9 Best Private Universities in Singapore

9 Best Private Universities in Singapore

9 Best Private Universities in Singapore

best private universities in Singapore

It’s the time of the year again when prospective undergraduates begin to consider university options after completing their major examinations or while they are in their final stages of tertiary education.

Contrary to popular belief, private degrees in Singapore have a multitude of benefits to offer.

For example, they usually can be completed earlier compared to local degrees in a span ranging from 16 months to 3 years. Furthermore, private degrees tend to be more specialised. In this list, we have curated 9 of the best private universities and degrees in Singapore.

Here is are some quick statistics about private universities in Singapore:

Kaplan Singapore

Address: 8 Wilkie Rd, #02-01 Wilkie Edge, Singapore 228095

Kaplan is a great starting point to discover your options for private universities. As a private educational institution that specialises in making educational services more accessible to students, Kaplan Singapore has connections to various private universities overseas which offer degrees locally. Their employment rate stands at 77.6% for overall employment rate and 46.9% for full-time permanent employment rate.

Here are some of the universities with part-time and full-time degrees in Singapore.

Kaplan Singapore
Sourced from Kaplan Singapore

Murdoch University

Murdoch University is an Australian university ranked in the Top 100 global universities under 50 years old.

Some of the private degrees Murdoch offers include Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Management, Communication and Media, Information Technology, Criminology, Business Law, Psychology and Hospitality and Tourism Management. Their latest addition also includes a degree in Global Politics and Policy.

The total tuition fee for most full-time degrees for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents would amount to SGD $21,186 for a single major.

Northumbria University

Northumbria University is among the Top 1% elite institutions worldwide and the only University in the UK with Dual AACSB Accreditation. The university is also ranked 351st – 400th in the World University Ranking 2021.

Students can choose from a wide range of disciplines including Accounting and Finance, Business and Management, Communication and Media, Hospitality and Tourism, Education and Counselling, Humanities and Social Sciences and Law.

The tuition fee for most degrees is S$22,363.

University College Dublin (UCD)

University College Dublin is ranked among the Top 1% of institutions worldwide and is one of the few elite business schools to hold the ‘Triple Crown’ accreditation from AACSB (US), AMBA (UK) and EQUIS (Europe).

UCD offers a choice of 10 specialised pathways which include Banking and Wealth Management, Business Analytics, Business with Law, Digital Business, Finance, Human Resource, Logistics and Supply Chain, Management, Marketing and Project Management.

The UCD direct Honours Degree can be completed within 18 months and the tuition fee for most of their courses amounts to S$23,968.

For more details on the programmes Kaplan has to offer, you could head over to their website.

Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)

Address: 461 Clementi Rd, Singapore 599491

SIM at Clementi
Sourced from SIM

SIM Global Education (SIM GE) is a leading private education institution in Singapore. SIM has partnerships with top-ranking and reputable universities from Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their enrollment stands at about 16,000 full and part-time students and adult learners. Here is the list of the universities associated with SIM and the various courses they offer.

University at Buffalo (UOB)

UOB is well known for its specialisation in the Arts and Social Sciences. The university primarily offers degrees in Communications, Economics, International Relations, International Trade, Politics, Psychology and Sociology.


The degrees offered by RMIT include Business (with a specialisation in either marketing or management), Professional Communication and Design. Students can also top up specialisations in Applied Science – which include a specialisation in either Aviation or Construction.

University of Stirling

The University of Stirling offers degrees in Events Management, Marketing, Retail and Marketing and Sport Studies and Marketing.

University of Wollongong

The University of Wollongong offers degrees in Computer Science (Game and Mobile Development or Cyber Security), Business Information Systems and Psychology.

University of London

The University of London offers degrees in Accounting and Finance, Banking and Finance, Computer Science, Data Science and Economics.

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham offers degrees in Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Business Management and Communications and International Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The tuition fees at SIM is $30,000 on average for a full-time undergraduate degree. Their employment rate stands at 85.7% for overall employment and 52% for overall employment rate. SIM also boasts a modern campus that has a multi-purpose sports hall, a performing arts theatre and various activity hubs as a conducive space to study or have a wind-down session with your friends.

SIM also offers scholarships for students, one of which is the SIM GE Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated leadership qualities both in and outside the classroom.

They are also granted to athletes who possess an impressive track record of achievement in sports or individuals with outstanding artistic talents. If you are considering SIM as a private university of your choice then do also check out our article on what you can look forward to in a SIM education.

Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)

Address: 501 Stirling Rd, Singapore 148951

MDIS campus
Sourced from MDIS

MDIS, founded in 1956, is one of the oldest private universities for lifelong learning in Singapore.

The university offers degrees in Engineering, Fashion and Design, Life Sciences, Language and Education, Media and Communications, Health and Nursing, Psychology, Technology, Tourism and Hospitality and Safety and environmental management.

MDIS is also reputed for its Business School (MBS) which is the largest and most established school within MDIS. MBS offers an industry-relevant and multi-disciplinary approach in the fields of business and management for education in Singapore, preparing students for career commencement and advancement in today’s complex business environment. The school also houses facilities for each specialisation such as Hospitality Labs, Labs for the life sciences, Media studios and Computer labs.

The employment rate for MDIS stands at 60.4% for overall employment and 32.4% for part-time employment.

A full-time course can be completed within 27 months while a part-time course can be completed within 36 months. The undergraduate fee for MDIS is estimated to be about $45,000 for most full-time courses.

MDIS has an educational trust fund to support students who come from lower-income backgrounds and scholarships to recognise holistic excellence in students. The Merit Scholarship for Bachelor’s degree covers up to S$4,000. More information on MDIS Scholarships and financial aid can be found here.

MDIS also offers dorms, primarily for international students. The residences are known by the name, MDIS Residences @ Sterling.

Curtin University

Address: 90 & 92 Jln Rajah, Singapore 329162

Curtin Singapore
Sourced from Curtin University, Singapore

Australia’s Curtin University has campuses in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius, and is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide. The private university is globally recognised for its strong connections with industry, high-impact research and wide range of innovative courses.

Curtin was also ranked 1st overall in employment rate in the 2019/20 SSG PEI Graduate Employment Survey with an overall employment rate of 87.5% and 60.4% for full-time employment. The campus is also well developed having 36 classrooms equipped with AV equipment and MacLabs for students to use. There are also areas for sports and recreation like basketball courts and gymnasiums.

The private university offers Business and Communications Bachelors Degrees. They also offer a part-time degree in Nursing. The estimated fee for a full-time degree is 20,000 SGD which can be completed in a span of 2 years.

James Cook University

Address: 149 Sims Dr, Singapore 387380

Jamescook uni
Sourced from James Cook University, Singapore

James Cook University Singapore is a branch of James Cook University, based in Townsville, Australia. The campus offers undergraduate programmes, Higher Degree by Research programs and courses at the pre-university level, specifically designed to pave the way for students to meet university entrance standards.

The private university offers degrees in Business, Commerce, Information Technology, Psychology, Environmental Sciences, Science and Healthcare as well as Early Childhood Education. The tuition fee for most courses ranges from 52,00 SGD to 59,000 SGD.

JCU’s employment rate is 64.1% for overall employment and 36.9% for full-time permanent employment. The university also has facilities to cater to the various needs and of students such as Multi-Purpose Halls for sporting and Technology-Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) rooms or Apple Rooms for collaboration.

JCU also offers Merit Scholarships for students who have excelled academically. They have 3 categories of scholarships which offer 100%,50% and 25% scholarships in an academic year.

