How to do a Doctorate Degree Programme in Malaysia - Part 3

Some Institutions offering Postgraduate Studies in Malaysia
Public Universities Private Universities & Branch Campuses of Foreign Universities Private Colleges in Collaboration with Foreign Universities
- Universiti Malaya
- Universiti Sains Malaysia
- Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
- Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
- Universiti Putra Malaysia
- Universiti Utara Malaysia
- Universiti Malaysia Sabah
- Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
- Universiti Teknologi MARA
- Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia
- etc
- Curtin University of Technology Malaysia (Sarawak Campus)
- FTMS-De Montfort University Campus Malaysia
- Multimedia University (Cyberjaya & Melaka Campuses)
- Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST)
- Universiti Teknologi Petronas
- Universiti Industri Selangor
- Universiti Tenaga Nasional
- Universiti Tun Abdul Razak
- University of Nottingham in Malaysia
- etc
- Asia-Pacific Institute of Information Technology
- HELP Institute
- KDU College
- Kemayan Advance Tertiary College
- Unity College International
- Stamford College
- Sunway College
- etc

A huge range of courses are offered at these institutions, ranging from Library & Information Science Dissertation to Environmental Engineering. A list of the courses is available in this link.

How To Apply
Most applications are made to the individual universities. In addition, since the number of openings for each postgraduate programme is limited, there are various strict entry qualifications that universities insist on before admitting students.

You can undertake postgraduate studies in most universities. Postgraduate studies may be an opportunity for you to move to another institution aside from where you obtain your basic degree, or you may decide to go somewhere that specialises in a particular subject area in which you are interested.

Applying to do a postgraduate programme is not a complicated procedure, but you do need to plan ahead. If you are applying for a Master's programme, which is normally in high demand, you must apply early because the available places in certain popular disciplines would be filled up very quickly. Besides this, the universities would usually have a quota of available places for postgraduate programmes. It is therefore wise to apply early, as an early application will increase your chances of selection.

Other factors which would support an early application are:
  • the time it takes for you to gather information;
  • the time your referees need to supply references in support of your application (Note: Your referees should ideally be university tutors who are able to comment on your academic strengths, and why you are suited for the course or research area applied for, or even your employer who can list your talents);
  • the time that those universities would take to make their decision (due to the possibly high number of applications from both local and international students);
  • the deadlines set by scholarship awarding bodies (since chances are that you may want to find a sponsor).

Ideally, therefore, you should begin the application process several months (e.g., 6 - 8 months) before the postgraduate programme commences. You may also consider applying for postgraduate acceptance before you receive your final Bachelor's / Master's degree results. In this case, especially if you have shown a consistent flow of good grades, the university that you are applying to may make a “Conditional Offer”, which will be confirmed depending on your final results.

The following table provides some additional tips when applying for postgraduate studies.
Points to consider when applying for Postgraduate Studies
  • craft your application with a focus that highlights your achievements
  • describe your interests in the field of study and how those interests come about
  • elaborate on your goals and ambitions in the field and give details on how the specific programme to which you are applying for can help you to achieve your goals
  • avoid clich├ęs by thinking about what makes you different from other applicants and what you can offer as a student in the programme (Admissions committees will be impressed if you explain how the particular programme offered by that school will help you achieve your long-term goals)
  • consider carefully whom you ask to write your Letters of Recommendation. Some Departments prefer letters from your former or current professors, while others prefer letters from employers
  • remember to send a thank-you note and an update on your admission status to those people who wrote your Letters of Recommendation, as you may be requesting letters again later in your academic career for fellowship or job applications
  • if you are sending along a resume which has large gaps in it, it's advisable to explain what you were doing during those periods
  • read questions carefully and answer questions directly. Be specific - talk about what brought you to the decision to apply to a graduate school, what skills you have that are applicable, and the types of experiences (professional, academic, and personal) that have led you to this point
  • be punctual and neatly dressed for an interview if you are called.

There is also no centralised postgraduate application procedure in Malaysia, so you would need to apply directly to the individual universities or colleges via their application forms by means of writing in or accessing via their websites (if available online).