Singapore education system: Know all about the learning structure
Singapore education system: With a distinct education system focusing on a technology based instruction form of teaching; Singapore has created a name for itself as the most sought after education hub of Asia. One of the interesting elements of Singapore’s education system is that it offers a flexible learning approach while accommodating global programmes. For instance, Singapore education institutes also accept the International Baccalaureate programme as well as intergrated programmes.
Here we bring you a comprehensive structure of the Singapore education system right form primary to university level along with the eligible qualifications.
Primary education in Singapore includes a 4-year foundation stage and a 2-year orientation stage. Primary education in Singapore is centered on the English language, mothertongue and Mathematics.
Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE)- Conducted annually by the Ministry of Education, the Primary School Leaving Examination is taken by students at the end of their primary level education i.e., the sixth year of education. Taking the PSLE is essential for students to move to the secondary level education in Singapore.
Once the students are through with their PSLE, they can start their secondary education. Students can take up Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) education depending on their performance in the PSLE. Secondary education includes 4-5 years of education.
General Certificate of Education, N Level Examination- The General Certificate of Education, Normal Levels Examination or GCE N level exam are conducted annually by the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) after 4 years of study in Normal Academic -GCE N(A) or Technical –GCE N(T) streams. Usually, GCE N levels are taken by students in preparation for the GCE O level exams in the fifth year.
General Certificate of Education, O Level Examination: The Singapore GCE O level exams are held annually after students complete 4 or 5 years of secondary education. GCE O levels can be taken after 4 years for express or special courses and 5 years for students who have taken GCE N (A).
Pre-University studies are taken up for 2- 3 years, usually in preparation for the GCE A level exam. It includes 2-year junior college or a 3-year centralised institute course. Pre –university also includes the IB diploma programme, High School diploma and Integrated Programme.
a. General Certificate of Education, A Level Examination: The Singapore GCE A level examination is taken after completing 2 years of Junior college or 3 years of centralised institute course. It is conducted by the SEAB, MOE and University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. Candidates are usually 18 or 19 years of age at the time of examination.
b. IB Diploma- The IB Diploma Programme is a comprehensive 2-year international curriculum, available in English, to be taken by students after the successful completion of secondary education i.e., after GCE N or O level. The IB diploma follows an international curriculum and is made up of six subject groups.
c. High School Diploma- The High school diploma is similar to that offered worldwide.In Singapore it is offered by select high schools and the duration of the programme is 6 years. Students can take up the High school diploma programme after achieving their PSLE.
d. Integrated Programmes (IP) - As the name suggests, the integrated programme is a six-year integrated programme where secondary students can directly join junior college without appearing for GCE O level. Generally, the IP leads to a GCE A level certificate or an equivalent qualification.
Undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Singapore – Post Secondary
The duration of an undergraduate course in Singapore is three to four years. The degrees awarded after completing the undergraduate courses are Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and specific degree fields such as Bachelor of Science (Business Analytics).
The duration of a postgraduate full time course is one to two years. The duration of a PhD programme is from two to five years.
Types of educational institutions in Singapore
There are various types of higher education institutions in Singapore based on which the students can choose their area and subject of study.
Institute of Technical Education
Established in 1992, Singapore's Institute of Technical Education provides courses which are technical in nature such as applied sciences, design and media, business, electronics and information communications technology, hospitality and engineering. The Institute of Technical Education is the national authority for setting skills standards for the certification of skills in Singapore. The students can choose between full or part-time educational or traineeship courses in the institute of technical education.
It offers the following qualifications:
National ITE Certificate- The National ITE certificate or the Institute of Technical Education certificate is awarded for vocational training of 2-3 years at one of the ITEs in Singapore. Students can study at the ITEs after the GCE N or O level examination.
Higher National ITE Certificate- The Singapore Higher National ITE Certificate can be received after one more year of study than the one awarded for National ITE certificate. Awarded by the Institute of Technical Education, students with GCE O certificate or National ITE Certificate can apply for Higher NITEC leading to the certificate.
Masters Higher National ITE Certificate- The Masters Higher National ITE Certificate is one of the highest degrees offered by the Institute of Technical Education. Students who have received the National ITE certificate are eligible to apply for Masters NITEC. Work experience is also required in some cases.
The polytechnics provide practice oriented skills and training that are needed at the work place. The polytechnics in Singapore offer training at degree and diploma levels. Currently, there are 5 polytechnics in Singapore are:
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Polytechnics offer the following qualifications:
Polytechnic Diploma- Offered by the Polytechnics in Singapore, the Polytechnic diploma programs require three years of full-time study after the GCE O-levels or Higher National ITE Certificate. Polytechnics are usually for students who want to take up technical or vocational studies.
Polytechnic Advanced Diploma: The advanced diploma courses are designed to deepen the knowledge of the student in a specific programme. Advanced diplomas can be received by pursuing about a year and a half to two years of studies after receiving the Polytechnic Diploma. Advanced diplomas have three to four 6-month semesters.