Raffles College of Higher Education

Address: 51 Merchant Rd, Singapore 058283

raffles college of higher education
Sourced from Raffles College Of Higher Education

The Raffles College of Higher Education is a premier design and business private educational institution that aims at bringing students personalised, boutique and exclusive hands-on design learning experience. The private university has bagged awards such as the World Branding Awards as well as the IAIR corporate award for Best Company for Leadership in Private Education in Asia Pacific 2015 and Excellence of the Year for Leadership in Education in Asia 2016.

The private university offers undergraduate degrees primarily in the areas of design and merchandising. This includes degrees like Fashion Design, Game Design and Interior Design as well as Fashion Communication and Journalism and Fashion Marketing.

The fees for most undergraduate programmes on average is 25,000 SGD. The school’s overall employment rate stands at 41.7% with their employment in Full-Time Permanent Employment standing at 25%.

The school also boasts impressive facilities such as dance and design studios as well as digital media labs for students to explore their creative talents. They are also located near town, making for a sweet spot for lively and bustling student life.

Amity Global Institute

Address: 101 Penang Road, Singapore 238466

Amity Global Institute Singapore
Sourced from Amity Global Institute, Singapore

Amity is part of the leading world-wide Amity Education Group, which has over two decades of experience in education.

As a private university, they deliver a range of bachelor’s degree courses in Singapore in collaboration with four university partners to help students in advancing their professional growth. The school is affiliated with the University of London, University of Northampton, Teesside University and University for the Creative Arts.

Amity offers Bachelors in Accounting and Finance, Business and Data Management, Business and Cybersecurity, Computer Science and Law. The course fee is $30,000SGD on average for most undergraduate courses.

The university also offers scholarships for students who have excelled academically. Students would not only be given financial remuneration but they would also be offered an internship at Amity. More information can be found here.

LSBF (London School of Business & Finance) Singapore

Address: 143 Cecil Street #13-00, #18-00 & #23-00 (School) #23-00 (Main reception) Singapore, 069542

London School of Business and Finance Singapore
Sourced from London School Of Business & Finance

LSBF is a private university in Singapore that is ranked 600 in Best Global Universities. The university offers undergraduate degrees in Business, Hospitality, Logistics, Accounting and Finance, Technology and even a diploma in Law.

LSBF Singapore has also fulfilled the requirements under the EduTrust Terms and Conditions. The EduTrust award is given to private education institutions for having achieved good performance in key areas of management and the provision of educational services.

The award also enables these institutions to welcome international students into their campuses.

For more information on the course fee and structure, do make sure to make an inquiry on their website.

Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health

Address: 168 Jalan Bukit Merah, #02-05 Tower 3, Singapore 150168

parkway college of nursing and allied health
Sourced from Parkway College of Nursing & Allied Health

Established in 2008, Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health is the education arm of Parkway Pantai Limited and focuses on the niche fields of nursing, allied health and healthcare management. As an Approved Training Organisation by SkillsFuture Singapore, Parkway College provides courses that are of high quality within the Continuous Education and Training framework.

The private university offers Diploma in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging and Bachelor of Science in Optometry and Clinical practice. Their overall employment rate stands at 83.3% while their full-time employment rate is 61.1%.

Parkway College is equipped with a wide range of training facilities including audio-visual aids to support training. This includes having classrooms equipped with AV training aids, Nursing Skills Laboratories and Optometry Laboratory.

An array of options for the beginning of your new journey

We hope that our list has provided you with more insight into the private university options out there and what they have to offer! Should you want to glean more information on other routes you could explore post-tertiary education, do check out our article on 13 post-graduate paths after a “bad” GPA in polytechnic.

If you would like to explore local university options instead, you could also head over to our other article detailing information about which local university to apply to.

In the meantime, should you want to learn more about how you can maximise your opportunities as a student, give Study Ramen a follow on our Instagram, subscribe to our Telegram channel for updates and connect with us on Linkedin.

40 Ideas for graduation gifts in Singapore

40 Ideas for graduation gifts in Singapore

40 Ideas for graduation gifts in Singapore

Graduation season is soon approaching. It’s a pretty bittersweet event — it brings back memories of sweat and tears but also laughter and joy in school.

Have friends graduating soon and want to congratulate them? Here are some graduation gift ideas in Singapore that are (mostly) under $100 to get your friends ready for their next stage of life, be it working or further education.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive extra compensation, at no extra cost to you, to sustain our operations. 

The Day Itself — Graduation Ceremony

You’re invited to a friend’s graduation ceremony and you don’t want to turn up empty-handed. Here are some ideas for what you can give them!

1. Flowers


Picture taken from Farm Florist’s website

Flowers are a must-have at graduation ceremonies.

Have no idea what flowers your friend will like? Farm Florist’s Surprise Bouquet service lets the professionals do the flower choosing so you can shop with peace of mind.

They even offer free same-day delivery, great if you need a last-minute graduation gift.

Check it out on Farm Florist’s website.

2. Graduation Bear

Graduation bear

Picture taken from Shopee

No graduation is complete without a graduation bear. This bear from Shopee comes in three different sizes at a really affordable price, which is great if you have multiple graduating friends.

Check this out on Shopee for $4.90-$11.50

Or, if you’d like something a bit more non-conforming, how about a panda bear instead? Get it as a gag gift to foreshadow the dark eye circles your friends will grow soon. (Kidding!)

Check this out on Ikea’s website at $5.90

Experiential Graduation Gifts

After many tiring years of being a student, graduation calls for some time to party! Gift your friend some beautiful memories with these exciting experiences.

3. Pretend to travel to Japan at Sushi Airways

Jap restaurant

A happy stomach is a great idea for a graduation gift, because…who doesn’t love food?

Since there are no present plans to establish a Vaccinated Travel Lane with Japan as of yet, Sushi Airways is a comforting alternative.

Visit them at 20a Baghdad St, Singapore 199659. For info on opening hours and more, check out their Facebook page.

4. Dine at El Fuego

el fuego

Picture taken from El Fuego’s Instagram and website

For a more conventional dining experience, bring your graduating friends to El Fuego for a tasty treat. Situated in Jewel Changi Airport, El Fuego offers a 2-course set lunch for $18.90++, which is pretty decent for such amazing looking food!

It is also halal-certified, so you can bring your Muslim friends here for a nice lunch date too.

Visit them at 78 Airport Blvd., #02-216, Singapore 819666 and check out their menu and opening hours.

5. Snap some commemorative shots at a self photo studio

Self photo studio @ Photomatic

Self photo studios aren’t just for couple pictures! Bringing your friend (and their graduation outfit) to a self photo studio is a thoughtful graduation gift.

Most studios provide 15 minutes of unlimited shooting and a few hard and digital copies for $30-$40. You are also given full privacy when taking your shots so don’t be shy; go wild with the poses!

Check this comprehensive breakdown of a few popular photo studios in Singapore. For other photo studio recommendations, check out this link.

6. Give their tired muscles some TLC with a massage

Natureland massage

Picture taken from Natureland’s website.

For a relaxing graduation gift, treat them to a massage experience. It makes for a nice retreat before re-entering the busyness of their next stage of life.

Check out this list of massage places in Singapore.

7. Take a leap of faith with bungee jumping

Bungee Jumping Sentosa

Picture taken from Klook

For something on the other end of the relaxation spectrum, try bungee jumping!

The next season of life is bound to push your friends past their comfort zone. Kick-off the start of their new season with something crazy!

Klook offers tickets to AJ Hackett’s Bungee Jump at $79.00, and you can even use your SingapoRediscovers vouchers for it.

