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10 easy and interesting unrestricted electives to take in NTU • Studyramen

10 easy and interesting unrestricted electives to take in NTU

It’s Star Wars season – NTU’s module-bidding battle! As a new semester begins, NTU students will begin to think about what unrestricted electives to take.

Unrestricted electives are meant to ‘broaden your knowledge. Basically, these are academic units set aside for you to take modules outside of your major. Fun!

NTU is particularly blessed because we have the magical teaching institute, NIE, within the compounds of our school. As you will see below, NIE offers some of the most interesting UEs.

If you’re an NTU student thinking about which unrestricted electives to take, here are 10 easy and interesting ones to check out (updated as of December 2021).

Are you a freshie? Check out this NTU freshman guide for all you need to know about NTU.

AAI08B Singing with Freedom

I know, the course title is a little cringy. But bear with me.

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: Using the McClosky technique, you’ll learn how to sing without strain (hence freedom) and use your voice better, which makes for a nicer singing voice.

Difficulty: 3/10. There is literally no homework but to practice your singing!

Why you should take it: The professor is very experienced and encouraging. Singing in front of people is often intimidating, but he always encourages students to not feel stressed and have fun with it.

Grading components: 3 singing tests – Vocal exercises (15%), Song 1 (35%), Song 2 (50%)

Find it under: National Institute of Education (NIE)

FYI: There is an audition; you need to send in a 1 minute voice clip of you singing. But, the professor shared that he’s just looking for a basic sense of rhythm and pitch. If you can sing in tune and on beat, you should be able to pass.

CM8002 Forensic Science

Picture from Discover Magazine

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn about how science is used to provide evidence for criminal cases.

Difficulty: 6/10. Content is very interesting but brain-stimulating; you have to study for it to do well.

Why you should take it: You will analyse real-life criminal cases as course material! The professor makes the class interesting and even his tests are pretty fun – the final test was a made-up case and students had to analyse it. Most people who take this module love it.

Grading components: 2 online MCQ Midterms (25% each), 1 online short-answer Final (50%)

Find it under: Chemistry and Biological Chemistry

FYI: Be prepared for lots of chemistry/biology.

AAA18M Batik

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn the basics of how to create beautiful batik designs with hot and cold wax and batik dyes.

Difficulty: 4/10. As with all new skills, it’ll take some getting used to, but really you just have to listen and execute (as best as you can).

Why you should take it: It’s a unique experience! Quoting a friend, ‘For someone who is bad at art, I had fun.’ Batik classes outside also aren’t cheap, so might as well take it in school.

Grading components: Project 1 (40%), Project 2 (40%), Digital Journal (20%)

Find it under: National Institute of Education (NIE)

FYI: You’ll need to pay around $60 for art materials.

AGQ28C Food and Society

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll explore culture through food. This includes cooking food based on the week’s theme and learning more about the context in which the food is eaten.

Difficulty: 4/10. You have to cook, but recipes are provided and cooking is done in groups so it’s not too intimidating even for novice chefs!

Why you should take it: You get to cook and eat in every class. You can even take the leftovers home! Cooking with people also means making lots of new friends in the process.

Grading components: Country/Topical Report (30%), Infographic (30%), Essay (40%)

Find it under: National Institute of Education (NIE)

HN9010 Singapore: Imagining the Next 50 Years

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn about Singapore’s future – the threats that may affect Singapore in the long run and policy strategies to combat these threats.

Difficulty: 1/10. Pass/Fail. Need I say more?

Why you should take it: If you’re looking for an easy UE, this is it. Classes alternate between online and physical every week, and the content is very manageable.

Grading components: Weekly online MCQs (30%), Reflection Essay (50%), Class Participation (20%)

Find it under: General Education in Art, Humanities and Social Sciences

HZ9101 Introduction to Creative Writing

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn about different types of creative writing like poetry, fiction and non-fiction and even try your hand at writing them yourself.

Difficulty: 6/10. People who are new to creative writing might find it difficult at first, but most people who took it enjoyed it.

Why you should take it: It’s a really interactive class; everyone shares their writing and provides feedback together! While this might seem intimidating, the professor is very encouraging in the process.

Grading components: Fiction (20%), Poetry (20%), Multimedia Project (20%), Reflective Essay (20%), Class Participation (20%)

Find it under: English

Level 1 Languages

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn the basic grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language. You’ll also learn more about the country’s culture.

Difficulty: 6/10. Learning languages requires effort to remember and understand what’s being taught, but they begin with simple expressions and grammatical forms.

If you’re learning a new language and want to memorise new words and phrases, these 6 flashcard apps may help you.

Why you should take it: Learning a new language is always a good skill to have. Classes are also interactive, so it’s a fun way to learn about a new culture!

Grading components: Weightage varies based on the language, but usually it includes at least one oral test, listening test and writing test.

Find it under: Humanities

FYI: Because many people learn Japanese and Korean by themselves through watching shows, the bell curve for these languages are usually pretty insane. If you’re a complete beginner and don’t want to stress too much, try another language like Russian or German!

AAA28R Ceramics 1

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn about the whole ceramic making process – from preparing the clay to glazing and firing.

Difficulty: 5/10.

Why you should take it: It’s loads of hands-on fun! You get to make your own ceramic creations and keep them too.

Grading components: Project 1 (40%), Project 2 (40%), Written Project (20%)

Find it under: National Institute of Education (NIE)

FYI: You’ll need to pay around $60 for art materials.

AAU08A Theatre Games: Engagement through Play

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You’ll learn how games conventionally used in theatre can help to build interpersonal skills and engage people.

Difficulty: 3/10. Literally, you go in and play games.

Why you should take it: The games are reminiscent of childhood fun! Because they are designed to help you be more expressive and less shy, it’s very interactive and you’ll get to know the people in your class too. It’s great if you are interested in theatre but have little experience in it.

Grading components: Lesson Plan (50%), Reflective Journal (50%)

Find it under: National Institute of Education (NIE)

FYI: While the classes themselves are super chill, you still need to put in the effort for the lesson plan and reflective journal. The lecturer is strict with grading!

AAA18H Painting with Oil and Acrylics/AAA19J Painting with Watercolour

What this NTU Unrestricted Elective is about: You will learn about what makes a good painting and learn basic painting techniques.

Difficulty: 5/10. Getting the hang of painting might be tough for some, but it will get better the more you practise it!

Why you should take it: The lecturer is very understanding and helpful, always emphasising that it is a beginner-friendly class. It’s also a therapeutic way to relax amidst a hectic week.

For more ways to de-stress, check out these 10 techniques for stress-relief.

Grading components: Technique studies (40%), Still – Life (30%), Final Portrait/Landscape

Find it under: National Institute of Education (NIE)

FYI: You’ll need to pay around $60 for art materials.

Some parting words…

Don’t be afraid to try something new! While we all want to maintain as high a GPA as possible, don’t limit yourself to the easiest UEs just to do well.

Choosing modules that are fun will make the work not seem like work.

May the force be with you this Star Wars season, and have a fruitful semester ahead. For more study-related content, you can follow us on Instagram, check out our LinkedIn, or subscribe to our Telegram Channel.