-managed learning). However, due to Covid-19, all course tutorials at OUM are conducted via google-meet.
  11. Who can I contact for further enquiries regarding the PhD Arts programme?

    Academic Matters Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Tajudin Md Ninggal
    (Programme Director)
    +6 03-7801 3911
    Research & Project Management Unit Mr. Mohamed Fauzi Hassan +6 03-7801 1811
    Finance Matters Madam Haslinda Haron +6 03-7801 2076
    Marketing Department Mr. A.Tarmizi Abdul Aziz +6 03-7801 1946

Tel (Office) :
03 780 13911

Email :

How To Apply
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