Check out Klook for more details.

8. Feel like a child again with tickets to Universal Studios Singapore


Picture taken from Klook

Before your friend heads into the workforce and climbs the corporate ladder, let them enjoy some fun and games by taking them to USS. A great graduation gift idea for a fun day out.

Check out tickets on Klook.

9. Admire the Arts by going to an art gallery or performance


Give your friend a cultural experience by visiting an art gallery or going for an upcoming performance. Be it dance, classical music or sculptures, there’s something up everyone’s alley.

Since many of these have free/affordably-priced admission fees, this is a good student-friendly option.

Here are some websites you can check out: Esplanade, Sistic, National Gallery, National Museum, ArtScience Museum, Gillman Barracks.

Nifty Tech gadgets

10. Home Projector

Projector Eksan

Picture taken from Shopee

For friends who love watching movies, a home projector is a great graduation gift if you have the extra cash to spend. They can spend their lazy days enjoying films at crisp 1080p resolution on a big screen.

The projector is wireless and supports a Wi-Fi connection too!

Check it out on Shopee Mall for $113.00.

11. Smartwatch/Fitness tracker

Blackdot smart watch

Picture taken from Shopee

For the fitness junkies! Different trackers provide different functions, but tracking heart rate, calories burned and sleep quality in real-time is sure to elevate your friend’s healthy lifestyle.

Check it out on Shopee Mall for $49.99.

12. Portable Speaker

Portable Speaker

Picture taken from Shopee

You can never go wrong with portable speakers. Great for jamming to the latest beats while still being small enough to carry around, this makes for a great graduation gift!

Check it out on Shopee Mall for $14.80.

 13. Google Nest

Google nest

Picture taken from Shopee

Who wouldn’t love a speaker that plays music and talks to you like a human? Upgrade your friend’s music-listening experience with the Google Nest.

Users can even buy multiple sets and create their own stereo all-around sound system in the house.

Check it out on Shopee Mall for $49.99.

 14. SSD drive


Picture taken from Shopee

Everyone could use extra storage space. Solid state drives (SSDs) are more expensive, but they are much less likely to crash than the traditional hard drive!

Especially suitable for friends going into design or video production.

Check this out on Shopee for $68.00.

15. Wireless earphones

Jabra earphones

Picture taken from Jabra Website

For friends who are still using wired earphones, a pair of wireless earphones is a great graduation gift idea!

If AirPods are a little out of your price range, Jabra’s Elite Active 65t is said to be a more affordable alternative, as recommended by Tom’s Guide.

Check it out on Shopee for $128.00.

16. Karaoke Set

Karaoke set

Picture taken from Jabra Website

Miss going to karaoke? Now, you and a friend can sing in the comfort of your own home!

Check it out on Shopee for $46.90-$62.90.

Thought-Provoking Books

17. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

Designing your life

Sourced from Book depository

Post-graduation is a great time to start thinking about life’s biggest questions. Gift your friend some food-for-thought to get them thinking about theirs!

This book talks about how to use design thinking to create a life that is fulfilling, meaningful and productive.

Check it out on Book Depository for $24.64.

18. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By

why didn't they teach me this in school

Picture taken from Book depository

The age-old question that every Singaporean student asks is, ‘Why do they teach us such impractical things? We won’t use Algebra in daily life anyway.’

This book will actually teach you useful money management skills! At just 188 pages, it’s an easy read that simplifies personal finance principles (unlike the lengthy, confusing stuff you find online).

Check it out on Book Depository for $23.88.

19. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy (ish) Steps

Book adulting

Picture taken from Book depository

What an apt title, right? Your friend will definitely laugh when they receive this as a graduation gift.

This book takes a more humorous approach on the prospect of adulting, but also gives useful advice on things every grown up will need.

Check it out on Book Depository for $21.35.

If you want more book recommendations, check out these 20 must-read self improvement books for any student.

For Rest and Relaxation

20. French Press

French press

Picture taken from Lazada

A french press is an easy way to brew ground coffee. Simply put your grounds in, pour hot water in, wait a few minutes and press down the filter screen.

A nice graduation gift for friends who enjoy a morning drink.

Check it out on Lazada for $17.90.

21. Bath Bombs

lush bath bomb

Picture taken from Shopee

If your friend has a bathtub or is going for a staycation, treat them to a relaxing soak with bath bombs. Smells great and looks amazing!

Check out the full range on Shopee Mall.

22. Disposable film camera

Disposable film camera

Picture taken from Shopee

Film photography is back in fashion! For friends who love taking pictures, film cameras make a great graduation gift.

The real fun is in developing the finished film roll — they can see the shots they took overtime and reminisce on those memories all at once, in vintage-style pictures.

Check this out on Shopee for $16.90.

23. Custard Donuts

Custard donuts

Picture taken from Puffs and Peaks’ website.

Get your friends some celebratory donuts as a graduation gift!

Puffs and Peaks makes amazing custard donuts that have just the right amount of sweetness (so it’s not too jelak).

They are so popular that they have weekly online pre-orders which usually get sold out on the day it launches.

Check out their available bakes on their website.

24. Candles

Yankee candles

Picture taken from Lazada

For nice relaxing naps, get your friend a lavender-scented candle! Lavender is known to increase relaxation and encourage sleep.

If your friend doesn’t like lavender, there are many other scents that Yankee Candle offers!

Check it out on Lazada for $14.80.

25. Weighted blanket

Weighted blanket

Picture taken from Shopee

Another way to elevate your friend’s sleep is to get them a weighted blanket. Designed to feel like a big hug, this will certainly give them a good night’s rest.

This would definitely make for a comfy graduation gift.

Check it out on Shopee Mall for $128.80 – $228.80.

Graduation gifts for guys at work

If your friend is soon stepping into the working world, you can get them a graduation gift that will get them looking smart for their first day of work.

26. Dress shoes

Pedro shoes

Picture taken from Pedro’s website

Dress shoes are essential in the workplace. Grab a few friends and pool some money together if it’s difficult to fund by yourself!

These Oxford shoes from Pedro are made with genuine leather, so you know you’re getting a quality graduation gift for your friend.

Check this out on their website for $129.90.

27. Watch

Fossil watch

Picture taken from Lazada

Let’s be real, most of us use our phones to tell the time. Nonetheless, nothing completes a look like a watch does!

This watch from Fossil looks classy and sleek without the hefty price tag. It’s also water-resistant!

Check this out on Lazada for $94.99.

28. Belt


Picture taken from Oxhide’s website

This belt from Singaporean brand Oxhide is reversible — one side is brown and the other is black, essentially a 2-in-1.

At just $26.90 on Shopee Mall, this is a real steal.

 29. Cologne


Picture taken from Kiehl’s website

As recommended by Brennan Kilbane, a senior writer at Allure, Kiehl’s original musk fragrance is an easily likeable scent for all. It’s not overpowering — it just makes you smell clean!

Check it out on Kiehl’s website for $84.00.

 30. Tie


Picture taken from H&M’s website

An essential for formal wear. This set from H&M comes in a 2-pack for $19.95, which is extra student-friendly.

Check this out on their website for $19.95.

For extra cheek, gift this to your guy friends with a guide on how to tie a tie. You’d be surprised at how many people still don’t know how to do it.

Graduation gifts for girls at work

 31. Heels


Heels are essential for female workwear. This pair of nude heels from Charles and Keith is a great example.

Covered-toed, built with an adjustable slingback for a secure fit and a chunky heel so it’s comfortable to walk in. Perfect for the future OLs amongst your graduated friends.

