Cross-disciplinary degree programmes at NUS from Aug 2021

NUS said the programmes aim to leverage synergies between complementary disciplines.
NUS said the programmes aim to leverage synergies between complementary disciplines.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Students may get the flexibility to pursue programmes across disciplines, with the National University of Singapore (NUS) planning to transform its educational model.

From the academic year starting in August 2021, NUS is planning to offer 10 cross-disciplinary degree programmes (CDPs).

Some possible pairings of complementary disciplines include economics and data science, computing and project management, as well as engineering and business.

NUS said the programmes aim to leverage synergies between complementary disciplines. To graduate, a student will need to complete 160 modular credits, the same requirement as that for a four-year Bachelor with Honours degree programme.

This comprises 40 credits covering the fundamentals for each of the two majors, 20 credits on integrative projects involving both majors, 20 credits on general education, and 40 credits on unrestricted electives in any discipline.

NUS senior deputy president and provost Ho Teck Hua said: "The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. There is no better time for NUS to make a bold move to ensure that our students benefit from the expertise we have on our campuses."

He added that NUS dons believe the cross-disciplinary model will enable its graduates to not just meet market demands, but also have mastery of a unique set of skills. They also will be better equipped to thrive in a fast-changing and complex world.

Asked how the new degrees are different from the double degrees or double major programmes, he said students taking up double degrees acquire in-depth knowledge in two distinct disciplines. But NUS' new cross-disciplinary approach breaks down the boundaries of two disciplines and focuses on the integration of these disciplines.

Professor Ho, who is also executive chairman of AI Singapore, is himself a product of many disciplines - artificial intelligence, marketing, computing and engineering.

He said: "The cross-disciplinary degree programmes allow NUS to offer our students the best of both worlds - the flexibility to explore and the knowledge to specialise.

"This hyper-flexible model opens up new avenues that cater to more students with a wide range of aptitudes and interests."

Sandra Davie

 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2020, with the headline 'Cross-disciplinary degree programmes at NUS from Aug 2021'. Print Edition | Subscribe