Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) aspires to be a global university of educational excellence with transformative societal impact. In an effort to realize this vision, UTAR strives to attain the following goals among the many it sets forth:

  • Conduct major research programmes, which broaden the horizons of knowledge and seek answers to problems of importance;
  • Maintain strong postgraduate programmes, which encourage intellectual, research and personal development of postgraduate studies;
  • Expand the expertise, services and resources offered by UTAR through the development of cooperative educational programmes with other institutions and professions and other local, state, federal and international agencies;
  • Inculcate among the faculty and the academic community a culture of commitment to effective dissemination of knowledge and vigorous scholastic research activities with publication of high international standards.

To achieve the above goals, it became imperative for UTAR to offer relevant postgraduate programmes to attract talents who aspire to seek a career in research or academia. Hence, the Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR) in UTAR was established and commenced operations in September 2004 with the following principal areas of responsibilities:

  • Serves as a central body for coordinating all postgraduate programmes offered by the Faculties in order to facilitate the administration of the programmes which includes admission, student & academic records, examination and postgraduate activities;
  • Facilitates research services, managing of research projects, planning and monitoring of research budget, assisting in sourcing of research funding, facilitating consultancy services, establishing academic and industry links and facilitating the establishment of Centres of Excellence in strategic research areas.

UTAR began its postgraduate programme in January 2006 by taking in 43 students into 5 Master’s programmes. By the end of 2006, 12 Master’s and 2 PhD programmes were offered with total enrolment of 102 students consisting of 30 Master’s by Research, 29 Master’s by Mixed Mode and 43 Master’s by Coursework. The number of postgraduate programmes offered increased progressively as 10 faculties were involved. Figure 1 provide pictorial illustration of these increases.

By end of 2019, a total of 29 Master’s and 12 PhD programmes were offered. Tables 1 and 2 below illustrate the number of Master’s and PhD programmes offered by UTAR as of 31 December 2019, ranging from Chinese studies, communication, business and finance, management, social science, information and communication technology, mathematics, science and engineering with 886 registered students, consisting of 589 Master’s and 297 PhD students

Figure 1 – No. of Postgraduate Programmes Offered in 2006 – 2019

With an established reputation of offering quality yet affordable postgraduate programmes, UTAR experienced steady enrolment of students into various postgraduate programmes since the initial enrolment of 102 students in January 2006 intake into 5 Master’s programmes.

As of 31 December 2019, UTAR recorded a total cumulative enrolment of 2755 postgraduate students. Figures 2 and 3 provide comparative analysis on the enrolments from 2006 – 2019.

As of 31 December 2019, 1165 postgraduate students had graduated from various Master’s and PhD programmes. Table 3 and Figure 4 provide the numbers and the cumulative number of postgraduate students graduated from postgraduate programmes by Coursework, Mixed Mode and Research as of 31 December 2019.

To ensure the quality of graduates from UTAR postgraduate programmes, as well as to benchmark the research work of its postgraduate students against international standards, UTAR has made it a policy that the external examiners for the examination of thesis and dissertation of candidates in postgraduate programmes by research and by mixed mode must be appointed from among distinguished academics or researchers from overseas with recent 5-year publications in international refereed journals.

Figure 2 – Analysis of Enrolment of Postgraduate Students in 2006 - 2019

Figure 3: Number of UTARRF projects awarded to Faculties in year 2019

Figure 4 – Cumulative Number of Postgraduate Students Graduated from postgraduate programmes by Coursework, Mixed Mode and Research as of 31 Dec 2019