Check this out on their website for $49.90.

 32. Watch

Girl fossil watch

This watch from Fossil makes for a great daily watch. The mother-of-pearl interior adds a nice feminine touch!

Check this out on Lazada for $78.80.

33. Gold jewellery

Gold Jewellery

Picture taken from The Ordinary Co.’s website

For affordable demi-fine jewellery, check out The Ordinary Co.! They’re a local brand that offers a wide range of minimalistic jewellery.

A nice classy gift for graduating ladies.

Check their products out on their website.

 34. MLBB (My Lips But Better) lip colour

My Lips but better

‘My Lips But Better’ lip colours add a touch of colour to your lips without looking overly vibrant or flashy. It makes for a great versatile graduation gift!

Check this out on Lazada for $10.28.

 35. Perfume


Picture taken from Sephora Website

Rollerball perfumes are great for friends to test out a scent to see if they like it! They’re also portable, which is great for touch-ups throughout the day.

This perfume from Fresh is a timeless scent! Citrusy and not too sweet, so your friend will smell clean.

Check this out on Sephora for $32.00.

Graduation gifts for everyone!

 36. Customised notebook

Customised notebook

Picture taken from Shopee

For your friends to jot down their game-changing big ideas, get them a nice notebook customised with their name as a graduation gift.

Check it out on Shopee for $19.90-$24.80.

 37. Lanyard


Picture taken from Shopee

Carrying staff passes are much easier with a lanyard. This one from Shopee even has a zip at the side, so your friend can carry some spare change to grab a bite.

It’s also customisable — you can add a monogram of your friend’s name for a personal touch!

Check this out on Shopee for $22.00-$27.90.

38. Insulated bottle

Insulated bottle

Picture taken from Lazada

Insulated bottles are great not just for keeping water cold, but also for keeping morning drinks hot! A useful gift your graduating friend would love.

Check this out on Lazada for $23.90.

39. Card holder

Card holder

Picture taken from Lazada

Growing up also means signing up for more credit/debit cards from various banks. Help your friend keep track of them with a cardholder.

This one looks plain on the outside but has a vibrant surprise on the inside.

Check this out on Lazada for $10.30.

40. Gift cards

Grab card

Picture taken from Grab website

If you still don’t know what to get your friend, gift cards make the most flexible graduation gifts (aside from cash).  

Think Grab, Zalora or/and Sephora’s gift cards. They can never go wrong!

In conclusion…

Graduation is a big milestone in every student’s schooling life! Hopefully this guide has given you some thoughtful graduation gift ideas.

Remember to subscribe to StudyRamen’s Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for more student-oriented content!

Ultimate SUSS freshmen guide: 20 things you need to know

Ultimate SUSS freshmen guide: 20 things you need to know

Ultimate SUSS freshmen guide: 20 things you need to know

It can be confusing for freshmen enrolling in the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) for the first time, with information about graduating requirements, grades, and the student portal scattered everywhere.

Not to worry! Read our SUSS freshmen guide to learn more about various matters you need to know and start your University journey on a good note.

Student Portal and Canvas

SUSS Student Portal

The SUSS Student Portal is an all-in-one platform for students to receive important announcements, such as opportunities for internships and competitions.

Under “E-Services”, freshmen can also access their school and examination timetable; pay school fees and examination results. That’s not all! Freshmen enrolled under programmes with a choice of a minor can also declare their minor here.

SUSS Student Portal

Photo taken from Tung Jing Qi


Canvas is the learning management system that SUSS uses the main platform students will be using. You can access your Study Guides, eTextbooks, module information, and many more through Canvas!

We recommend you key in lesson timings and assignments into the calendar provided so you can see all your deadlines in one go!

Calendar in Canvas

Photo taken from Tung Jing Qi

Accessing Class Materials

Study guides & E-textbooks

SUSS provides consolidated Study Guides and eTextbooks for students to complete their readings before class. Although the Study Guide is a summarised version of your eTextbook, it is advised for students to read both!

Both the Study Guide and eTextbook can be found on Canvas, under each respective module. However, students are free to order a physical copy of their textbooks if they prefer to do so by filling out an order form at the start of the semester.


Photo taken from: Tung Jing Qi

Online Classes

Most, if not all, SUSS students have been practising Home-Based Learning (HBL) due to COVID-19. Although online classes are typically conducted through Zoom, you do not have to create a Zoom account to access your lectures.

All you have to do is log in to Canvas, click on the specific module, followed by “Virtual Class”. You will now see a list of Zoom lessons, including the “Join” button, which you can click to attend your lectures!

Online Zoom Classes

Photo taken from: Tung Jing Qi

Physical Classes

The MRT stations nearest to SUSS are Clementi and King Albert Park MRT. Here is how you can get to SUSS from these locations.

Clementi MRT Station:
1) Proceed to Clementi Station Exit B
2) Take bus 52/154/184
3) Alight at SIM HQ
4) 2-minute walk to SUSS (Block C)

King Albert Park MRT Station:
1) Proceed to King Albert Pk Stn
2) Take bus 74/151/154
3) Alight at SIM HQ
4) Cross the overhead bridge and proceed to SUSS (Block C)

Assignments and Quizzes

Pre-classes Quizzes

SUSS also has Pre-Class Quizzes (PCQs), which are compulsory quizzes usually completed before the start of the term for each module.

Quizzes can be found under your lecture group on Canvas, and although their difficulty varies, the answers are commonly found in the Study Guide or eTextbook.

Students must score at least 60% to successfully enrol into the course, so you are advised to read your Study Guide and eTextbook before you start on your PCQ!

pre-classes quizzes

Photo taken from Tung Jing Qi

Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs)

Tutor-Marked Assignments, otherwise known as TMAs, are individual assignments that most SUSS modules have.

TMA briefs can be found on Canvas under either your lecture or tutorial groups. Although commonly seen, every module is different, so do check your module requirements for any TMAs beforehand!

Do take note that most modules require you to submit a cover page as well, so remember to download it along with your assignment brief. One tip for SUSS freshmen is to access locked journal articles through the SUSS Library!

tutor-marked assignments

Photo taken from Tung Jing Qi

Group-Based Assignments

Apart from individual assignments, there are also Group-Based Assignments (GBAs).

Although there is little chance for you to interact with your fellow SUSS freshmen due to HBL, you are advised to reach out to your classmates through Canvas to form groups.

All you have to do is go to “Inbox”, click on “Compose a new message” on the top toolbar, and select your course. You can now reach out to your classmates to form project groups!

Interact with other freshmen

Photo taken from Tung Jing Qi

Timed Online Assignments (TOAs)

Due to COVID-19, SUSS has changed the usual examinations to Timed Online Assignments, otherwise known as TOAs.

TOAs are typically open books, which means you are advised to “pre-write” content such as definitions and concepts to transfer over to your scripts during TOAs. Although TOAs are seen in the majority of the modules, do check the requirements, as a scarce few do not have TOAs!

These timed assignments are usually 2 hours long and worth 50% of your grade for that module. They can also be done either on-campus or within the comfort of your own home.

Plagiarism (Turn-It-In)

SUSS students are required to submit their assignments through turnitin, a plagiarism checker, which can be accessed through Canvas. Although SUSS does not have an official plagiarism limit, students are recommended to paraphrase their content.

However, do not panic when you see a high plagiarism score on your turnitin, as it may just be your cover page or reference list.

One useful tip to check your plagiarism accurately is to look at highlighted parts of the assignment, as those parts are ones that are copied.


