Navigating an increasingly complex environment through the lens of politics and policy

Only with a deep understanding of politics and policy can professionals ride the waves of change in a post-pandemic world

Murdoch University Singapore’s new Double Major Degree in Global Politics and Policy is ideal for those who want to help drive public policy and international relations in Singapore. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Even before Covid-19 threw a curveball at the world, nations were already grappling with the impact of the United States-China trade war, fallout from Brexit and rising protectionist sentiments globally, among others.

With the pandemic, the world as we know it will never be the same again. What started as a public health issue has evolved into the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression, triggering recessions and massive job losses. Covid-19 has exacerbated US-China tensions and resulted in massive political, economic, social and cultural shifts.

How will the increasingly nationalist and protectionist forces unleashed by the pandemic shape post-Covid-19 world order? Will globalisation and open markets remain part of the natural order of things? Will it be a more dangerous and fragmented world once the pandemic passes? How will nations, cities and societies - and their peoples - overcome the stresses caused by the pandemic and corresponding measures to curb its spread? Will they buckle under pressure? Or will green shoots emerge from the crisis?

The world is asking these questions and more as experts, policymakers and economists, among others, try to grasp the full scale of post-Covid-19 upheavals to come, and make tough choices and trade-offs.

As Professor Peter Waring, pro vice-chancellor of Transnational Education and dean of Murdoch University Singapore, points out: "Now is an especially useful time to study these tensions through a scholarly lens. Increasingly, the world needs good people who are able to thoughtfully navigate and defuse these points of friction."


International and domestic political events inevitably have economic and social repercussions that spill across borders.

Take the US-China trade war. Asian economies, that count the United States and China as their top trading partners, have been hurt the most when the tensions put pressure on supply chains and investment decisions. Or the aftermath of Brexit, which requires Britain to engage more with Asean as it seeks diversification from the European Union market.

The trickle-down effect on businesses and employees can be severe, depending on how governments cope.

Prof Waring says that employers in industry and government will demand graduates, who not only have skills and knowledge in a business discipline, but are also savvy about the world around them, and have a keen understanding of political systems.

It is understandable that students in Singapore do not simply want to settle for a generic business degree, he adds.


The programme, which is the first of its kind in Singapore, will help students hone their ability to explain the importance of political systems around the world and the impact of policymakers' decisions. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

This is where Murdoch University at Kaplan steps in, as students can combine a business major - such as Management, for instance - with a major in Global Politics and Policy.

The Double Major Degree in Global Politics and Policy will be launched in September 2020. Kaplan is the first private education institution to launch such a major in Singapore.

This major is for those who aspire to actively participate in shaping the local and global forces that affect political institutions and their policies. They will develop a deep understanding of real-world political and policy issues and learn to apply knowledge and skills to their future careers.

Prof Waring says: "Interest in this area was quite strong from local students and we were confident that our major would meet this demand. We also felt that the timing was right given current global issues."

Murdoch University has also adapted to suit students, as it has successfully migrated to full online learning as a result of Singapore's circuit breaker. Prof Waring adds that students have access to a round-the-clock online learning support service.


The new major will appeal to those who want to help drive public policy and international relations. The aim is to help students hone "the ability to explain to others the importance of political systems around the world and how policy-makers' decisions impact all of us", says Prof Waring.

Potential careers include:

  • Positions at aid and non-governmental organisations
  • Foreign journalist
  • Lobbyist
  • Policy officer
  • Security analyst

Moreover, roles in government relations will be especially important in a post-Covid-19 world, where the nexus between industry and government is likely to become even more critical, notes Prof Waring. For instance, their duties include overseeing an organisation's relationships with government departments.

The indicative monthly salary range for a policy officer in the area of social work was $3,500 to $4,370 in 2019, according to figures released by the National Council of Social Services. In a different role, SalaryExpert figures show that an entry-level political analyst could earn an average yearly salary of at least $63,000 in 2020.

Graduates could also consider careers in public relations or business administration roles for non-profit organisations, or take up policy research positions with think tanks around the world. An entry-level PR executive, for instance, could earn from S$3,000 a month, according to Adecco's 2017-2018 salary guide.

Additionally, graduates will have the support of Murdoch EDGE @ Kaplan (Entrepreneurship and Graduate Employability Centre). It was established to assist students to find high quality graduate jobs.


With the "Murdoch Advantage", students have the flexibility to plan their study schedule to their advantage. Polytechnic graduates have more to gain with exemptions and the opportunity to skip the first year of the programme. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Polytechnic graduates generally receive "block credit" for their diploma studies - the equivalent of the first year of Murdoch Degree programmes, which allows for direct entry to the second year of the Degree programme. Instead of 28 months, these students can complete the programme in 16 months.

Additionally, students enjoy the "Murdoch Advantage", giving them full control of their programme schedule and duration. They can plan to take up to 4 academic units in one trimester.

Prof Waring says the flexibility is attractive to students who wish to complete their Degree on the accelerated track as it enables them to enter the labour market more quickly to gain experience and income.


Politics, Power and Policy: Introduces students to key ideas, theories and debates relating to domestic and global political institutions and processes and their broader intersection

Democracy, Dictatorship and Capitalism: Examines the unique developmental paths of Southeast Asian countries to ask whether capitalism and democracy are the perfect pair, and what Southeast Asia might tell us about where the West is heading

Administering Global Governance and Global Business: Discuss the power of international civil servants and their interactions with member states and explore sector-specific concerns such as climate change refugees, access to water, and other areas.

The programme can be completed in a minimum of 16 months. Visit for more information or to submit your enquiries.

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