Ultimate SUSS freshmen guide: 20 things you need to know

by | Nov 10, 2021

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

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.

E-textbook

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.

turnitin

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!

C-Three

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

SUSS

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

Conclusion

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!