Photo taken from Tung Jing Qi

How to calculate your GPA

OCAS Calculator

Located in Canvas, the OCAS Calculator can be found under “SUSS Gradebook” for each of your modules. However, do not be discouraged even if you receive a bad grade for your assignments.

One piece of advice for students is to plan their time well and revise for examinations early, as those are heavily weighted at 50% each.

Honours System

We know many freshmen want to score well in University. Although many SUSS seniors will tell you that achieving First Class Honours (FCH) is extremely difficult, remember not to limit yourself and continue to work hard!

Here is the benchmark for each degree class:

Other Graduating Requirements

Community Engagement (CE)

Community Engagement (CE) is one of the non-academic graduating requirements unique to SUSS. Freshmen are encouraged to complete their CE requirement in Year 1 or 2, by participating in one of the following:

Overseas Experience (OE)

Overseas Experience is another non-academic graduating requirement SUSS students must complete. This requirement aims to instil compassion, problem-solving skills, and insight towards global issues in students.

Some programmes students are recommended to participate in include the Overseas Experiential Teambuilding programme (ETB), Overseas Experiential Learning Course (OEL), and Overseas Work Attachment.

Work Attachment (WA)

Although an internship is not a graduating requirement, SUSS students will have to finish their Work Attachment (WA) to graduate. WA requires most students to work full-time for a minimum of 24 weeks (with an exception for undergraduates of Early Childhood Education!).

Although SUSS students can start their WA as early as the end of Year 2, do note that there are prerequisites you have to fulfil before you can start your Work Attachment.

Some prerequisites include passing the WA online quiz and Risk Assessment Management System (RAMS) course.

Student Life

Interest Groups (IG)

SUSS interest groups

Despite the common stereotype that there is a lack of student life in SUSS, there are a variety of Interest Groups (IGs) available for freshmen to join.

These IGs range from Outdoor Adventure (ODAC) to dance, and even an Artificial Intelligence (AI) IG. One well-known tip for freshmen to enrich their student life is to join these IGs!


Although school and grades are a priority for many students, mental health is equally, if not more important.

SUSS provides free counselling and life coaching services and regularly organised workshops and talks as well.

These counselling services help students adapt to University life, manage emotions and attempt to resolve any issues that affect their daily lives.

They are open from Monday-Thursday from 9 am to 8.30 pm; Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Although physical sessions cannot be conducted due to COVID-19, students are advised to book online consultations with the counsellors.

Studying in SUSS

School Library

The SUSS Library is an online platform that students can use to look for journal articles when completing their TMAs or GBAs. One tip SUSS freshmen can follow is to download Libkey Nomad, an extension tool for access to research papers outside of the SUSS Library!

Although the SUSS library is an online one, SUSS students are welcome to study at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) library instead. The SIM library is located right beside the SUSS campus, and students must book a slot before entering the library.

Do remember that you will have to bring your SUSS Student Card along for verification!

On-Campus Study


Sourced from The Straits Times

Although there are many cafés and other affordable study areas in Singapore, you can try studying in school too! SUSS also provides their students with an option to study on campus without a time limit.

Students can either choose to request a long-term study pass at the start of the semester or apply to study in school on an ad hoc basis.

However, do take note that the long-term study pass requires you to go on campus for at least 3 days per week.

Campus Wi-Fi

SUSS offers free Wi-Fi for students to use, and freshmen can connect to it with their own Username and Password. Download the SUSS WiFi Guide!

SUSS Scholarship Opportunities 

SUSS Scholarships

Open for Year 2 SUSS students onwards, this scholarship is open for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. The scholarship will cover all remaining course fees and does not require any bond.

Applicants must have a cGPA of at least 4.0, have good co-curricular activity records, demonstrate active participation in community service and have leadership qualities.

External Scholarships

SUSS also offers its students external scholarships such as the Temasek Foundation Sunburst Scholarship, Mohamed Abdul Jaleel Scholarship, and the Kewalram Chanrai Group Scholarship.

Graduate from university


University life can look intimidating to many freshmen, especially when you lack guidance from your seniors or classmates. 

As such, we hope that you have a better understanding of how to start your SUSS journey on the right note after reading this freshmen guide.

Check out our Instagram @studyramensg, LinkedIn and join our Telegram Channel for more student-oriented content!

Everything You Need to Know about Local University Transfers in Singapore

Everything You Need to Know about Local University Transfers in Singapore

Everything You Need to Know about Local University Transfers in Singapore

Life decisions are never easy. From deciding which university to apply to, or even which NUS hall to stay in, it can be hard making important decisions.

Even when you have decided on a major, after a while, you might be faced with the realisation that what you are studying is not what you imagined it to be. The dilemma of transferring faculties, or transferring to a new university entirely, is undoubtedly daunting.

Is it possible to change your course after university admissions? This article aims to shed light on such processes by telling you everything you need to know about local university transfers in Singapore.

We will cover intra-university course transfers and inter-university transfers.

General FAQs


When is the university transfer application window?

This usually changes across the semesters, but it is usually held in the middle of the semester.

When will I know the results of my transfer?

This differs across universities, and even within the university, it depends on what transfer you have applied for. We recommend regularly checking your email for updates.

Are inter-faculty transfers more difficult than intra-faculty transfers?

Possibly so, because it might be easier to map modules back (i.e. some courses under the same faculty have to take the same modules, so transferring to another course within your faculty might mean you don’t have to take that same module again).

What is the criteria for an eligible transfer?

Your high school (i.e. Poly/JC/IB) and university academic results will be assessed. They will also look at your other academic and non-academic achievements listed in the application.

Some universities might also ask you to provide a written explanation as to why you wish to transfer to a new course or transfer to a new university, or even request an interview with you. You are essentially competing against everyone who is eligible to apply for the course.

Can I transfer from a private university to a local university?

This is largely not allowed; it is recommended that you try re-applying to a local university the next year.

If I transfer to a new university, can I request for transfer of credit, waiver or module exemptions?

You may submit a request to the faculty, but this is subject to approval from the university. The subject prerequisites might change from time to time, so do check the relevant websites for updates.

What happens to my grant i.e. MOE Tuition Grant if I transfer?

Girl crying with money

Sourced from Pinterest

If you’re a Singapore Citizen withdrawing from your current university to take up another full-time undergraduate degree course in the same or another autonomous university, you will still be eligible to receive the Tuition Grant as long as you meet the criteria.

However, the tuition grant of your new course will be equal to the current total number of semesters minus the number of semesters of tuition grant you received in your previous course. This means you may have to pay non-subsidised fees for the last few semesters of your course.

For instance, if you are currently a Year 2 undergraduate in Economics who has studied Econs for 3 semesters and are transferring to Business, the tuition grant will cover you for 5 semesters. This is assuming you will study in Business for 8 semesters.

If you are a Permanent Resident (PR), you will have to apply for the Tuition Grant again.

We advise you to check the terms and conditions of both the Grant and the university just to be safe. This is especially since certain terms of the grant are different for Singaporean citizens and PRs.

Can I transfer to Medicine / Law?

Yes, but there are certain criteria to follow. For instance, you probably have to undergo an interview for both faculties.

All admissions criteria also largely remain the same; i.e. your university results will also be considered. However, if you wish to transfer from an overseas university to NUS Medicine, you have to be studying at a university that is recognised by the Singapore Medical Council.

Do also note that you are not allowed to transfer to NUS Law or Medicine in your second semester. Applicants who have started, are pursuing, or have completed an undergraduate programme are generally not considered for NTU’s MBBS programme.

Are there any application fees?

