NUS to offer cross-disciplinary programmes next year

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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.

Some possible pairings of complementary disciplines include economics and data science and computing and project management.

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 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 said 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.

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 approach breaks down the boundaries of two disciplines and focuses on their integration.

Professor Ho, 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."