New courses for the New Economy
The University’s key theme of preparing undergraduates for the workplace of the future will be further enhanced with the launch of new majors, minors and degree specialisations in the upcoming academic year. About 10 new courses are on the cards.
New programmes from the NUS College of Design and Engineering (CDE), NUS Faculty of Science, NUS School of Computing, and NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will cover areas such as Artificial Intelligence, technology, data science, sustainability, globalisation. They will add on to the interdisciplinary offerings by the flagship NUS College, Singapore’s first honours college welcoming its first cohort in August – as well as those by the College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS).
“The overall goal of all our education reform efforts is to advance a university curriculum that prepares students well for a Fourth Industrial Revolution world and workplace,” said Professor Bernard Tan, NUS Senior Vice Provost (Undergraduate Education).
“Our education, focused on both breadth and depth, ensures that our graduates are held in high regard by employers. Last year, more than nine in 10 NUS graduates secured a job within six months of their final examinations.”
New majors and minors
Offered by CDE’s Department of the Built Environment, this degree will equip graduates with the knowledge and interdisciplinary skills to excel in the multifaceted built environment. This is the first interdisciplinary full-time undergraduate programme to cover engineering, design, management, technology, building science and law modules.
Offered by the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to all CHS students, this major will study the range of human diversity, accounting for how people in different times and places have developed into distinctly different societies. The degree will expose students to a vast variety of different beliefs and health practices, economic and political systems, material culture, and even different notions of beauty, the environment, food, family, and the good life.
Anthropology is much sought after for the sort of training it offers its students – a ground up approach to developing deep understanding on just about every aspect of the human condition. Students will be equipped to better understand and deal with the chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity that characterises the contemporary age.
Offered by CDE’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, it aims to train the next generation of urban problem-solvers. They will be equipped with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to create sustainable urban environments in the context of the changing climate. Open to all NUS undergraduate students, this major is stackable to students’ primary major in their chosen field, and can be completed in four years with no additional academic workload.
This will be offered by the Faculty of Science to all CHS students, including those reading Food Science and Technology as the primary major. It is designed to equip students with knowledge in human nutrition, providing them with the necessary foundation to develop a cross-disciplinary perspective along the food supply chain – from farm to fork to health.
Minor in Interpreting
Multilingualism is a defining characteristic of Singapore’s multi-ethnic, immigrant society. With four official languages and with English as the working language, translating and interpreting between each of the mother tongues and English has always been a prominent feature of Singapore society. Against this backdrop, the NUS Department of Chinese Studies has placed as one of its core objectives, the training of graduates with strong Chinese-English bilingual skills who can become leaders in the translation and interpreting arenas.
This new Minor will allow students a related alternative to translation, or as an affiliated Minor to Translation which is already being offered at the Department.
Three new specialisations will be offered by the NUS School of Computing:
This will be offered to students pursuing the Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Degree. They will build up a repertoire of knowledge and skills sought after by both technology companies and the digital immigrant companies that are fast adopting the product- and platform-centric technology and business operating models.
Students pursuing the Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Degree can also take this new specialisation to learn to implement and apply intelligent system solutions buttressed by the new technologies of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Augmented Reality. They will learn to apply these new technologies in software engineering, and to implement and manage intelligent system solutions. Graduates will be able to take on job roles in intelligent systems engineering and solutioning.
This new specialisation for Bachelor of Science (Business Analytics) students will enable students to tap into the analytics capabilities of Machine Learning, a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence. They will learn to rapidly and automatically develop models that can quickly and accurately analyse massive, complex data sets, in order to help businesses unlock the value of corporate and customer data and enact decisions that keep them ahead of the competition. Graduates will be able to take on careers in the rapidly-growing business and data analytics field, among others.
Aside from the new majors, minors and specialisations, a number of new modules are being offered. For instance, the NUS School of Computing is starting a Digital Ethics and Data Privacy module to educate students on this pertinent and pressing issue.
The NUS Faculty of Law is introducing two modules – one on Law & Technology and one on Data Literacy – as technology and data are increasingly being key drivers for the legal industry.