The fees usually start from $10 onwards, depending on the university. More information can be found in the section below.

What is the university transfer application process like?

This depends on the university and the course you are applying for, but you usually have to pay an admission fee, and also provide:

  • Your pre-university results
  • Your current university results
  • An essay explaining why you want to transfer

You might have to undergo an interview depending on the course you applied to.

Once your transfer is accepted, you can request for transfer of credits.

Now that we have covered the general information on university transfers, we will now provide the relevant links from the universities with more information below.

NUS Transfer Course


Sourced from Today

Undergraduates seeking intra and inter-NUS transfers will be assessed on their university and high school results, as well as their academic and non-academic achievements. Transfer applicants also have to pay the $10 application fee.

They will also be asked to provide a short write-up (up to 1,500 characters) on why they wish to make a transfer.

You can apply to transfer to Medicine or Law, but do take note of the prerequisites before applying.

NUS also has a channel for asking questions related to admissions and transfers.

NTU Transfer Course

NTU Hive

Sourced from Asia one

All information i.e. general requirements can be found via the general admission guide or the specific guide for transfer applicants. Applicants have to complete and submit an application form where they must provide their university education to date.

Application deadlines differ according to your high school qualifications. For more information, students can submit their queries via the admissions enquiry page.

There is also a separate portal for current NTU undergraduates to apply to transfer courses.

Applicants have to pay $10 and write an essay about their reason to transfer. Successful applicants can then apply for a transfer of credit.

SMU Transfer Course


Sourced from SMU

SMU has compiled all the information they have on transfer processes and applications. Applicants have to submit the admission application form and submit their university results.

Transfer applicants are assessed based on their university and pre-university results to see if they fit the new course of study. Credit transfers for courses will be decided after the transfer application has been approved.

Upon admission, transfer applicants must also complete a minimum of 20-course units that typically take up to 2 years to finish in SMU.

SIT Transfer Course


Sourced from The Straits Times

Undergraduates seeking to transfer to SIT can do so during the common application period.

The same admission requirements for the respective degrees apply, and applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Current SIT undergraduates, when considering intra-SIT transfers, have to apply through the Registrar’s Office.

They will be assessed on overall competition, the number of spaces and if they meet the minimum standards of the program.

SUSS Transfer Course


Sourced from The Straits Times

SUSS undergraduates can apply for a Transfer of Programme (TOP) through their student portal. However, their application is subject to a $214 fee.

Students are also recommended to contact the student helpdesk for more information on transferring.

There are some things transfer applicants have to take note of:

  • Do they meet the admission requirements of the course they wish to transfer to
  • Will their funding arrangements (if any) be affected by this transfer.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their TOP within 6 weeks after TOP officially ends.

SUTD Transfer Course

SUTD campus

Sourced from Wikimedia

Undergraduates wishing to transfer to SUTD from another university have to apply during the general admissions exercise just like any new student.

Their admissions page and admissions portal also lists the relevant offices to contact if you have any queries regarding applications.

Transfer applicants from other universities will have to prepare their pre-university qualifications and their current university transcripts for the application.

No module exemptions are granted for SUTD, and all transfer students are required to start from Year 1.

What’s next?

Considering university transfers can be rather overwhelming. Nonetheless, we advise those who are contemplating transferring courses, or universities, to do their due research as the situation may differ on a yearly basis.

To aid your decision-making, you should read about the different university cultures across NUS, NTU, SMU etc.

We hope that this guide has provided you with enough information about university transfers in Singapore.

For more student-related information, do follow StudyRamen on Instagram and LinkedIn, or check out our Telegram channel!

Retaking A Levels ? An 88.75 RP Retaker explains how

Retaking A Levels ? An 88.75 RP Retaker explains how

Retaking A Levels ? An 88.75 RP Retaker explains how

It doesn’t seem too long ago when I was staring in disbelief at my laptop screen which reflected my A-Level grades. I recall feeling numb, confused and irrevocably in shock.

For some context, these were the grades I received on 21st February 2020:

H2 Literature – C
H2 Mathematics – S
H2 Economics – B
H1 History – B
H1 GP – A

And these were my grades after retaking A levels :
H2 Literature – A
H1 Mathematics – B
H2 Economics – A
H2 History – A
H1 GP – A

After calculating my rank points with trembling hands, I came to terms with the fact that I had scored a whopping score of 69 rank points.

JC was extremely fast-paced and challenging. I was not academically gifted nor was I a star student but I always sought to put my best foot forward and was sincere in my work.

Leading up to A’s, I booked consultations with my tutors and days would be spent tirelessly doing papers in the library. As such, when I saw my ultimate set of grades, it felt like a punch in the gut, to say the least.

Yet, it is rightly said that after you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up!

While I do not consider my tale to be that of an ‘A-Level Retake Success Story’ (for the simple reason that anyone who chooses to retake already deserves commendation for their courage), I sincerely wish that this article will provide a glimmer of hope to those who may be considering retaking or are retaking A Levels as private candidates in Singapore.

Also, check out how you can score for General paper as I did.

Why I chose to retake A levels as a private candidate

Achievement unlocked

The days following the results felt like a blur. I remember having heated conversations with my parents regarding what should be the next step.

A huge point of clarity for me during that period was speaking to my form teacher. He encouraged me to sit for a retake, believing that I could perform better.

Though limited, I had a few options to choose from: enrolling in a private university, studying overseas or retaking as a private candidate.

I realized that I did not yet have a clear idea of what I wanted to pursue in University. And although I was offered to continue as a J3 student in school, I felt that retaking A levels privately would grant me more control over my schedule and learning process.

I discontinued H2 Math as it was the greatest drag on my rank points. I never enjoyed math and neither was it value-adding to the careers I intended to pursue.

As such, I made a risky choice to take up H1 math and H2 history instead.

While I was initially scared of my decision, I knew that history is a subject I enjoyed studying and promised myself to give it my best shot!

Overall, the cost of registering and signing up for the various subjects (GP, H1 Math, H2 Literature, H2 Economics and H2 History) totalled 1k. After registering, there was no turning back.

Note that I’m a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) and that the cost varies depending on your citizenship status.

What is the registration process of retaking A levels like?

Once you have decided to retake A levels, your first step should be consulting SEAB to check the total sum you have to pay.

Afterwhich, there is a link you can access for a certain period of time to register as a private candidate.

Important documents such as the entry proof and your final set of results after A’s will be sent to you via mail.

How much does it cost to retake A levels?

Here is the Basic Registration Fee :

Here are the costs associated with retaking subjects examined at GCE H1 and H2 level.

My experience retaking as a private candidate

To say that I was petrified at the start of my retaking journey would be an understatement. I was unsure of my choice and thought time and again if I was doing the right thing.

That being said, I knew that I would have regretted not trying and was committed to my decision to retake A levels.

I made the choice about a week after results and almost immediately plunged into finding resources and sourcing for tutors. Here are some of my learnings which could help you too.

1.) Prioritise your subjects

My main priority was starting my revision for history since I’d have to prepare for 2 years worth of content in less than a year’s time. Furthermore, since I was still working part-time for the next 2 months, I made it a point to start revision as soon as possible.

From the get-go set your priorities straight. Get started on solidifying your foundation for weaker subjects.

This includes deciding if you need tuition and preparing your study plans. Have a rough idea of how much content you need to clear for each subject and plan ahead.

2.) Sign-up for tuition

Tuition teacher teaching student

Since we’re on the subject of tuition, I would highly recommend signing up for tuition if you’re self-studying.

