New NTU programmes let students go beyond their fields, giving them an edge

Students starting at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) this August will have more options available within their chosen fields of study.
Students starting at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) this August will have more options available within their chosen fields of study. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Some students starting at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) this August will have more options available within their chosen fields of study, allowing them to acquire additional expertise to prepare for relevant and emerging industries when they graduate.

This year, NTU will introduce several undergraduate programmes in the business, engineering and science disciplines.

Professor Kam Chan Hin, NTU's senior associate provost of undergraduate education, said the programmes - which allow students to complement their studies with qualifications in related areas or diversify their degrees with programmes in vastly different fields - will give them a competitive edge.

He added: "The demands in the global workplace are increasingly going to require students to have both depth of knowledge and the ability to go beyond their core discipline."

For instance, those keen on business or accountancy courses may choose to pursue a degree in either courses as well as a master's in financial engineering, all within four years. Students will learn and apply techniques in finance, computer science and mathematics to solve financial problems.

The programme includes a seven-week exchange at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania in the United States in the fourth year.

Another option for prospective business and accountancy students allows them to take on a minor in strategic communication, which focuses on areas such as public relations, marketing communication and media planning.

NTU has also introduced engineering and science programmes with second majors in emerging fields, such as food science technology, pharmaceutical engineering, medical biology and biomedical materials.

Materials engineering students will be able to take up a second major in medical biology, while those taking biological sciences can pursue a second major in biomedical materials.

These add-ons will prepare students to tackle emerging healthcare developments, such as regenerative medicine, with skills in handling biomaterials and operating advanced biomedical devices.

In addition, materials engineering and bioengineering students can take on a second major in pharmaceutical engineering, where they will gain knowledge in drug design.

A second major in food science and technology is also available to prospective bioengineering students, allowing them to understand nutrition for an ageing population and innovations in food-waste reduction.

Other universities have also introduced new programmes this year.

For instance, the Singapore Management University will offer a course on politics, law and economics as well as one in entrepreneurship.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'New NTU programmes let students go beyond their fields, giving them an edge'. Print Edition | Subscribe