Polytechnic Specialist Diploma- The Polytechnic Specialist Diploma offers further specialization in a programme beyond the Polytechnic Diploma. Students can be awarded as many as two post- diploma certificates. This Diploma can be completed in a year i.e in two 6- month semesters.
There are mainly 2 types of universities in Singapore. They are private universities and public funded universities. These universities offer a range of courses for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. There are four government-funded universities in Singapore:
National University of Singapore
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore Management University
Singapore University of Technology and Design and
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
Apart from the above, Singapore has one private university- SIM University which is also partly funded by the government.
Besides, there are campuses of various foreign universities from numerous countries in Singapore. The major foreign universities with campuses in Singapore are:
James Cook University Singapore
Curtin University Singapore
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
University of Nevada Las Vegas Singapore
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Bachelors Degree: Universities in Singapore offer Bachelor or undergraduate programmes for three to five years depending on the subject. So, a Bachelor Degree in Dentistry, Law, Engineering, Architecture Music etc require four years, while Medicine requires five. Students are eligible for the Bachelor’s degree after GCE A level, an IB diploma or a Polytechnic degree. Bachelor’s degree in Singapore is offered in Pass or Pass with Merit and Honours Degrees.
Masters- Like anywhere else, the Masters or Post-graduation degree is obtained after 2- 3 years of specialized study in an area of study. Students require a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to pursue a Master’s course.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree- A doctoral programme can be taken up after a student has completed both his Bachelors and Masters programme. It is awarded after a minimum of 2 years of research or study in a specific area and can go up to 5 to 7 years depending on the study the student has taken up.
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Questions related to Singapore
best university for mba in Singapore
Here I list the top business school for MBA in Singapore.
1. National University of Singapore (NUS)
2. INSEAD Singapore
3. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Nayang business school
4. Singapore Management University- Lee Kong Chian School of Business
All the above four universities are among the top 50 universities in world rankings.
I hope this helps you.
What is the cost to become a Neurosurgeon or Neurologist in Singapore after completing MS or MD from India?
Here is the list of some colleges of Singapore for this course with their total fee:
1. Nanyang Technological University - Rs 20 lakhs
2. National University of Singapore - Rs 40 lakhs
3. Lasalle College Singapore - Rs 15 lakhs
4. James Cook University - Rs 15 lakhs
5. Duke, NUS Medical School, Singapore - Rs 40 lakhs.
Hope it clears your doubt.
Please say, What is the Working hours of Neurosurgeons in India and Singapore?
The working hours of a neurosurgeon in India or Singapore,in fact any country for that matter varies for different hospitals he/she works in. The working hours also depends upon the number of patients visiting the doctor. A doctor needs to make himself/herself available for a patient at any time of the day. However,8-12 hours a day is generally invested by a neurosurgeon in hospitals/clinics in India or Singapore or anywhere in world.
Hope this helps.
How to study Medical PG in Singapore by Scholarship after completing MBBS in India?
If the MBBS degree you did in India is recognised by the Singapore Ministry of Health (Singapore only accepts degrees from renowned universities), then there are many postgraduate medical studies that you can go for non-clinical post-grad studies like pharmacology and biochemistry or clinical courses like surgery and O&G
Scholarships in Singapore:
Singapore Internationational Graduate Award
- Commonwealth Scholarship in Singapore 2020
- ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship At NUS In Singapore 2020
- National University Of Singapore Scholarships 2020
- George Lyndon Hicks Fellowship For Developing Countries 2020
- Golden Key Scholarship 2020 For International Students
I wish to become a Neurosurgeon, but first I wish to practice in the United States or Singapore for half of my career and to spend last half of my career in India. Whether my wish is a good one? Is it possible? Is my decision is correct? Kindly commend on my wish?
Raja, we have been discussing your career and aspirations for a while now and we appreciate that you want to take Career360's opinion on the matter of your career. So by now, you are aware of the fact what it takes to become a neurosurgeon and what it is to clear USMLE, practise as a resident in the US. We also have discussed the life style and the salary part. Now regarding the first half and later half of the career, we only wish we could predict our timeline on this planet. We do not which might be the first half or which might be the later part. But no wish is bad. If you want to achieve something, you should lest you regret for the rest of your lofe. Now to practise in the US, you may have to appear for USMLE, clear the step 1 and then practise as a resident before you can get the license to practise as a full time neurosurgeon. That is a long process that might take good 4-5 years. You study MBBS in India for 50 months and then complete the 1 year rotational internship and it takes you as many as 5 years. And appearing for USMLE and then working as a resident take another 4 years and so 10 years of your life are spent getting a valid license to practise in the US. And then lets say after 5 years you want to move to Singapore, that takes a whole different processing because you need to appear for their license exam. And you work in Singapore for lets say another 5 years and you come back to India. 15 years of your life are spent studying and getting licenses. But the beauty is within 15 years you can actually get license to practise in 3 countries. So you need to take a call. Or how about you finish MBBS in India, move to Singapore to study your MD/MS and plan on moving to the US? That way the transition is going to be smoother.