Especially in June or July, it would be good to receive consistent feedback and have a set routine which tuition provides.

For arts-related subjects (eg: GP or Econs) the best way to improve is by doing more practises and receiving specific feedback.

3.) Make studying a habit

The year I retook was the year COVID-19 struck as well. While the virus has brought nothing but bouts of stress and chaos, one silver lining for me was that I was able to stay at home and focus on staying on track with my work.

While it may be hard to get back to studying after such a long break, it gets easier the more consistent you are with it.

Like the study habits of these 90 RP students, create a timetable for yourself and allocate specific time to study. After a while, you would get used to the routine and find it easier to get into the flow of studying.

Learn to take notes effectively with these note-taking apps.

Utilise effective studying techniques like active recall and spaced repetition to aid your learning!

4.) Plan your day

For the first few months, I did not stick to a proper schedule and studied as and when I found the time. However, post-June I made sure to have a to-do list daily and plan out all I had to do for the day.

A huge tip that really helped me to keep pace was to take things one day at a time. When you’re studying for the A-Levels, it often is easy to let your nerves get the better of you.

It helps to only be focused on getting through the day – clearing what you have to do for that day itself and preparing for the next. It’s ultimately the efforts you put in on the day to day that count!

How to maintain self-discipline

iPad writing notes

Photo by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash

1.) Delete your social media

It’s hard enough to be disciplined as a student attending school, let alone self-studying for A Levels on your own.

Not having the structure of a school curriculum was one of my biggest fears while choosing to retake A levels.

However, it was this very fear that motivated me to ensure that I took extra effort to stay focused and create a routine for myself. Fear pushed me to stay focused and on task.

2.) Get an accountability partner

To keep myself in check, I used to share my to-do list for the day with another friend who was also retaking as a private candidate.

We used to send each other our lists every morning and report what we’d manage to accomplish by the end of the day.

In fact, having a friend to study with also serves as a motivational boost! As such, try to get an accountability partner as you can help each other stay on track.

3.) Take a break

The A level is indeed daunting and it’s easy to think that most of your time must be spent revising or doing something productive. However, it’s crucial to remember that rest is important for your well-being.

I still carved out time to relax – I would either go for evening runs or do yoga with my best friend over zoom. Taking a break also helped me concentrate better while studying.

Retaking whilst in NS

Before I share with you my personal insights about retaking while serving NS, I would truly like to commend those who have trod this path. It’s not easy to choose the harder lane especially when you have such a demanding commitment of having to serve NS.

That being said, here are my 2 cents. If you truly believe that you can perform better if you put in the effort and are willing to make the sacrifices, then I definitely think retaking is worth a shot!

To better gauge for yourself if retaking while serving NS is something you’d be willing to do, talk to others who’ve trod the path!

I will not sugarcoat it and say it is manageable – it will require a tremendous amount of sacrifice and discipline on your part. However, if you’re dead set on trying again, there is nothing stopping you from giving your best.

Retaking A levels FAQ

Where can I access resources as a private candidate ?

For basic information about cost and signing up as a private candidate, your first stop should be the SEAB and the SEAB guide for private candidates.

Another one-stop resource you can access would be Take-Two.

Take-Two is a website created by students who have gone through the process of retaking the A-Levels.

After realising that there is a lack of resources, support and information for students who are considering retaking or are in the midst of retaking, Take-Two was birthed to be a reliable and resourceful one-stop platform dedicated to those treading this journey.

Can I juggle a part time job while retaking as a private candidate ?

The short answer is yes. It is entirely possible to balance a part-time job while revising.

In fact, it’s completely understandable for those of you who do not want to burden your parents with the added cost of registration and tuition; fund retaking by your own means.

However, you know yourself best. If you feel like the commitment hinders your study time, please do what you need to give enough time to revision.

You could also consider working part-time till June and keeping it on hold till November.

Usually, post-June is when you’ll need to switch gears and ramp up your revision. Hence, it is advisable to not work part-time if you want to fully commit to A Levels.

Should I self study or enroll in a private institution that helps private candidates retake?

Person taking a break on the bed

Both are viable options! But personally, my bottom line is this – do not go through your retaking journey alone.

If you’re self-studying, do have a tutor or reliable friend to guide you and clarify your doubts.

If you feel like you need a more disciplined structure and still need lessons to clear content, then enrolling in a private institution could be beneficial for you.

Assess your needs and choose accordingly.

Final word of advice for A level retakers

Retaking is not for the faint-hearted – it requires courage and a crazy amount of faith. Your choice to retake alone makes you a force to be reckoned with.

Should you choose to retake A levels, remember why you decided to do so and never give up! Regardless of the outcome on the piece of paper, you will be stronger and wiser for choosing the path less taken.

Alternatively, for those interested in taking a gap year, these gap year stories could help to provide more insights!

If you enjoyed the article, do consider following us on Instagram or telegram for more value-added content like this!

A student guide to NUS Residential colleges: Cultures, Fees, FAQs

A student guide to NUS Residential colleges: Cultures, Fees, FAQs

A student guide to NUS Residential colleges: Cultures, Fees, FAQs

Staying on campus usually affords you the luxury of waking up merely 20 minutes before class so you can sleepily make your way to the classroom. However, residential stay is more complex than just physical convenience; joining an NUS residential college usually means taking compulsory RC modules and attending mandatory forums.

This article is the second part of a two-part series on residential stay in NUS. It lists the residential colleges and the student residences available on NUS campus, along with their cultures and experiences.

Check out the first part of this series where we guide you through the NUS halls!

How do we apply for NUS RC?

You can apply to stay on campus, but be sure you apply before the academic year starts.

Applications in the middle of a semester or an academic year have a lower success rate since most rooms are taken by then.

NUS has also provided a detailed application and registration process.

NUS RC application process

One usually has to go through an application process involving writing short essays on themselves and how they would contribute to the RC, followed by a group / individual interview.

(Do note that application processes are subject to variation across the different RCs!)

What are the RC fees?

The residential college fees listed below are for students matriculated from AY2020/2021 Special Term Part 1)

The student residences fees listed below are also for students matriculated from AY2020/2021 Special Term Part 1)

On top of your hostel fees, you will have to pay for a meal plan should you choose to stay on campus.

The dining hall meal plan provides breakfast and lunch, with a variety of cuisines ranging from vegetarian to western.

NUS dining hall

Sourced from CAPT|NUS

Sometimes, the dining hall will even serve themed dinners according to the holidays. Below is a picture of local cuisine served for residents on National Day 2019.

Local theme cuisine

Should the fees be too overwhelming, students can apply for financial aid. Each of the colleges’ websites will also indicate the option for financial aid or scholarship.

NUS RC Life and Culture

Stumped about the differences between the individual RCs and student residences? We will now provide a guide explaining each RC and Student residence’s unique culture.

In light of the recent Yale-NUS and USP merger, we have accorded longer sections to those who shared their experience of staying at both dormitories with us.

Their sharing includes their general experience under the respective curriculums, and the communities they have built and joined.

Cinnamon College (University Scholars’ Programme) Culture and Information

NUS cinammon college

Sourced from NUS USP

I reached out to F (pseudonym used), who stayed at Cinnamon College for 2 years.

Given that Cinnamon College is for USP students, the RC application process is slightly different from the others. As long as you are a USP student, you are automatically granted a room at Cinnamon.

F shares that the culture is “intellectually [driven] and curious”, where residents start discussions about “anything under the sun”.

She also finds the community to be extremely friendly, with “very supportive, helpful and genuine” residents and professors who are easy to talk to or to ask for academic advice.

nus usc instagram

F states that the school administration is also rather helpful and supportive; student concerns are usually addressed, and if residents wish to “pursue their passions by starting an Interest Group etc”, the process is usually quite fast.

A downside to Cinnamon is its compulsory modules. Most of them tend to be about humanities topics such as gender, ethics, nationalism etc.

F shared that this might be difficult for students who were not familiar with such topics or used to writing so many essays.

Nonetheless, she still enjoyed these modules and found them rather enlightening and eye-opening. They provided her with an “insightful perspective” on various social issues.

She concludes that the “best part about USP is [its] people”, with some of her closest friendships coming from USP.

Tembusu College Culture and Information

tembusu college

Sourced from NUS

G (pseudonym used), who is currently in her third-year stay at NUS Tembusu College, shares that Tembusu is well-known for their “safe space for discussions”, where “no topic is too taboo” and issues can be discussed in “a civil manner”.

They are known to be a “liberal space where you can be anyone you think you are, and still feel the sense of safety living here”.

tembusu college ig

The small size of the community is both a boon and a bane for G. She says that “things can spread rather quickly” due to living in close proximity with others.

However, she still finds the size of the community to be rather comforting; she voices that she has found supportive friends in the community, and it is where she feels “the most comfortable”. “I can be who I think I am [in Tembu],” she states.

Tembusu, being centred in University Town, is close to the various food amenities that UTown offers.

College of Alice and Peter Tan Culture and Information

NUS College of Alice and Peter Tan

Sourced from CAPT | Youtube

Tiffany, a student in her third-year stay in the NUS College of Alice and Peter Tan, states that it is a “super chill place” where there is “no obligation to do things you don’t enjoy”.

This aspect has both pros and cons, given that there is little to no peer pressure, but it may result in a lack of “incentive to do things” should one choose not to be active in RC life.

She also shares that CAPT is a place for those who “enjoy engaging with the wider community” because it has “a lot of community engagement projects”, both local and overseas. The people there are “generally very nice” and “open to sharing / teaching you even if you’re new at [something]”.

College of Alice and Peter Tan Instagram

Also centred in University Town, CAPT is close to the various food canteens present there.

Residential College 4 Culture and Information

NUS residential college 4-min

Sourced from Medium

Huy, a resident currently staying in NUS Residential College 4, shares that it is colloquially known as the “College of Engineers” due to the high number of engineering scholars residing there.

RC4 also offers quite a few technology projects and “a worker space” for interested students.

He enjoys the freedom of staying in RC as he is free to join the various interest groups and activities he wishes to.

Also, the environment is rather “quiet and conducive”, and the people there “respectful and understanding”.

He adds that some may complain about the food served in the dining hall, but he generally finds the food satisfactory. (Though this might be because he has been subjected to hostel food for quite a few years).

good food

Also found in University Town, RC4 is near various food canteens.

Ridge View Residential Culture and Information

NUS ridge view residential college

Sourced from Wikimedia

I reached out to the current president of RVRC’s College Student Committee, Jonathan. He shares that RVRC has a very “chill” and “wholesome” environment, where residents are welcome to participate in RV’s activities in any way they wish to.

Despite being known for their focus on sustainability (given their curriculum and eco-friendly features in their buildings), Jonathan firmly believes that “RV’s reputation lies with its people”.

He shares that residents are kind and helpful towards one another, be it helping each other with academics or small errands.

As someone who stayed in RV for 2 years, one of the cons would be the insects in the rooms. Since RV is near greenery, I would frequently find lizards or strange insects in the corridors or in my room.

I really, really fear insects, so my solution was to immediately call my friends or boyfriend for help when I encountered a creepy-crawly (guys if you see this, I’m honestly not sorry).

However, to those interested in insects, RV provides the opportunity to monitor them! There is an interest group dedicated to examining such wildlife.

On a happier note, RVRC is also conveniently located near the Yusof Ishak House canteen (pictured below), a 7/11, KOI and other F&B outlets.

Yusof Ishak House canteen

Sourced from WhyQ

Yale-NUS Culture and Information

Yale NUS college

Sourced from Wikimedia

Students in Yale-NUS College are automatically granted a stay on campus in the YNC dorms referred to as Elm, Cendana and Saga College in University Town.

H (pseudonym), a third-year student residing in YNC, shares that YNC is a “symbol of hope for a lot of change and student organising”. Yale-NUS provides students with the opportunity for “social change and student activism”, as seen through the support given to CAPE and The G Spot.

The school administration has continuously “strived to defend” spaces for social discussion for its students.

For instance,Yale-NUS has hosted Dr Menaka Guruswamy (the lawyer who helped overturn Section 377A in India) on campus.

Getting approval for such events is “significantly harder” in NUS, H noted.


yale nus instagram

H also addresses the alleged “YNC exceptionalism”

She says that “it isn’t that YNC students are just so special that we are the only ones who do student organising”, but that “we are lucky enough to have a school and space that doesn’t restrict us from having events that strive for social change and student activism”.

H acknowledges that there are some challenges to Cendana College.

With so many activities available on campus, and students themselves engaging in internships or running student organisations, staying in close proximity to other hustlers can get “very overwhelming at times”.

There is a “strong sense of FOMO if you don’t partake in the hustle culture”, and students might end up overworking themselves in fear of not doing enough.

Nonetheless, the empathetic community of Cendana College might help one feel less overwhelmed.

H shares that, while the community isn’t perfect, they take social concerns such as gender identities and pronouns seriously. The community “endeavours to be empathetic to others’ struggles and identities and hold space for them”.

Prince George’s Park Residences Culture and Information

nus prince george park residences

Sourced from NUS

J (pseudonym), who is currently staying at NUS Prince George’s Park Residences, shares that PGPR has no strong culture.

Students typically apply there for its ease of stay, since there is no requirement to confirm future accommodation. However, this also means that there is increased competition for the rooms.

J enjoys the freedom of having her own space in PGPR, which also has 2 canteens conveniently located nearby.

She raises the concern that it is occasionally difficult to communicate with PGP management, given the large number of students residing there.

UTown Residences Culture and Information

NUS utown residences

Sourced from NUS

Aegan, who stayed at UTown Residences for a year, shares that it has a “quiet” environment where “everyone minds their own business”.

With rooms following a suite-style where 4 residents share a living room, toilet and fridge. Another bonus of UTR would be the reduced competition for such amenities.

He states that the conducive environment makes it “easy to concentrate on work”, and that its prime position in UTown provides increased access to its various study spots.

Since it is not compulsory to join interest groups or take certain modules to maintain your stay, the culture there might be a little more subdued than the average hall or RC.

Despite this, UTR still regularly organises activities such as group yoga or HITT to encourage residents to get to know one another.

NUS RC Guide: Concluding thoughts

Although it is not compulsory to attend hall orientation camps, I highly recommend it since it increases your chances of making friends.

For RCs, although there’s no obligation to participate actively, your 2-year stay is only guaranteed if you complete the compulsory modules.

Also, I highly encourage those staying on campus to join different interest groups or activities since it’s crucial to surviving NUS as a freshman. There are usually no barriers to entry or prerequisites to these interest groups.

For instance, I joined a yoga interest group, and most of the residents there had no prior experience in it. Watching everyone (myself included) struggle through the poses was a rather fun experience.

I hope this guide to NUS RC has helped those looking to stay on campus. Thank you to everyone interviewed in this article for taking the time to answer my questions!

Don’t forget to check out the first part of this series where we walk you through the NUS hall guide.

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